Dating With a Disability

December 8, 2016
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Ms. Estrellado, 32, has muscular dystrophy, a chronic disease in which muscles weaken and waste over time until they no longer work at all. Even as your brain commands a finger to curl or a toe to wiggle just a few centimeters, nothing moves. It’s a challenge in the world of dating, where even the subtlest gestures can carry a lot of intention.

For Ms. Estrellado, a singer-songwriter, the worst part about having muscular dystrophy is knowing that many people don’t see her as a prospective romantic partner to date, to marry and to have children with someday.

Still, she loves New York City night life and the possibilities that come with being in a crowd of strangers. On a recent night at Blackthorn 51, a rock club in Queens, N.Y., Ms. Estrellado maneuvers her wheelchair to greet friends. When she’s feeling too short, she raises her chair to the height of whomever she’s talking to.

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