I Love ‘Queer Eye.’ I Don’t Love The Way It Portrayed People With Disabilities.
The show’s “Disabled But Not Really” episode missed an opportunity to make the world more equitable for those of us with disabilities.
Photo by Critter Vision
One of the things that I love most about “Queer Eye” is the way the show artfully deconstructs stereotypes by cutting through loaded and polarizing issues to tell the stories of individual people. Jonathan, Antoni, Karamo, Bobby and Tan introduce their audience to individuals and their communities with sensitivity and respect. We have never needed the Fab Five more, and personally, I adore them.
It’s my loyal fandom that made Episode 2 of the newly released Season 4 particularly disappointing. In this episode, the men helped Wesley, a Black man, loving father, 30-year-old community activist and wheelchair user based in Kansas City. He acquired his disability after being shot in the abdomen seven years ago. Now, he runs a nonprofit called “Disabled But Not Really,” which strives to increase accessibility and empowerment in fitness settings.
Wesley is kind, funny, charismatic and thoughtful. Despite my affection for this hero, I found the episode itself painful. I am a disabled woman who uses a power wheelchair, and the show missed an opportunity to make the world more equitable for those of us with disabilities. keep reading.....