Photographer: Giles Clement
My dreams in life were to be a mermaid, then a model and today a designer. I am currently in school studying architecture at Portland State University. While living in the city and focusing on school and the world of design I frequently make any excuse to get outside. The water is my dreamscape as it was as a child, although my injury kept me from it for a while. When I was fifteen a car accident shattered two vertebrae, streched my spinal cord at the T12 level and caused internal bleeding.
My new life was hard to figure out, particularly as a teenager. My self esteem was shattered and I spent a lot of time alone. One of the biggest issues for me, as a young woman who just learned that her legs would never work again, was the feeling that my feminimity was lost. I was looked at differently by everyone, especially boys. I felt like another species. Sexuality is one topic I felt moved to highlight in this project. In general society tends to asexualize people with different abilities, not recognizing them as sexual beings. My life is no different than the typical 27 year old female, I have goals, I go out, I have the best little dog ever, I camp, I hike, I swim, I love, I laugh, I HAVE SEX! After regaining confidence and learning to use my new legs through time and encouragement I go and do wherever and whatever I want.
Life is one giant hurdle and we all just have to roll with the punches, so that is what I do. I have always enjoyed the relationship between the human form and the beauty of nature and I feel like society recognizing those with SCI or any other different ability as beautiful sexual beings is one way that will help humanize the community and create that connection with others that is needed to create empathy for change. Just like “we all poop”, we all fuck! We are no different.