Uploading photos to online dating websites causes everybody some level of anxiety, but what if—rather than worrying about how your hair looks in that picture—you worried about how your residual limb looks?For the 20 percent of Americans who have disabilities, this is one of the many challenges they face with online dating.
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If you don’t have a disability, you’re unlikely to know they exist.
But if you do have a disability, try sifting through the literally hundreds of messages you receive from people who aren’t interested in making a good first impression.
They simply want to know how exactly you’re “broken” and whether or not you can still have sex.
This relentless disability trolling on dating websites can have a truly toxic effect.
Woodward chronicles these reactions on her blog “Step Funny Right Now.”For people like Woodward who look different than the norm, these kinds of awkward first-liners are a fact of life.
A day running errands in public can involve multiple strangers asking invasive questions about her body and her abilities.
The anonymity of the Internet, however, gives the curious a new kind of boldness.“It’s really kind of a hit and a lot of misses when it comes to online dating,” Woodward says.
“I feel like, as a person with a disability, I get a lot more of the weirdoes or the people who feel entitled to ask questions before they know my name.”There’s a special type of troll on dating sites.
Woodward has caught herself paying more attention to her disability than she normally would.
While heading to a first date, for instance, she often can’t help wondering if walking with crutches—which she can do for short distances—would be better than using her wheelchair.
Normally, she says, she chooses whatever is most comfortable for her.