“I always disclose my disability right away in my profile and photos,” she says via email.
Just like a messy divorce-in-progress or the fact that there are three kids under the age of 10 waiting at home, Carlson feels that disability is an important fact that potential partners should know from the beginning.
Because of disability trolling, some people may hesitate to disclose their differences right away.
Wheelchair users may only post photos that show their bodies from the waist up, or people with visual impairments may not mention their guide dogs and white canes in bios.
Stephanie Woodward, a 26-year-old lawyer with spina bifida, recently turned to online dating as a fun and cheap way to explore her new city.
However, the online reactions from men to photos of her using a wheelchair have been nothing more than a “shitshow,” she says.
Woodward and Carlson feel that their disability doesn’t—or shouldn’t—limit them to dating only people who have disabilities also.
While society might view their physical difference as one big “Other” sign tied to their backs, these women merely view it as a key part of their identities, one that they’re proud of.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.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.