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Dani Garmise, 42, Yavneh


Dani Garmise, 42, Yavneh

Even before I joined the disability family at the age of 22-23, I always had issues with my body image as a skinny, almost emaciated man. When I was hospitalized at Loewenstein (a rehab hospital), all of a sudden hundreds of hands are washing, dressing and touching you and you lose what little sexuality you had, if you ever did. After rehab, I was exposed quite by chance to a whole, fascinating discourse on blogs, in videos and photos about disability and sexuality. People with a disability wanting to express a message that while their body is different, other, it is wonderful, sexual, attractive and worthy just as it is. This was a surprising and refreshing revelation, and since then I deal with the issue in lectures, in writing and on the web. As a social activist on this issue, I sometimes enjoy challenging the perceptions and prejudices of people around me. Whether by choosing to tell jokes about myself and my body, and all the way to saying I want to pose in the nude for an art class. This didn’t start out of a crazy love of self, on the contrary. At the beginning it was more of a way to stand in front of people and say – this is my body, I don’t like it, deal with it! But as time goes by, I feel more and more comfortable with myself. After all, I am very well aware of how I look. Of the wheelchair, of my skeletal appearance, of the folded hands, of the awkward neck, of the size of my “package”… of everything. But this is my body and it is good the way it is. Crippled and sexy.

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