Writing Contest for GLBT Stories
Below is the winning story for the GLBT story contest. We did receive many amazing, powerful stories. We believe the book is going to be wonderful. We are in the process of editing the stories for submission to publishers/agents. We will keep you updated regarding the status of the book and if your story is selected for the final version of the published book.
The Winning Story
Written by Tyler Tone
Endless photos of headless torsos, butts and other revealing body parts scrolled by as I lolled about in a chat-room. There was very little activity online, when I got a signal that an IM was being started. I accepted the request from ‘Wheelieguy’. His photo was one of the occasional pictures I had seen in the past. But now I was studying each detail as we typed customary opening greetings. The photographer had caught his handsome face in the middle of a full open mouthed laugh.
We chatted about our mornings and the weather and then the conversation took a turn. Wheelieguy wanted to know that if we met could I lift him into and out of bed. He wanted to know if I would be able to undress him and then get him dressed again. He said his hands didn’t work the same way as mine did. He was very eager to meet up. I evaded his repeated hints as I was uneasy with what I’d gleaned were his physical limitations.
As the summer continued with warm sunny West Coast days, my virtual chats with Wheelieguy carried on. He was a young man with Cerebral Palsy living his days confined to a wheelchair. He lived alone and a helper came by to take care of his daily needs. I’d learned that he’d been successful in meeting men online, but they were all one shot deals. Each time we chatted Wheelieguy expressed his interest in meeting. My mind swarmed with thoughts about how this would look to others. What would my friends think? I was concerned that by having sex with this man it could be conceived as me taking advantage of his disability.
I was out of computer range for the duration of an August trip, so there were no conversations with Wheelieguy. As I went about my days, my thoughts continuously drifted to him. I played over our typed conversations focusing on his tenacity and eagerness. There was a pleasant tone to his wording, which I realized had put me at ease about his unique physicality. My curiosity grew.
When I returned home we resumed our online chats. He was more persistent than ever and I agreed to meet to satisfy our curiosity. He typed, ‘I can’t promise I won’t jump your bones’. I drove to Wheelieguy’s home. My mind raced a mile a minute playing over what I could potentially be getting involved in. My narrow imagination couldn’t conceive of having sex with a quadriplegic. What would we do? How would we do it?
I arrived at his apartment building and parked my car. Sitting outside in a large electric wheelchair with the biggest smile on his face was my potential hook-up. His hands were little fists. His wrists were bent and hugged tightly to his torso. As I drew closer his huge expressive brown eyes penetrated me, softening my insides. We greeted each other and then he bent his body sideways hitting a button on the chair with his forearm. There was an audible click and his apartment door automatically opened. He pushed his head into the headrest of the chair causing it to spin around and led the way into his home.
Wheelieguy rolled into the center of his living room and spun around to face me. He was still smiling. I was sure he could read the apprehension in my eyes. There was awkward silence as I took in the modest, clean apartment. Framed photos adorned the wall above his dining table. We’d typed a lot to each other over the past weeks, but now there was little to talk about.
He gave a laugh, those brown eyes alive with mischief and asked if I wanted to lie down on his bed with him. I agreed. Again he hit the headrest with the back of his skull and the chair did an about face. He wheeled into the depths of his apartment. I walked past the open door to his bathroom. A life sized cutout of Seven-of-nine from the Star Trek franchise stood guard next to the open doorway of his bedroom.
Wheelieguy had parked his ride next to a large single bed. He directed me as to how to disengage him from the chair. I folded the foot plates out of the way so his feet could touch the carpeted floor. I undid the seatbelt that held him securely in place. Then I bent over and made my first body contact. I put my arms around his rigid upper chest and embraced him tightly. I lifted him to standing; surprisingly he was heavier than I’d anticipated. He directed me to pivot him around and we were in a kind of herky-jerky waltz, his socked feet dragging on the floor. I got him turned around and he told me to put him on the bed. I placed (dropped) him on the comforter. My forehead beaded with sweat. This was tough work.
He asked me to lie down beside him. I took up a place on his right.
‘I have a joke,’ he said.
‘Oh yeah,’ I said, or something like that.
‘Why am I so good at golf?’ he asked.
‘Because of my handicap.’ And he broke into a big laugh that caused his body to shake and jerk, his big eyes alive with excitement and anticipation.
Then he said, ‘You can take off my shirt…’
This amazing man unabashedly guided me through each step of our first encounter. I walked away dazed and somehow transformed. As I pulled my car out of its parking spot, I knew I was going to see him again.
Now we’re into our third season together and I’ve become a means for Wheelieguy to see more of the world. He constantly tells me what little time he spends at home since he met me. At the beginning of September we were having dinner at my place and I told him it was our eighth date. He paused and looked at me with those amazing eyes and said, ‘I’ve never had an eighth date before.’ My heart cracked open in that moment.
Recently we returned from a weeklong adventure frolicking with the Cascadia Radical Faeries at Breitenbush, Oregon. We were able to take advantage of the healing hot springs and revel in the camaraderie of the Faeries. I had hoped that Wheelieguy would benefit from emersion in a queer men’s gathering, but I was also aware that the Faeries could benefit from being around such an inspirational, alive young man.
One of many highlights of the trip was when we dressed up for dinner and did a ceremonious parade through the dining-hall as Blanche and Baby Jane, complete with a rubber rat. We were greeted with an uproar of laughter, clinking of silverware on glasses, exclamations of ‘No you didn’t!” and then a standing ovation. In those brief moments parading past our tribe of Faeries, my Wheelieguy was seen in a way that I could only have dreamed. He truly was accepted, loved, honoured and cherished.
I’m proud to call this beautiful man my boyfriend. It’s been over six months and there’s laughter between us all the time. I’m continually surprised, thrilled and inspired in ways I couldn’t have imagined.
I’m blessed every time he says ‘I love you.’
I love you too, Bug.