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Wannabe Gaga

Wannabe Gaga

It all started this past July, when pop star Lady Gaga rolled out onto a Sydney, Australia, stage dressed as a wheelchair-using mermaid named Yuyi. Then, as a treat to fans, she tweeted a loosely-coded message naming a popular gay bar where she’d be after the concert. But later that night, on the way out […]

Portrait of a Pretender

Portrait of a Pretender

When I first heard that there were people out there who pretended to be wheelchair users (called pretenders) and even worse, people who wanted to injure themselves to become actual wheelchair users (called wannabes), I was steamed. I mean, who would want to do such a thing? Their very existence seemed to mock my very […]

SCI Life: The Dancer Within

SCI Life: The Dancer Within

Mia Schaikewitz, 32, wasn’t a professionally trained dancer before her spinal cord injury (caused by an arteriovenous malformation rupture at age 15), but she always loved to dance. And after becoming a T9-10 para, she was not only concerned that dancing was on the chopping block, but also something much more important — her freedom […]

See that guy flirting with Stevens? As a distraction from the California bar exam, she went on a date with him, and then ditched before dinner arrived. "It was the only date I ever left," says Stevens, who has osteogenesis imperfecta.

Unfractured Dreams: A Photo Essay

By Michael Mullady While still a grad student at San Francisco State University four years ago, Bethany Stevens, 30, teamed up with photographer Michael Mullady to capture life as a young woman wheelchair user in the Bay Area. Mullady followed Stevens everywhere, including tagging along on her dates and even to parties. To see the […]

Physically Integrated Dance Comes of Age

Physically Integrated Dance Comes of Age

The last act of the 2008 Sins Invalid performance opened with a dark stage backlit with dusk-blue. To the sound of a pulsing Maori keening chant with techno highlights, wheelchair dancer Rodney Bell slowly lowered down onto the stage via cables. Sometimes dangling upside down, sometimes appearing to somersault, Bell, a T3-6 para, gyrated along […]

Gleeks on Staff

Gleeks on Staff

The Fox channel’s hit show, Glee, follows a high school show choir and features a diverse cast of students ranging from gay to wheelchair user. The musical-comedy veers into satire, and at any time someone might just burst into song. Glee often deals with social issues, only with a soundtrack. But the show is edgy […]

Photos by Christopher Voelker / Voelkerstudio.com

Cityzen Toby

The first thing you’ll probably want to know about Tobias Forrest is where he was raised, whether his childhood was really lousy, how he broke his neck and all that what-doesn’t-kill-you-makes-you-stronger kind of crap. There’s a lot of that. But first, some random coincidences: 1. Toby’s dad, Alan Olsen, who is in fact his uncle, […]

Into the Great Beyond

Into the Great Beyond

Among travel lovers, one school of thought holds that “the journey is the destination” — that the true mind-broadening joy of travel lies not in arriving somewhere as planned, but in experiencing all the unplanned things that happen while you’re getting there. Through these chance encounters and random events — be they delightful, aggravating or even dangerous — […]

The Education of Professir X

The Education of Professir X

“People ask me, how do I have sex? What’s different for me now is, it’s more spiritual, more mental, more emotional. I don’t feel a physical body, so in order to feel my mate, I must feel her with my heart, with my soul, with my mind. That’s how I have sex. That’s how I […]

Les McCann: Free and Funky

Les McCann: Free and Funky

It’s about everything. It’s about religion, about life, about God, about truth. It’s about how we live. The damn stair lift isn’t working! And it’s brand new, too! Three men fiddle with it, jump up and down on it, push the buttons over and over while jazz legend Les McCann sits in his bulky, airline-style wheelchair […]

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