Ten Ableist Tropes to Jettison in 2021

Headshot of a young woman with curly dark hair, olive skin & a wide smile wearing red lipstick & a red top.
Throughout this post, I’ve included pictures and information about disabled actors, directors, writers, producers, & designers. Meet actor Melissa Salguero. Melissa is represented by Gail Williamson at KMR.
A Black woman with hair pulled back & falling over one shoulder. She wears a deep blue top, pink lipstick & a slight smile.
Actor, storyteller, and performance artist Terri Lynne Hudson.
A woman with ivory skin, short blonde hair & a perky smile wearing pink lipstick & a deep blue top with a zigzag pattern.
Actor, singer, director, and producer Erin Cronican, Executive Artistic Director of The Seeing Place Theater.
A young man w pale skin, dark hair in a stylish cut & a dark beard smiles rakishly as he adjusts his striped tie.
Actor Brian Seitel.
A young woman with short blonde hair & pale skin sits in her wheelchair, her hands in her lap, wearing a black top & jeans.
Actor, singer, dancer, director, and writer Megan Simcox.
  • “NO EXCUSES” (“a nearly worthless disabled person can do this amazing thing, so why can’t you, with all your majestic abledness?”)
  • “SUPERCRIP” (“it should be impossible for this disabled person to do this thing, but they are the literal best in the world”)
  • “THE ONLY REAL DISABILITY IS A BAD ATTITUDE” (“look how positive this weak and worthless disabled person is; suck up your problems, majestic abled”)
  • “HOW CUTE! THEY THINK THEY’RE PEOPLE” (“these poor, useless cripples get one shining moment to pretend to be human through the selfless, heroic work of able-bodied people who staged this event”).
A Black woman with short hair, a green headband, brown-framed glasses, a black tank top & pink lipstick smiles cutely.
Actress, writer, and poet Love Lace. Email ciarayvonnelovelace@gmail.com for booking inquiries.
A young woman with pale skin, long brown curls & a wide smile sits in her wheelchair with her hands crossed in front of her.
Actor, singer, and teaching artist Jenna Bainbridge. Jenna is represented by Gail Williamson at KMR.
A young person with short black hair in a stylish cut, olive skin, full lips, & deep brown eyes, wearing a striped hoodie.
Singer, director, actor, and writer Osiris. Email cuenosiris@gmail.com for booking inquiries.
A woman with black hair pulled back & brown skin lies on her stomach holding a camera. Her black dog lies next to her.
Day Al-Mohamed is an author, filmmaker, and political analyst. She’s a founding member of FWD-Doc (Documentary Filmmakers with Disabilities) and the author of the novella The Labyrinth’s Archivist. I don’t know the dog’s name, but he is clearly a very good boy.
Writer, producer, and director Rio Finnegan. His film production company is White Whale Productions.
A woman with pale skin, short light brown hair & a tan off-the-shoulder top rests her head on her right fist, her head tilted
Director Chloe Kennedy specializes in acting theory, improv techniques, and queer performance. Email chloenkennedy@icloud.com for booking inquiries.
A young white woman with short dark hair with a magenta streak, a round face, large blue eyes & full lips with red lipstick.
Playwright Natalie Ann Valentine.
Actor, writer, and consultant (specializing in mental health, gender positivity, and disability) Griffyn Gilligan. Contact his agent, Simon Pontin, at castings@thesoundcheckgroup.com.

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PhD, D&D DM, Disabled Cyborg, lifelong educator & theatremaker now working as a JEDI consultant (justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion).

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Bitter Gertrude

Bitter Gertrude

PhD, D&D DM, Disabled Cyborg, lifelong educator & theatremaker now working as a JEDI consultant (justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion).

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