Tired of not seeing diversity, mother and daughter wrote a book about romance and sexuality among people with disabilities

All rosy, aesthetic and with protagonists whose sexuality is not out of the norm. This is what romantic stories tend to be like -generally- in both series and books. But, What happens in the industry with desire and relationships in people with disabilities when the characters reflect a reality that does not represent them or does not even show them?

With the aim of giving them visibility, Mariana Weschler and Solana Baisburd gathered stories crossed by love, sex and bonds to show that this is also a possible reality. “It is the way to make them present and protagoniststhat they can feel identified and be able to claim their place,” the authors expressed in dialogue with TN.

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Solana studies Special Education teaching and for his final project he chose to theorize about an absence that he noticed over the years: the lack of voices in the market that speak about passion and love in people with disabilities.

“Did you hear or see stories of adults with intellectual disabilities exercising their right to be looked at, loved, desired?“, was her initial hypothesis and what led her to propose to Mariana, her mother, that they write a book together on the subject. This is how “Kisses later, please” was born. “Disco love stories”.

The 26-year-old was collecting real testimonies and anecdotes; while it was Weschler – who is a graphic designer, illustrator and writer – who gave them literary form, since perhaps they came with more technical language and needed it to be more attractive for reading. In addition, she also accompanied the text with illustrations, which makes it more didactic and eye-catching.

“Sol comes with a different look, of noticing certain and more theoretical details. That is why she chose to tell in short, simple stories, represented with enthusiasm, that They open questions and do not make judgments”, he said. Her daughter, meanwhile, assured that the process together was incredible, exciting and a total learning experience.

Mother and daughter, authors of “Kisses later, please. Record love stories.” (Photo: Mariana Weschler)

His interest in the subject does not arise by chance. One of the family members has a disability, which made some of the stories more personal. However, both admitted that when they learned about the issue up close, they internalized it and a kind of veil formed in their eyes that was uncovered: “Growing up with the disability at home made me believe that it was part of the norm. The difference was made by the outsidewhich led me to think that the work that needs to be done is practically with society,” said Baisburd.

Along these lines, he remarked: “It is important that ‘disca’ people see themselves reflected. We try to glimpse the situation to begin to incorporate that view in different places, so that it stops being so taboo. It’s good to think about it, reflect and give him his place. Not only through help or diagnoses, but with more social support.”

Identity, vindication and visibility: the central points

What is the book about? As the authors detailed, without spoilthese are ten stories of people in situations of desire: from a caress, the fact of being looked at and desired, the social pressures they face, sharing a moment with another, having a partner and even the decision to have relations.

“It addresses sexuality in a broad way, leaving coitocentrism and penetration. Many times in the myths and beliefs of families, they think that (disabled people) They are asexual beings and that is not the case., they live their sexuality normally. Just like they call them ‘little angels’ or ‘good ones’. They are people like you and me, it is essential to humanize them“said Mariana.

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Likewise, he highlighted: “It is the way to make them present protagonists. They are like a case to solve. It is a community that can have a richer perspective to contribute and is not offered as much space.”

In that context, the little – if not zero – appearance of disabled people on the big screen or in books was mentioned. There are attempts at inclusion, as there was last year with the Division Palermo series, but few point in that direction.

Some of the drawings that appear in the book. (Illustrations: Mariana Weschler)

“They should be protagonists more often, on more occasions. They always make them visit the doctor, a secondary character or they have a single appearance. Although networks now allow the same people to tell their own story, They are a smaller and less visible group. You have to claim your place, that show them in their daily lives, of positive possibilities,” said Weschler.

But for both of them, the effect that the book has is satisfactory, the fact that there are people who identify with it: “In one of the centers where I work, a girl told us that they were reading it and talked about what was happening to them. Those voices are not usually heard, they have no way of being heard. That is why it is a necessary topic and not to act as if we were them, but to reflect it and represent the look of that place.”

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Based on that, Baisburd said: “We don’t just write the stories because we have a family member with a disability. It would be good if it were like that for everyone, that the book could be accessible and identifiable to anyone because they are not closed stories, makes you reflect and rethink our place.”

For her part, the mother closed: “May we rethink our perspective, reflect, install new questions and invite to open the dialogue. “Deromanticize disability without de-erotizing it.”

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