Coming out was never black and white. Certain friends or family members begin distancing themselves from you, some might outright reject you. But for people who require step free access, it is a necessity. These spaces therefore become, more often than not, disappointingly exclusive.
Disabled people are considered an inconvenience, an afterthought. The same applies when we consider race and sex. Inclusion is an issue that most of our community faces. The marginalised seem to be the majority, but we are still an afterthought. For those of us who experience chronic pain, fatigue and mental illness, the barriers multiply. Mental illness often manifests in physical ways, and physical illness can cause mental illness — the two are linked. If such a huge part of our community is dealing with health issues, why are our spaces excluding disabled people? Rather than making other workplaces more accessible, we choose to distance ourselves from people who are managing their abilities in a way we dislike.
Again, resulting in isolation. Like with any issue affecting marginalised people, disability is something that people rarely take the time to think about. Many rarely seek out the first-hand experiences of disabled people, instead choosing to discuss the issue with other abled people if at all. It is critical we have a deeper conversation about accessibility as a community. We need to understand that we all face different needs and challenges, but we are still a community. Some solutions are simple: Others are harder: Just like straight and cis people need to lean in to understand true ally-ship, abled people need to do the same.
Umber Ghauri is a makeup artist in London who works with people of all genders and skin tones. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here.
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This Is What Dating Is Like When You're LGBT And Disabled
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Steve Coogan. Rugby union. Not because of the sexual content - Ryan begins the show lying half-naked in a bed and stroking himself over his boxers as he flirts with a man via webcam - but because of the often ignorant and painful responses he gets from the men he tries to connect with. Hi, Are You Single? His goal is to challenge the societal stereotype that all disabled people are asexual.
This assumption, he makes explicitly clear in the show, is ridiculously false. But getting other gay men to realize that or give him a chance is a hurdle. Image by Janice Kushner. A potential hook up rejects Ryan after he reveals he has cerebral palsy. When he goes to a gay club for the first time in NYC, a man he tries to flirt with bursts into tears when he sees Ryan using his walker.enter
This Is What Dating Is Like When You're LGBT And Disabled
Other guys he fools around with make it a point to never let Ryan forget about his disability. One tells him, "With all your problems, you'd be lucky to take whatever you can get! And even though I am watching a video replay, I gasp along with the rest at each anecdote he recounts. But despite the heavy subject matter, Hi, Are You Single?
Gay and disabled: hard times or rich rewards?
Ryan has no time for pity parties. For nearly every awkward or disappointing dating encounter Ryan shares, he surprises the audience with an equally hilarious punch line. His self-reflective commentary is rooted in the best of queer theory although, he says he only briefly studied it. But probably unlike the queer studies classes you took in college, God! This show is funny! This is truly a testament to Ryan's acting and writing talent.
But Ryan's ability to find humor in such lonely, painful situations is also because he has been living this reality all his life. As a student at Ohio Wesleyan University, he produced a short documentary film , in which he straight up asked gay men whether they would ever date someone with a disability. Once again, some of the responses are so blunt and bigoted that it's startling, and all of it is said right to Ryan's face.
This solo show is an extension of the senior project he did for his theater degree, and he further perfected it under the mentorship of famed performance artist and gay activist Tim Miller. It doesn't finish with a fairytale ending. As Ryan admits, he still doesn't have all the answers when it comes to dating while gay and disabled. Nor should he. He is, after all, only But it does end on a message of hope and comes complete with a twist that I won't spoil here.
Then maybe after, you'll work up the nerve to ask Ryan out on a date. I'm sure you won't be disappointed. Check out the trailer:. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you.