I had the honor to write this essay for the Sirens Conference on how the conflation of villainy and disability impacts the disabled communities in our real world.
"Our depiction of disfigurement and disability in villains—those in speculative works, particularly—taints our perception of disabled people in our own world with a dangerous morality. All of us know the ache of being unable to find yourself in a book and the annoyance when a character is just the lovechild of stereotypes and bigotry. So much of Sirens focuses on the importance and beauty in seeing ourselves—our strengths, our flaws, our lives—in speculative fiction. But when I search for a character like me, I find Captain Hook’s missing hand. I find Viren’s magical staff. I find villains..." read more
I had the privilege of speaking with activist Alexa Blyan on her activism for her indigenous community, her future, and the divide between community-based and global change. Be sure to follow her amazing journey and start your own path of allyship!