Column: Living Life in One Minority? Try Living Life in Two, and at The Same Time
By Adam Humphreys
Living life with a disability or as a gay/bisexual individual has its own struggles, but try living life when you’re both.
Over the years we have come to know several minority groups e.g. women, disabled, LGBT+, ethnic minority and each of them have their own struggles to deal with in life, but have you ever wondered or asked someone what it’s like to be two at the same time?
For example, have you ever asked yourself what it’s like to live a day in the life of someone who is black and has a visual impairment? Have you ever wondered what it is like to be both confined to a wheelchair and gay, bisexual or transgender? I admit that I do have a very good idea of what it’s like to be in that situation. Going back to my first column piece when I first spoke about disability, I revealed that I have A.S (Asperger Syndrome), but, however, I am also gay. I am both Autistic and gay and this is something that over the years I have gradually been learning to come to peace with.
During this month in Brighton, and during Pride season, something extraordinary happened; the town held its first ever Disability Pride event. Disability Pride was a way of uniting people who are members of the LGBT+ community but were also living with various disabilities. Earlier this year in an article with Attitude magazine, Neil Dunk, openly discussed about living life as a gay man with cerebral palsy. Neil Dunk’s life story was one of interest and inspiration, as like many in his position, he simply refuses to let his disability define him as a person. Though when it comes to the subject surrounding the trials and tribulations of partners, his is no different to anyone else’s.
Ironically, and in an earlier issue, there was an article piece asking what it was like to grow up as both autistic and gay. This was something I was only too proud to see being asked as this is something that many people in my position will be all too familiar with.
An example of disability and sexuality is actress and activist Liz Carr who plays Clarissa in the BBC drama, ‘Silent Witness’. She has a condition known as arthrogryposis multiplex congenital. Carr is also a lesbian who married her partner, Jo Church, in 2010.
Like with Liz and many other people who live with various disabilities who are also members of the LGBT+ community, people should be encouraged to extend their arms in support of their fellow brothers-and-sisters-in-arms.
So, this month, people who live with various physical and learning disabilities who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex or who identify as Non-Binary finally got their long overdue moment to have their voices heard.
Remember everyone, ‘united we stand’.
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