June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month

June LGBTQ plus Pride Month

As anyone with a disability will tell you, disability is one thing that does not discriminate. Any person of any age, race and religion can find themselves a member of the disability community. This does not leave out those in the LGBTQ+ community. Being two minorities deeply underrepresented in media, the workforce and politics, there has been a surge of queer people with disabilities making their presence known. Here are just a few worth noting: 

  • Aaron Phillips is a transfeminine high fashion model with Cerebral Palsy who uses her chair in photoshoots.
  • Eddie Ndopu, a queer person with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, is working towards being the first person with a disability in space.
  • Ryan O’Connell, a gay man with Cerebral Palsy who works in social media, has his very own Netflix series.
  • Lastly, Chella Man, a transmasculine model, uses his social media presence to bring attention to the deaf community and all its intersections.

All of these individuals with disabilities are paving the way for representation on a major scale. But what can we do as everyday folks with disabilities under the rainbow, or even as allies?

Here is a list of ways to continue striving for representation of the disability community and all its intersections:

1. Learn more!

It is never a bad idea to learn about others’ differences and what makes each community so wonderful.

2. Engage local organizations that help people in each community.

Your local Center for Independent Living and your local LGBTQ+ centers are great places to start. Support their events and ask how they can be supported by allies and members of the community.

3. Make sure queer designated spaces are accessible in all manners.

Often places are wheelchair accessible as federally mandated, but lack other accommodations that could leave folks feeling unwelcome.

4. Support media that includes LGBTQ+ people with disabilities.

Folks with disabilities are underrepresented in the media as it is, so when you find media with people of disability intersections, engage with it! For example, Ryan O’Connell’s Netflix series, Special,is about struggling with sexuality and disability.

Let’s work together to build truly inclusive communities for ALL people to enjoy! 

| Read more articles from the May 2019 newsletter. |

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