Man spills all the tea on dating with a disability, says “us gays can be bitches!”

Paddy Smyth is a gay activist from Ireland who was born with cerebral palsy. In a new op-ed written for International Day of Persons with Disabilities, he talks about how being disabled has impacted his love life.

“My insecurities about having a disability included not feeling hot enough, not feeling like I was worth enough,” Smyth writes candidly.

“We live in a society where it’s all about the image you have. And I never fit into that ideal of a gay person.”

Smyth describes dating with a disability as “cutthroat.”

“Us gays can be bitches,” he says.

Recounting some of the conversations he’s had with guys while out on the scene, he writes:

Guys would be direct–they’d say ‘can you even have sex though, are you able to do it?’ or ‘it must be really difficult for you’. Hearing those things can be very disheartening. Disabled people are treated like babies, like newborns, people are very protective. I think that’s a lot of why they can’t find someone with a disability attractive–because society’s instinct is to protect them and keep them safe, like we’re going to shatter.

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Apps like Grindr and SCRUFF aren’t much better.

Smyth says he could hide his disability on them for a while, but sooner or later “I’d have to have that weird conversation–‘I’m actually disabled’ and then guys would go ‘how disabled?’ and then it would turn into a thing where they would think I’d be worse than I am.”

Related: Should I include that I am disabled in my dating profile?

When he wasn’t dealing with that, Smyth was fielding off guys who fetishized his disability.

“Sometimes for guys, I would have been a fantasy. They would be like–‘oh my god, you’re disabled’, so I could be a notch on the bedpost. They could fantasize about it–overpower me almost.”

Today, Smyth is in a relationship with a man who he says loves him for him and couldn’t care less about his disability.

Thinking about what advice he might give his younger self, he writes:

The advice I would give to my younger self would be to believe in myself more. And to not try so hard to fit in- to accept my own flag and fly it. And don’t be afraid not to be liked! Have the confidence in yourself to be okay with people not liking you.

Related: I’m gay and disabled and no one in Seattle will have sex with me

h/t: Queerty