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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.
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.
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.
A day running errands in public can involve multiple strangers asking invasive questions about her body and her abilities.Normally, she says, she chooses whatever is most comfortable for her.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.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?