Over the last couple of weeks a lot of new equipment has found its way into my home. Railings have been placed up the stairs, a riser attached to the toilet. I have a new wheelchair which whilst new, is still the most basic, standard NHS chair you can imagine, (though I’m grateful for its padded cushion), because God forbid the NHS actually provides equipment that might allow me to live a relatively ‘normal’ life, (i.e. something I can self-propel).
One of the additions to my bathroom is a shower chair. It is cumbersome, heavy and has a slightly dodgy fit, but it allows me to take a shower on the days I feel too fatigued to stand. It would be tempting, knowing all this, to feel like I am somehow less attractive, less sexy, less desirable even, or that I should have little or no interest in sex as a disabled person using aids in my home.
Photography this year has always been about holding onto what makes me me, despite all the ways my life has become smaller. I might not be able to do everything I’d like to do, physically, but I am still a human being with desires and needs, and as a human being I have a sexuality, and I can be sexy – even with my aids. So no matter how tempting it might be for me to believe that I have lost it, I am saying to myself over and over again, every time I take a photo, that I am sexy, desirable and strong, and nothing can take that away from me.