Keoki's Blog- a Non-Disabled Person with a Disability

A Blog On: Films, Filmmaking, Life, Humor... and Disability


Hanover, New Hampshire, Etates Unis
August 31
Pathways of the River Valley
Keoki Johnson, who has cerebral palsy, grew up in a New Hampshire community that treated him like everyone else. His interests in music, fiction and film flourished into his adulthood and that enabled him to earn a B.A. from Keene State College in Keene, NH and a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH. He now applies his artistic ability and encyclopedic knowledge of movies to making films that frame disabled people as ordinary characters. In addition, he gives presentations at various organization in New Hampshire and at national conferences on disability, advocating that society treat disability as a normal part of life.


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SEPTEMBER 8, 2009 9:18PM

`I Don't Date Your Kind'

Rate: 17 Flag



I think I hit a nerve with this morning's blog post: The Nebulousness of Chemistry.''


 I was really unsure of whether to share something so personal-but I needed to in order to go back to sleep. I see now that this is probably what I should be talking about more often.


I'd like to expand upon the different ways in which women say ``I don't date your kind.' I'm doing this because in an age where we are supposedly so socially aware, there are still hurdles to hurdle, still rivers to cross.


In an age where we have a black President, there are still signs that bar some people from participating in life as others do, but instead of a sign that says ``No Blacks'' or ``No Irish'' it says ``No Crips''. And that sign is transparent. It's not posted on any wall or beside a drinking fountain; it's posted on a perspective employer's face when he's perplexed that a Dartmouth grad isn't the strapping young lad he's envisioned. 


That blog is for another day. Today, I'm going to talk about how this applies to dating. 


I've encountered `I don't date your kind' in a number of ways from the subtle ``I would've gone out with you even though you have cerebral palsy' to the aforementioned `you're too significantly challenged' to `I don't date your kind'.


The first one was the most painful because because it came from a woman who said she worked with people who have disabilities. When she told me that, I thought I had broken through a wall and connected with someone who would disregard the whole CP thing as my friends do. 

She brought her son to lunch which was fine. I like kids and I  was trained as a teacher so I enjoyed having him around. Of course, he got curious about the guy cutting wood and he went after the axe- and I alerted his mom. She was thankful for that but not thankful enough to date me. 


My friends have never even brought up the issue of my physical disability. Not in high school, middle nor elementary school. It's because I like to make people feel good about themselves and they really responded to  it. 


I'm lucky to have such supportive friends and often wondered about what it would feel like if I didn't have these friends. 


Thankfully, I didn't have any of these really negative experiences until I was an adult and could put them in perspective. 


The second time it happened was when I went on a date with a lawyer I liked a lot. We went to walk her dog in the park after lunch and it was raining. She wanted to sit on the swings but they were an inch too high and I struggled to get on it until she stopped me. Can't help being short. At the end of our walk, her Chiuaua, Bruiser jumped on my leg for a pat. Animals liked me and I thought it was a good sign But then she said that she couldn't date me because she couldn't deal with my significant challenges. Then she asked me to lead her to Walmart so she could buy Bruiser food. 


I was about to leave her right there- what she said made me feel like a servant. But I didn't want her to justify how she treated me by the way I left her at the park. So I lead her to the turn for Walmart and kept on driving. She got where she needed to go and I got away. 


The `I don't date your kind' comment came from a teacher who said it over email. Email makes people bold and heartless which is why I try never to be that way. I am not heartless. I


t's okay because being trained as a teacher, I've seen some pretty stupid would be teachers. Teachers who don't know common things like those who can't name most of the States or that the White House burned in 1814 and Dolly Madison saved the picture of George Washington. Or that Andy Jackson was responsible for the Louisiana Purchase AND the Trail of Tears. And that he had slaves but was a pseudo-Abolitionist. 


This may be a tall order but these are the things kids ask about. How  much blood in the human body? About 10 pints on average. It makes up 7% of our weight. 


And if you're not a trivia geek like me, Look It Up. It's a more importantskill  than knowing all that stuff.  


But the most important thing about being a teacher- or an ADULT is to have an OPEN MIND.   We all encounter different people on a daily basis and keeping an open mind helps us change. There is no growth without change. I never was attracted to: Asian women, tatoos or piercings. My ideal used to be of the classic blonde, brunette or redhead variety.  And the only Asians I knew were my cousins.


But now, that I'm adult I'm over all that. :-)

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Thanks. I just figured that if I didn't get mad at her she'd have no ammo to validate the way she treated me. And she'd be alone because her standards are too high. And that's her fault, not mine.
I know people like your lawyer. They'll be the first to pitch a fit over animal rights, or discuss at length how they understand the oppressed and champion civil rights loudly. So impressive. Except it's all lip service. Deep down they have no respect nor do they understand anyone who's really different than they are.

Wanna know the truth about a person, let a really obese person walk by and drop something on the ground. I bet she would've commented ugly about him rather than help him pick up whatever he dropped.

There are people who really do care, Keoki. I know for sure that there are woman out there who are looking for what's inside your heart. Believe me, because I can see how beautiful it is from here.
They also don't date the poor or the fat or the guy with a little dick. Big deal. Get over it. You just happen to hear the screening process more than most guys.
Your intelligence and your words are libidinous. You will find the right woman some day. Maybe you should just let destiny grip you up in her unsung song. For the women, that had the audacity to tell you that she doesn't date "your kind". Kharma will take care of her. Have a great day!
I think you should try this simple trick the next time you find yourself in conversation with an attractive woman: be mean, aloof and selfish. Not like really mean, but kind of mean. If you can successfully pretend to be that James Bond, tortured soul type, but with the heart of gold, a woman will feel like she won something really great. It's the slow reveal that makes a nice guy so awesome. I'm willing to bet that it's not your cerebral palsy, but it's the fact that you might just be so nice from the get go. I'm not saying it works every time for everyone, but it might be a fun experiment.
Very painful. These women may have looked attractive but they were ugly, through and through. Wishing you good things in life, including love.
If someone is not attracted to you, whether it's because you are too short, too fat, too poor, or disabled, the worst thing they could do would be to string you along to avoid hurting your feelings.

Wouldn't you have better luck if you searched for a partner among disabled women?
We all have are own ideas on the type of people we would like to date. I would not date a smoker. Yes, call me a bigot if you like but we all have the right to make our own choices.

HollywoodAssistant, oh man, but what if the guy IS a tortured soul? You totally know what women desire most. . . .
And if anyone thinks that what you have written isn't true about people in general (not just women), let us re-visit Patrick Hahn's comment.

"Wouldn't you have better luck if you searched for a partner among disabled women?"

Translation: Stick to your own kind.

Jebus. Please don't focus on the woman-bashing. And don't start playing games with prospective dates. Adult women don't like it and won't stand for it. It's going to be harder for you, but you've succeeded with life so far, so keep at it.
We can all agree that the game playing sucks, but it's there for a reason. And with the right woman, it doesn't have to last that long, or you won't even have to play the game at all. All I'm saying is, it's a matter of perspective. It should be fun.

The gazing off into the distance thing works on me every time.
Gregor Menel is awesome! I'm going to favorite her right after this comment :)

Hollywood Assistant is a sweetie-but she's really young .Don't EVER play any dating games with anyone over 30. If women in their 20's are your target-well, some of them apparently think dating games are fun and or necessary[I never did-but I always dated older guys, who knew better].

I loved your comment about asians and blonds, and "outgrowing" those silly closed minded ideas. I was always the same way about back hair. ugh, repulsive, I could never have sex with someone with backhair!

If I still held onto that outlook I wouldn't have gotten laid more than once in the last six years .

You'll find someone someday. Don't let idiots get you down.
I would never woman-bash. I work in an industry that is populated almost entirely by women (caregiving) and it has always been easier for me to talk to women than some men. Maybe I have an enlarged hippocampus or maybe I just like people. I will explain in an upcoming blog.

I never intended to be a caregiver. It was just something that I could do easily while focusing on my writing.

And if I were to stick to my kind, it wouldn't necessarily be someone with a disability, it would be a woman who's interested in art, film, travel, music. I want someone who laughs at my puns and thinks it's funny when I whip out a trivial factoid like: there are about 10,200 taxis in NYC, fewer than 5 are the iconic Checker cab that you seen in all the films.

I don't play mind games because I don't really know how that works. How do you convince someone that you're screwed up and `dangerous' when you can't walk down the street without someone saying `Hi' to you or that you can't take the smile off your face?
I think you're a good egg, and an interesting one with all those trivial factoids.

She's out there.
Interesting to read your perspective.
I hope you continue to post your thoughts and are not daunted by the comments of Harry Homeless or Behind Blue Eyes who have both shown themselves to be two of the most heartless sorts that lurk on this site. two should be ashamed of being such jerks.
Anyone who rejects you for such a stupid reason is not good relationship material. (I know that's cold comfort but it's true.) The one and only time I dated a rich guy (because I actually thought he was smart and interesting) he dumped me because he said I "wouldn't fit in" with his family and social set. I'll never forget what that taught me; it wasn't about any shortcoming of mine; it was because he was a jerk. I could not have been happy with him for long.
When you find the woman who truly sees you, you will be happy indeed, and she will, too. My keyboard to God's ears, it will happen soon!
I would have helped you onto the swing, btw. Would have been fun.
Thanks, Gregor. I would have helped my date onto the swing too. Dating is about taking care of someone special. If they need a hug, a kiss, a boost- these are simple enough things to provide as is listening to someone. And it would be fun.