no cowboy suits, no clown outfits, no whipped cream
Bishop Joao de Faria of the
city of Patrocinio, Brazil, in
1996 forbid a loving couple,
Hedir Antonio de Brito and
Mara de Lourdes Serafim,
from marrying. His reason?
De Brito is paralyzed and
presumed to be incapable
of procreation. Procreation
is the purpose of marriage.
by Billy Golfus
So-called normal sex is usually defined as requiring two normal (non-disabled) married people of opposite sexes, same race, same religion, same class, same generation, and it involves penetration of the female’s private parts by the male’s with implications of, or the possibility of, procreation.
No cowboy suits, no clown outfits, no animals in bed. No drugs, Wesson Oil, confetti, French ticklers, or whipped cream. Touching yourself sexually isn’t considered normal — although virtually everybody, except me of course, does it.
“Forbidden Wedding,” a film by Flavia Fontes which was recently screened at the Margarget Mead Film Festival, is about a union forbidden by the Catholic Church between a paraplegic man and the woman he loves, his attendant, because of impotence.
This Church-sanctioned prejudice must be questioned and defied if we believe it is our individual right to try to connect with who we want in the way we want. Do we have a right to companionship and affection — and sex — as much as anyone else does? That’s what’s at stake.
Disabled people and anyone who cares about individual freedom must support this film. Up against formidable obstacles, Ms. Fontes kept at the film’s production for five years with no financial or emotional support. Five years!! It doesn’t look like Hollywood because she produced it on her own money. Unheard of. Gang, we’re talking heroic here.
Screenings at the Mead festival were successful, full houses both days. The crowd was interested in the issues.
Sex educators dealing with disability will want to screen “Forbidden Wedding.” The institutional/educational price is $295 to purchase, $75 to rent. Reach Flavia Fontes at Means of Productions, #5D, 209 East 81st St., NY, NY 10028. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE FORBIDDEN COUPLE AND A FRIEND. PHOTO BY FLAVIA FONTES