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13 Dos And Don’ts To Know Before Heading Out On A Date With A Woman With A Disability

As a Disabled Latina, I’ve been on my fair share of dates. More so since getting out of a serious relationship. Since jumping back into the dating world, I’ve noticed some mistakes people make when it comes to dating myself and my peers who have a disability and are part of the Latinx community. So if you’re going on a date with a Disabled Latina, but you’re a little nervous because society has played you to think Disabled Latinas don’t exist, or that the date won’t be good because they’re “different”, well let me put your mind at ease. And hopefully, show you the light by giving you the do’s and don’ts of dating a Disabled Latina.

I guarantee after reading this, you’ll be going on some of the best dates of your life…because Disabled Latinas are pretty dang amazing.

1. Don’t Ask “What’s Wrong With You?”

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Often times, when I go on a date with someone, it doesn’t take long to find out that I am the first disabled person they’ve dated. It’s never something that’s big deal for me… that is until The Question comes up. So I’m here to tell you, f the love of Dios, don’t ask “So what’s wrong with you?” Not only can it be hurtful, but it also lets me know you see my disability as something that’s bad. A lot of disabled people view their disability positivity and something that we love. If you ask what’s wrong with us on a date, it just lets us know that your only focus is on our disability and not us. It also puts us in an awkward position if we’re not comfortable yet telling you about it.

2. Do Leave It Up To Us To Talk About It

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It’s not that myself or fellow Disabled Latinas are against you being curious about our disability. It’s an important part of our identity and one we’d like you to learn more about if we begin dating. But instead of pushing questions on us, leave it open for us to disclose when we feel ready. Focus on the date, get to know us, make us laugh. The more we see you’re getting to know us for us, the more we’ll feel comfortable talking about our disability with you. Trust me, we’ll do it on our own time because it’s important for the relationship. We just wanna know you’ll let us go at our own pace.

3. Don’t Make Us Feel Bad If We Can’t Dance At La Fiesta

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We all love a backyard family kick back. While you’d love to dance, sometimes we have to sit out of dancing because either our chronic pain is at an all-time high, or the dance floor isn’t accessible for our mobility aid etc. The last thing we want is to feel guilty when we can’t participate by hearing “Are you even Latina if you can’t dance?” “It’s in your blood, you should be dancing!” I know that seems impossible to believe that people actually say that, but trust, I hear it at almost every party I go to when I can’t dance…especially from my date! Sometimes our disability will get in the way, and that means we can’t participate in the classic Latino pastime. Just because we can’t dance doesn’t mean we don’t love and appreciate our culture, it just means right now we can’t do it. So please, try to avoid those statements.

Do ask If we’re up for dancing though!

Now just because we might not be able to dance the day of the party doesn’t mean you can’t ask. It all depends on how you ask, a simple “Hey, you up for some dancing?” will go a long way. Honestly, the question lets us know you’re interested while also letting us still feel included but not forced. It gives us the option to assess our bodies and decided if we can or not verses just being told “how come you don’t wanna dance?” or “you should be dancing!”. It makes the whole situation guilt free when we have to decline. We love going to the parties with you and being with you, and if we can, we’ll let you know we’re ready to get down!

5. Don’t Touch Our Mobility Aids Without Permission

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Dating a Disabled Latina means that you may also have something very important to them joining you, their mobility aid. It can be a cane, wheelchair, crutch and many other things. The one thing to remember is to not touch their aid unless they give you permission. You may want to help push their wheelchair while you two go for stroll, or you may want to grab their cane for them when you leave a restaurant, but don’t. Aids can be very expensive and often times they can break when handled in the wrong way. A lot of Disabled people generally don’t need help if they are using their aid and while the intention is nice it can lead to frustration. When I use my cane, I have full control over it and how it helps my legs. When a date has grabbed it from me or for me, it throws off a routine and can put me in danger of falling. You don’t have to be afraid of our aids or even helping but simply ask if you can help or wait and let us ask you for help and we’ll let you know how to.

Now,

While we may not want you to touch our aids, that doesn’t mean you can’t show affection by holding our hands. When I first started using my cane, I was terrified that my partner wouldn’t hold my hand while we were out. It sounds silly but we’re never shown in media of Disabled Latinx using aids while doing cute date things. Not only is holding hands just adorable but mira it also lets us know you’re not focused on our aid. Honestly, that’s a huge turn on. You’re cute, my cane and I are cute, so let’s hold hands and be cute together.

6. Don’t Assume Our Accessibility Needs

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I’ve had dates that for the most part know about my disability, and have been very considerate. But sometimes they’ve crossed the line by assuming my needs and make a huge deal about it. I make it pretty clear to people I’m with that I’m okay with stairs, I prefer elevators but stairs aren’t an issue for me as long as I can hold a rail. I also make it clear (as most disabled people do) that I will let a person know if I can’t do something. This issue starts when a date begins to bombard me with statements when we’re out and we see stairs like “Oh there’s stairs, but we don’t have to go up it. I’ll find the elevator, I don’t want you to get tired or hurt your legs. Let’s be safe with the elevator.” Man, at least let me decide if my legs are up to it. Don’t just assume you know my needs and how my legs are before I even do.

7. Do Ask About Our Accessibility Needs

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This one might be a little confusing since I just said “don’t assume our needs”. But that doesn’t mean you can’t ask about them and learn. Disability is fluid and sometimes we need a certain accommodation one day, and the next day we don’t. Some days I can jump, skip, climb without my cane. Other days I need my cane to just walk to the store down the street. Accessibility needs change for a lot of Disabled Latinx daily. It’s really nice when a person I’m dating acknowledges that and before we get our day started every time we hang out, they ask “Hey, what should we avoid today?” Letting us decide what’s best for our body.

8. Don’t Ask “Can You Even Have Sex?”

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I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve heard this from dates. DO NOT ASK THIS QUESTION NO MATTER HOW CURIOUS YOU ARE. Plain and simple, it’s rude. Sure, on a date you are thinking about sleeping with us because hello, we’re attractive. But for some reason dates think because we’re disabled they can just boldly ask invasive personal questions about our bodies as if we owe you an explanation. You wouldn’t ask a non-disabled person that, would you?

For a lot of people including myself, when I go on a date I’m also thinking about sex. So it’s not a bad thing entirely if you’re wondering what sex will be like with me or another Disabled Latina, but asking straight out like in number 9 is again rude. This curiosity and confusion is from our sex education letting us down in this country but especially when it comes to sex ed for Queer and Disabled people. There are better ways to communicate you’re interested and let us let you know if we’re up to it (consent people). But just know some disabled people love to have sex and some aren’t interested either because of their disability or because sex just isn’t their thing. Just communicate and have an actual open and respectful conversation with us.

9. Do Help If You Can When We Ask

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While myself and others don’t want or expect you to be our caregiver, there will be times we might ask for help. And generally, it’s not anything major, just a “Can I use you for support while we stand here?” or even a trip to the ER. My last relationship, the ER was our place. We would go and basically just having him there as support was enough for me. Majority time when we ask you for help, it’s for something simple like grabbing something or just being present and supportive.

10. Don’t Speak Over Us

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If you’ve been dating a Disabled Latina for a while you might become a little protective of them. And while that’s “cute”, it can also lead you to speak over us. There have been dates who know my disability pretty well that have done this when they’ve brought me to a party or lunch with their friends. If a person at the party/lunch says something insensitive or suggests to do something I can’t physically do it, my dates suddenly advocate for me and essentially outs my disability in order to “fix” the situation. You mean well, but generally, myself and Disabled Latinas can speak up for ourselves. We’ve grown up with this kind of thing, so we know how to handle it, tu sabes? If we need backup, we’ll let you know.

11. Do Support Our Disability Pride

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It’s no surprise us Latinas are proud AF about our Latinidad, but for Disabled Latinas, we get double pride. We are filled with pride and love for our culture and most of the time, our disability.  Disability culture is rich and filled with diversity and for Disabled Latinas, it’s just as important as our Latinx Culture. Nothing is as big as a turn on when a date actively supports our Disabled Identity. That can be in taking us to accessible places, sharing our activism online if we create it or just hearing us out when we need to vent or celebrate a win in our community. Having a date or partner that is so open and accepting of our identity is such a refreshing thing.

12Don’t Bottle Up Your Confusion About Disability

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This entire article has been a lot of information and can be confusing. You may feel like you need to completely understand everything the first time it’s said or that you have to make sure you remember every little detail about us. You may keep these feelings bottled up and you may end up resenting a wonderful relationship. Por favor, don’t bottle this up. If there’s one thing Disabled Latinas are pretty good at, it’s communicating. We know this information is a lot to take in, but remember it’s not just about you accommodating us, we will be there for you too. You bottling up your feelings and confusion about our disability doesn’t help anyone, let us be there for you too.

13. Do Know, You Have Nothing To Be Scared Of

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At the end of the day, relationships can be fun but also difficult to navigate. Sometimes you may not have all the right answers and sometimes we may not know the right way to explain our disability. But on a date or in a relationship, dating us is work but it’s worth it. We all deserve great dates that don’t make us feel bad about who we are as a person. So take some of these points into consideration and remember, all Disabled Latinas are different and want different things. Just don’t let our disability scare you into missing out on us, we’re amazing!


Read: Up Next: La Mera Candelaria’s Lead Signed Her Emails With A Man’s Name Just To Get A Chance To Perform At Clubs. Now She Dominates LA’s Cumbia Scene

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ANTM’s Eva Marcille Bravely Comes Forward With Her Story Of Having Hide In ‘Multiple Places’ To Evade Her Abusive Ex-Boyfriend

fierce

ANTM’s Eva Marcille Bravely Comes Forward With Her Story Of Having Hide In ‘Multiple Places’ To Evade Her Abusive Ex-Boyfriend

Shade is often thrown around on any given episode of the Real Housewives franchises. Gossip is what makes the reality show interesting. Sometimes, however, when lies spread, the truth that is ultimately revealed can be hurtful and speak more about reality than what was intended.

On last night’s episode of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” one of the women, Marlo, tried to come for a castmate to poke fun at her financial woes. The shade turned out to expose longtime abuse.

Eva Marcille revealed on RHOA that the reason she has been moving from house to house isn’t that she’s lacking money but rather scared for her safety.

Twitter/@atlantainformer

“I still feel a sense of threat,” Marcille told her castmates on last night’s episode. “I have had to move five times, and I still feel a sense of uneasiness. He’s just so petty sometimes. I’ve walked outside of my balcony before, and he’s been standing in the dark. And it is the scariest feeling ever.”

Marcille is an American actress and former winner of the third cycle of America’s Next Top Model who is of Puerto Rican descent.

Marcille alleged that she has a restraining order against her ex-boyfriend, Kevin McCall due to stalking and domestic abuse.

The couple, who share a daughter together (though she refers to him as a “donor”), separated in 2015. She has since gone on to marry Atlanta lawyer Micheal T. Sterling; they too share a child.

Marcille dispelled gossip that she and Sterling have frequently moved around because of financial troubles.

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“Every time I move, he finds me,” Marcille said on the episode. “Because of that, I live in multiple places. Safety is a priority for me.”

Sterling took to social media to support his wife by saying “Everything we got, we earned the hard way. And every day that I wake up, I work for legacy, not labels. Motivational use only.”

Marcille told the women that a former friend, who she had a falling out with, began spreading lies about her. “The lies are real gross, and the hate is beyond,” she said on Instagram.

Her alleged abuser, who’s had a history of erratic behavior at least on social media, said Marcille is just using the claims against him as a fake storyline.

“It’s sad when she gotta keep using my name for her storyline if I was the husband I would be like “Real hoe of Atlanta is you out your mind, or is you still obsessed with your child’s Father? Why is he in our storyline so much ain’t I enuff headline for our relationship?” McCall said on Twitter.

Marlo also said on last night’s episode that Marcille was using old claims to back up her current financial situation.

Last year on “The Wendy Williams Show,” Marcille said that McCall has never been a part of her daughter’s life.

“He thinks that biology is more important than being present,” Marcille said of McCall. “He’s extremely dysfunctional, and he’s not at a place where it’s safe for himself or for others.”

Fans of Marcille were quick to offer her support on Twitter.

The less reasonable are demanding more details.

Others were quick to highlight their favorite and most empowering quotes from Eva on the episode.


READ: News Of This Woman Killing Her 11-Year-Old Daughter Because She Suspected Her of ‘Having Sex’ Is Proof Of The Perils Of Purity Culture

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Are You A Victim Of Abuse? Use This Checklist To Help You Determine The Truth

Calladitas No More

Are You A Victim Of Abuse? Use This Checklist To Help You Determine The Truth

There are three ways that abuse can be identified. By the way your partner treats you physically, by the way they treat you emotionally, and by how you feel about the relationship. This checklist of twenty signs of abuse is one tool that you can use to see if you, or someone you know, is a victim of abuse. And remember, more resources for dealing with abuse can be found by calling The National Domestic Violence Hotline on 1800 799 7233.

1. They have grabbed you and refused to let go.

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This falls into the category of physical abuse. No-one should grab you to make you feel threatened and unsafe. No-one.

2. They have pulled your hair.

Instagram: @theerinblythedavis

This is another form of physical abuse. Sure, a bit of hair pulling in the act of passion is fine. But when it happens as part of an argument, or when your partner is deliberately trying to hurt you or make you feel threatened, that is abuse.

3. They have thrown things at you and/or destroyed your belongings.

Instagram: @beatfreak1996

One way your significant other may try to control you is through your belongings. Throwing things at you and destroying your belongings is designed to hurt you physically and emotionally. Threatening to do so also falls under this category of behavior, too.

4. They have left you with bruises, black eyes, bleeding, and/or broken bones.

Instagram: @veeegooose

While abuse doesn’t necessarily have to leave marks on your body, a sure sign of physical abuse in your relationship is when your partner does leave marks. Research shows that once it happens the first time, a “threshold” of sorts has been crossed, and an abuser is more likely to hurt their partner again.

5. They have threatened to hurt or kill you.

Instagram: @raquelitt

It may not seem like abuse, since there are no physical marks left from a threat to hurt or kill you. However, these threats are still part of the arsenal of tools that abusers use. How? Because these threats are designed to control your behavior, and make you feel powerless. Abuse in a relationship is about the abuser gaining and maintaining power, and death threats are a way of emotionally controlling you.

6. They have threatened to take your children away or harm them.

Instagram: @stephaniemaurasanchez

Even if you have children together, children shouldn’t be used as a bargaining chip in your relationship. Even more importantly, your children’s safety is non-negotiable: no partner of yours should threaten it. By the way, this doesn’t just apply to children. Pets can also be used to manipulate and control you in a relationship.

7. They have forced you to have sex.

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Sex is not a “duty” to be fulfilled in a loving, equal relationship. Nor should your partner guilt trip or manipulate you into participating in sex acts after you have refused sex. Consent needs to be freely given! It doesn’t matter how long the two of you have been together. Otherwise, it’s classed as sexual assault.

8. They try to control you and treat you like a child.

Instagram: @silvia_almanza

Abusive relationships are about control and power. Part of treating you like a child is making you feel like you don’t have any control in the relationship, or even your life, so that you continue to stay and endure the abuse.

9. They make you feel like you need permission to make decisions or go somewhere.

Instagram: @kreeturefeature

This applies when you feel like you have to text at every moment to update your partner about where you are. And when you can’t spend time with friends or family without getting permission from your partner. This is because abusers commonly try to isolate their partner from other, platonic relationships with other people.

10. They try to take complete control of the finances and how you spend money.

Instagram: @loudmouthbruja

Controlling how money is earned and spent is known as financial abuse. People suffering from this type of abuse are commonly denied access to money by partners for doing simple tasks like grocery shopping. Or, sometimes the abuser decides whether and when their partner is allowed to work.

11. They cannot admit to being wrong.

Instagram: @abs_ter

Part of being in a respectful and loving relationship is being able to say sorry and to admit fault. An abusive partner refuses to apologise, because doing so would threaten their position of power in their relationship.

12. They accuse you of things that you know are not true.

Instagram: @estephaniaabarca

This is about control, and manipulating you. After all, if you’re spending your time trying to prove your innocence, then you’re not going to spend your time planning to leave the relationship, are you?

13. They do not take responsibility for their behavior.

Instagram: @lu.pazmi

The reality is, it’s not too much to ask someone to take responsibility for their behavior – even more so when it’s someone you’re in a relationship with. However, your partner doesn’t take responsibility for their behavior because doing so would threaten their position of power in the relationship.

14. They use “The Silent Treatment” to get their way.

Instagram: @yappaririri

Chances are you may have experienced “The Silent Treatment” before, in elementary school. And that’s where that behavior should stay. An equal, loving relationship is not built on one person using silence to manipulate the other person into conceding a point.

15. They make subtle threats or negative remarks about you.

Instagram: @noshophotography

Of course, there’s always room for some friendly sledging in a loving, respectful relationship. But, it turns into abuse when your partner does this on a regular basis to frighten, or control you. It’s possible they may even pass it off as a “joke”, or say that you’re “overreacting”. But again, if you’re in a loving relationship, then your partner should respect the fact that you’re hurt by a “joke”. They should not continue to make these types of comments.

16. You feel scared about how your significant other will act.

Instagram: @erikakardol

Repeat after us: you should have no reason to fear your partner in a loving, respectful relationship. You should have no reason to fear your partner in a loving, respectful relationship.

17. You feel that you can help your partner to change their behavior.

Instagram: @amnesia.r

But, only if you have changed something about yourself first.

18. You watch your behavior carefully so that you do not start a conflict in your relationship.

Instagram: @cmirandads

An abuser does not abuse all of the time. They maintain a cycle of abuse in the relationship. Things go from being tense, where you feel like you have to watch your own actions, to an incident which involves verbal, emotional, financial and physical abuse. Then, your partner attempts reconciliation or denies the abuse occurred, and the relationship goes into a calm stage. However, tensions will begin to build before long, starting the cycle once again.

19. You stay with your partner because you are afraid of what they would do if you broke up.

Instagram: @msstefniv

In other words, you feel trapped in your relationship because of your partner’s current, or potential, behavior. This can range from hurting you, your kids, your pets, your friends, and your family. Or, destroying your belongings, compromising access to your finances, or hurting themselves.

20. They don’t pass “The No Test”

Instagram: @kaitlyn_laurido

“The No Test” is pretty simple. Observe what happens the next time you tell your partner “no”. This could be in response to being asked out on a date, or maybe doing them a simple favor. Disappointment is a normal response to being told “no.”  However, pure outrage, violence, and/or emotional manipulation is not a reasonable response, and may indicate an abusive relationship.

If you feel that you are experiencing an abusive relationship, please seek help. Call The National Domestic Violence Hotline on 1800 799 7233 for assistance. Please take care if you feel that your internet or mobile phone device use is being monitored.

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