Why A Disabled Woman Values Mainstream Dating Apps

Niche dating apps catering to a specific demographic are often born out of negative experiences on ‘mainstream’ dating platforms. However, a disabled woman discussed her journey on established dating apps and the valuable lessons it taught her.

In a column for The Huffington Post, Melissa Parker discussed her experiences on mainstream dating apps as a woman with cerebral palsy who requires a wheelchair. She is very open about the ableist abuse she received, reflecting that it helped thicken her skin.

When she started using online dating platforms, Parker admitted that she was seeking approval. However, she eventually became more comfortable in her skin as a result of her experiences on these established platforms.

This lesson is why she now feels apprehensive about the newly launched app Dateability, which looks to help disabled and chronically ill people find love.

She questions niche apps, saying they “limit our dating pool severely”. Parker also highlights that if mainstream apps can’t prevent abuse, smaller platforms may also struggle with the same problem.

Parker summarises her message by saying “Mainstream dating apps have shaped the woman I am today. I sit comfortably with myself as a disabled woman who has been through it” 

“I understand wanting to construct a dating utopia ― we were the generation of disabled women introduced to dating apps without even a disabled teen mag cheat sheet. But we must keep on for our own good so that the next generation of disabled people doesn’t have to go through what we did.”

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