For this next iteration in our interview series, I was fortunate enough to speak with Stephanie Webb AKA Ms. Stubby from the Midwestern U.S. state of Iowa. Ms. Stubby is a Disabled Ace who was self-described as being in a female body, but as they explain further below, they are, in fact, a part of a DID system comprising 35 alters. For the sake of amplifying their voice as it was originally intended, no changes have been made to their written answers. Please enjoy!
Please introduce yourself! How do you identify in terms of asexuality, disability, passions, professions, or anything else you’d like to share with us?
I guess i am like most aces. Never knew it was a thing until i did. I thought Asexuality was for creatures who could only breed with themselves. Never knew it was an identity. but then, i didnt truly understand what it meant to be identified with it either. I honestly must say, i still dont.
I just know, that it has brought me the most peace within me (us).
To speak more of asexuality, i must explain why i am disabled. I was horrifically abused as a child. To save trigger issues, it was bad. And the abuse never seemed to stop until not too long ago. That was when i began my journey into kung fu. But before then, decades of therapy helped, but it only explain what was wrong with me, and gave me enough skill sets not to completely finished the damage my foster homes, my adoption homes, and the domestic abuse i endured over the years. I am a survivor of hell. And hell does not scare me. People do.
Because of the abuse i endured, i question if my asexuality comfort is truly of that nature. like most abused aces, i wondered hard. Dont get me wrong, sex can feel great. Sex can be fun. But i was confused by my "attractions" I was attracted to person. Never gender, body type, etc. So for the longest time i assumed i was pansexual and left to that.
Then last year I got sick. First, my 1st lovely case of shingles, then covid, then again not a few months ago shingles again. Shingles has done some damage to my nerve in the, lets be cute here; happy place. I have no feeling or desire. It has caused a lot of riffs between my partner and I. I went to doctor after doctor. MRI's. It was embarrasing but also it opened me up to understanding myself better.
during this time, and my search for answers as to what was wrong with me, i started to educate myself about Aces and other Ace spec labels.
(im very new to this. and i dont know all the labels and terms that people use. So if i say something here that is offensive or seems weird. Its either because i dont know better yet, or im still learning. Please have patience.)
I learned that my "weirdness", my reactions in relationships, my teachings from my childhood, the dogma of the old fashion, sexist, upbringing (my adoption home was a real treat... not!) despite my tom boyish fight that girls can do what ever boys can do... was normal. that there is people out there like me, who dont put sex first. its not the most important thing. that you CAN have relationships that dont even NEED to have sex. and that its a welcoming thing! Like holy cow....im freaking normal! I'm not broken. And i dont have to be forced into sex to be loved. How beautifully freeing that is! Thank you shingles.... well. sorta. lol
Normal... im freaking normal!.....
Well. Sorta. Due to my abuse, my mind split. I have MPD/DID (Multiple personality disorder/Dissociative identity disorder). There is a whopping 35 of us in here in this skull. I know other mpd's who have hundreds. i dont know how they can handle it all. 35 is enough for this crew.
And yes, that does affect the sexuality of this body. each personality has their own identity, ideals, sexuality, ages, beliefs, politics, and so on and on and etc and etc.
So why do i consider myself then on the Ace spec if you can have a nympho in there next to a pure ace personality? Because its what makes us happy. And feel safe. and that is powerful in healing. And while i dont mind doing this interview, no one needs to explain their labels to anyone. if they label themselves with something that makes them feel happy and at peace, no one has a right to tell them that they are wrong. End of story. (not interview lol)
Despite everything that has happened to me. I have accomplish so much. I have illustrated 4 books. I am finalizing a book that i authored and illustrated myself. I have opened up a kung fu club and i havent burned down the building! HA! seriously. i had nightmares about that! lol
Because of all the alters/people in my head, i have been blessed with a lot of talents. Art is one. photography is another, Singing, wood burning. That is one has been a big one for me. I have been posting videos on my youtube channel and my face book page on my art work. creating. my passion is to create.
Artist can take the darkest of things and turn them into the most beautiful. I have proven that to be true. I refuse to become the monsters who made us.
I love to train dogs. Right now i have to take a break from it. I suffer from fibryomayglia. and My service dog, Lucas, helps me with that big time. And also helps with panic attacks from the C-PTSD.
You cant go to war that long with reality and not come out a little broken. If something aint cracked after all that, you're either a god, or youre lying to yourself. And im okay with this cracked vase of awesome. We dont do too bad out in the people world.
How do your asexual and disabled identities interact with one another and what unique challenges have you faced while living at this intersection?
People see me and listen to me, and for the most part, if im having a great day, think im normal. I dont have missing limbs, or horrific scars on my body that are easily noticeable. My scars are people that the outside world interacts with and loves. Most people dont know by talking with me, that ive switched on them a couple of times. They just think im a bit flaky or quirky. And for my safety, that is a wonderful thing. Sometimes.
But i have had rude nurses. Doctors who dismissed my fibro. I have had therapists who wasnt equipt with knowledge enough to help me in therapies. And that is okay. It dont mean im a horrible person. it means the damage is bad enough that i need someone whom is skilled in helping me build skills to live life.
And i have been blessed to find them.
But the normal lay person, it can be too much for them. or i have had a few people try and take advantage of my mental illness. Demanding that certain personalities be out for a dating partner's needs. that has been rude and exhausting. A lot of abuse. i was an easy target for so long because i was so naive about so many things. Not any more. I have little tolerance.
Being disabled means you are either on SSI or SSDI. SSDI is for those who have worked enough credits to get it. for the rest of us who was disabled before the age of 21 or didnt work enough credits... we are stuck with crumbs for income. less than 800$ a month. Some dont even get that. Some people get only 300. And they expect us to survive on that. you cant.
It has made me severely dependent on other's kindness. Some people are not always kind.
So, fear of homelessness, lost of income, if im sick enough, will i appear to be healthy enough? will they take away my security? what will happen to me if my partner dies?! these fears are with me now and it scares me. Because i cant work like normal people. ive tried. 3 days and you cant even speak to me. i shut down. stare off into space. i dissociate on extreme scales. No boss, no matter how understanding they are, wants that to deal with. exceptionally in a world that is in love with money it self.
Have you personally experienced any ableism from within the asexual or other LGBTQ2IA+ communities?
Yes. As mentioned above. Even the medical community has it. And they should know better! I had one nurse in my 20's, tell me that " you are too young to have these many problems." I snapped backed, "And you're too old to be this rude to your patient. How old do i have to be to be respected for my issues?" Her response of was true to her very nature, "You dont have to be rude about it." And i looked her square in the eyes and answered backed, "And neither do you."
It still burns.
I dont hang out with people too often. So i dont really hang out with any sort of group of people. I dont go to bars much. I dont go to groups much. Kung fu is about all the socializing i can handle before anxiety and fibro kick my butt. And there, I feel safe and at peace. And i get to share that safety and peace with my students. And watching them grow and bloom is amazing. That is the best healing.
Have you personally experienced any acephobia from the disability community?
no. i keep to myself really.
What advice do you have for folks who wish to become better allies to disabled aces?
Listen. Dont just hear them, LISTEN. there is a difference. and when you figure that out, the world is so much better for everyone!
Shameless self-promotion time! Do you have a business, project, artwork, or other content we should know about? Give us those links!
Yes the books ive mentioned.
3 of them right now are out for sale.
Molly, The Dog With Diabetes Its a great educational kids book. And the paintings i did in it are adorable. There is some cool blue paw prints and circles that are dedicated to the diabetes community that are in the book to find.
Huck & Finn, Bookstore Cats : This one is super cool~ Its about these two real cats who are at a bookstore in wellsboro PA. Real cats. and it talks about their life. And the cat puns my fans and friends helped me come up with that are in the book, make it even more fun!
The Littlest Cock : its a really cute book! Its like kids tale but for adults. It will have you laughing!!!!
Lucas, Service Dog : In progress. I am waiting on the formatter to finish getting it ready for print. But its about my service dog and how he helps me. I did pencil drawings for this book and the photo i have attached to this, will contain the cover to that book.
I have a youtube page!!! and i could seriously use some followers! i need a thousand to begin even get paid. And i would love to do my artwork on there and maybe, if i make enough, i could use that instead of the disability check. who knows! Anything is possible. And i need 4,000 hours of viewing of my videos.
My facebook art page Genre of Stubby:
And i have a kung fu club! Vinton Ving Tsun Kung Fu Club.