Fading Scars: My Queer Disability History, 2nd Edition

Corbett Joan Otoole (Author) Chun-Shan (Sandie) Yi (Photographer)


This is the best nonfiction book I ever read

Ever wondered:

  • where do people have sex when occupying a federal building?
  • how the disability rights movement got saved by the Black Panther Party?
  • what is important to queer disabled people?

Fading Scars answers these questions and many more.

Women's March "Must Read Book"

Discover hundreds of insider stories about disabled parenting, sports, culture, racism, creating civil rights for disabled Americans, and much more.

These essays explore the intersections of disability with sex, gender, race, and class through stories of struggle and triumph.
A story about alliances and friendships and care and love. It tells us that we are all part of a history in the making and in the past. It is disability history, an American story, a world story, and our story. - Karen Nakamura, professor, University of California Berkeley

She takes us on a wild ride through women's movements, creating disability rights, pride and resilience. Her compelling stories are infused with humor and wisdom that challenges your assumptions and opens your heart.

Lambda Literary LBGT Nonfiction Finalist

Fading Scars: My Queer Disability, History 2nd edition is Corbett Joan OToole's deeply personal account of making history in the disability rights movement of the 20th century in Berkeley, California. Her unique perspective as a white disabled lesbian allows us to peek at the complexity of how change happens.

Read all about the historic 1977 sit-in in San Francisco, California fight for the first national disability law, Section 504.

Fading Scars gives us a rare ring-side seat to how the 504 Sit-in. Reading OToole's account you learn:

  • Why the FBI couldn't shut down the occupation
  • How the Deaf people provided communication when the phones were turned off
  • The best place for sex was the elevator alcove

Follow Corbett as she leads 50 disabled women to the United Nations Fourth International Conference on Women and co-organized the Disabled Women's Symposium which brought together over 200 disabled women from around the world.

Follow Corbett's journey as a disabled parent who adopted a child with a disability.

Revel in the joy she found co-organizing the first International Queer Disability Conference.

The Women's March published a list of 5 MUST READ books to encourage people to Resist and Reflect. Fading Scars was selected to share a place with these powerful books that influence our thinking about women, communities, challenges and resiliency. Fading Scars is one of the five.

Product Details

$17.95  $16.51
Reclamation Press
Publish Date
October 29, 2019
5.98 X 0.62 X 9.02 inches | 0.89 pounds
BISAC Categories:

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The book grapples with the way disability stories are told and the way disability history is told (or more often untold). It identifies many of the problems with the way nondisabled people tell these stories and the way disability communities have historically silenced marginalized groups such as disabled people of color and disabled queer people. - Tegan Kehoe, Disability Studies Quarterly

This book of essays chronicles one person's life, but also the 40 years that disability rights and disability justice shaped American history. Bursting with ideas, stories, and arguments, Fading Scars is a book in which experience accrues into knowledge and emerges through the written word as wisdom. - Margaret Price, author of Mad at School: Rhetorics of Mental Disability and Academic Life

Illuminating disability history with clear and funny stories, this book builds a home where those of us who have lived on the sidelines can seek shelter. - Naomi Ortiz, Writer, Artist and Disability Justice Activist

"Fading Scars is a must read for those interested in disability community, activism, and scholarship." - Kim Nielsen, author of A Disability History of the United States (ReVisioning American History)