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Thread: Wheelchair for dry events

  1. #1

    Wheelchair for dry events

    Hey y'all I've never used a wheelchair for a dry event before but I'm planning to this upcoming weekend for a convention. The con-goers will be used to people in costume but maybe not mers in particular. For those of you who have used a wheelchair: did you get comments or questions about the wheelchair and how did you respond? I'm just worried about people being upset with me for using a wheelchair but not needing it in everyday life. : /

  2. #2
    I have used one before and its a mixed bag. Some people assumed i was a wheelchair user who dressed up as a mermaid. I tried to move my fluke a lot to dissuade this idea. If people asked questions i responded honestly, that i was a mermaid and was using the chair to get around while i wasn’t able to walk because of the tail. That i have/do know wheelchair users and part of the reason i use one here instead of a cart is to destigmatize use of the chair. Some people will be put off. Others think its really neat.

    One of my favorite con memories ever was this young girl (around 12) who was in a wheelchair chatting with me for around 30 min just because she was so excited that someone else at the event was in a chair (whether i needed it every day or not). We talked about wheelchair-friendly conventions (some buildings are laid out better than others), how to incorporate decorations on the chair to match cosplay, and i told her about misa on wheels.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    North East UK
    Glad someone brought this up! I'd seen mers in plenty of videos use them before to get around, especially at things like Mermania where pretty much everyone there would probably understand why someone who's normally able to walk would be in a wheelchair - because it's of course not safe or practical to try to move around on land in a tail. I'm going to a convention next year where I was thinking of cosplaying Ariel but using a full tail and lots of my nice accessories, maybe even casually promoting my business/profession in the process. I had the same worries about whether people would complain that I'm in a chair, especially since it's a local con where a lot of the community knows me, so they know I can walk. Really hate to use the term so negatively, but there are a lot of social justice warriors in my area that would happily start drama if they think I'm somehow being ableist or appropriating wheelchairs...

    Personally agreeing with Mia tho, hopefully if anyone asks it can just be explained that you can't walk in the tail and need to be in something on wheels for both your and everyone else's safety. Not everyone who uses one needs to all the time, a friend of mine with a permanent back injury can usually walk and does so as much as possible but still went to London MCM in a wheelchair once.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    I feel like there's another thread on here that has some great tips and ideas! I'll see if I can dig it out! but yes wheelchairs were never intended for only people who are "disabled" they're for anyone who can't walk for any reason! from pregnancy, to pain, obesity, it's not exclusive.

  5. #5
    I use a chair (I call it the mer-mobile) to get around at dry events. Most people don't even blink at it, except for those who I know but rarely see me, who worry that I'm being a mermaid as an excuse for the chair, rather than being in the chair because I'm a mermaid.

    I've done a few things to decorate it and pare it back to it's minimum requirements. I removed the armrests, the side panels and the back stabilizers (they made it difficult to get up hills), and I covered the back and seat with a watery blue fabric, which also make a large pocket that hangs down behind the chair so I have a place to hide gear (sunscreen, water bottles, wallet, treasures for the kids, that sort of thing). The poles that go to the foot rests (feet rests?) and the handles are wrapped in sisal rope to give a more nautical appearance.

    Here's a video of it in use!

  6. #6
    I always need my wheelchair when I'm at an event (as visitor), but I have adjustable leg-rests for when I'm in my tail so my fluke won't drag over the ground.
    Name:  Mermaid 09i.jpg
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