5 Ways to Support People With Disabilities in the LGBTQIA+ Community
Recently, I came out to my family as demisexual. It had been a secret for 11 years. If you are demisexual, the people you feel an emotional connection with are attractive to you.
I have been thinking about ways to support those with disabilities in the LGBTQIA+ community, while I am coming out to my family and friends.
1. Make LGBTQIA+ Pride events more accessible for those with disabilities.
In the LGBTQIA+ community, many people with disabilities have complained about the lack of accessibility at events. The LGBTQ community would feel more inclusive and accepting if we focused on accessibility at pride events for those with disabilities.
2. Being a listening ear for those with disabilities in the LGBTQIA+ community.
We feel heard and matter when we feel this way. We often feel unnoticed by society because of our disabilities, even in the LGBTQIA+ community. Many people still believe that people with disabilities cannot identify their sexuality and be comfortable in their own skin when that is far from the truth. To help the LGBTQIA+ community become more supportive of those with disabilities, people must take the time to listen to us and our stories.
3. Don’t say you’ll pray for us.
Don’t ask if you can pray for someone with a disability when they come out and identify their sexuality. I am an Afro-Latina woman who is disabled and demisexual. According to certain people, they told me, “I’ll pray for you since you have cerebral palsy and are demisexual.” You can’t help us by saying you’re going to pray for us. We would appreciate it if you offered guidance and support rather than prayers. That’s what we need to overcome obstacles and challenges.
4. Take it day by day with us.
It takes a toll on members of the LGBTQIA+ community to be disabled. Our collective identity is slowly emerging. Taking it day by day and allowing us to process our emotions is the best way to support us. With this mindset, we are better able to understand where we’re going.
5. Media outlets should publicize our stories.
Our LGBTQIA+ community needs your help in spreading awareness about people like us. By sharing stories of LGBTQIA+ people with disabilities in news and social media, we are one step closer to having a home in the LGBTQIA+ community. Furthermore, it will enable others to gain a deeper understanding of what it’s like to live with a disability. Perhaps it will even bring about positive changes relating to accessibility and placement within pride events.
Everyone in the LGBTQIA+ community should be celebrated. Every individual is part of something that makes them unique and diverse within themselves and their own stories.
Getty image by Inna Miller