Stewart Tucker Lundy is a quadriplegic, activist, feminist, and general man about town. He joins Mia in episode 58 of Shit We Don’t Talk About to give us an inside look at the life of a wheelchair boss.
Stewart fractured his C4 and C5 vertebrae 40 years ago. How has he adapted to this situation? In his own words, “I wanna live more than I wanna die.”
You have to love Stewart’s little humble brag when he says that in his 40 years in his wheelchair, he’s likely forgotten more things than most people have actually done.
Stewart has strong feelings about “inspiration porn”. Can you really be inspired by a picture of a man in a wheelchair without any real context or knowledge of the person in question? Has the word “inspiring” become automatic and without thought now? Are you inspired to change something, or are you just using the word to make you feel good about yourself?
Stewart could complain about all the obstacles he faces as a black man in a wheelchair, but he would prefer to teach instead. Being publicly angry is easy. Being a teacher is more rewarding.
Stewart relays the story of his first encounter with another black man that was also in a wheelchair. That gentleman really had it together (note the Keith Washington reference in the audio), offering Stewart a glimpse of what it means to have relatable role models … and then to become one.
Stewart is not shy about expressing sexuality. People in wheelchairs are sexual, just like everyone else. Keep that in mind. People in wheelchairs date, have relationships, and form long-term relationships too, just like everyone else.
Stewart has an interesting take on the difference between men and women and how they interact with him, and with others like him. Men tend to react to the discomfort of seeing the chair and wind up having a conversation with the chair. Women are more likely to express caring and concern when interacting with him. This could be the result of parallel vulnerability. Stewart has been in a vulnerable position for 40 years. Women are ALWAYS in a vulnerable position. There’s common ground there.
Stewart’s advice when it comes to racial and diversity issues? Be curious. Read. Ask. Google. The internet is FULL of excellent resources that can help you understand these issues. If you want to be part of the solution, take a moment to reach, read, learn, then start a conversation.
About Stewart Tucker Lundy
Born into a family of educators Stewart’s path to the theatre is kismet. Working in radio and pre-interview segments for BET Stewart thrives in environments where he’s able to communicate with others. From behind the camera to the forefront, this Maryland native has it covered. A quadriplegic since a diving incident in 1982, Stewart’s parents cemented his path, ensuring his powerful path since birth and he’s never wavered from possessing that sense of strength.
Stewart’s website: stewarttuckerlundy.com
Forbes article on inspiration porn: https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewpulrang/2019/11/29/how-to-avoid-inspiration-porn/
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