Happy Pride month, everyone! We are so excited to celebrate our friends who are part of the LGBTQ+ community. For those who are not familiar, the term LGBTQ+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and other identities such as asexual and pansexual. While some of these terms have to do with sexuality (what someone's preferences are for a partner), terms like transgender explain someone's gender identity--which is how they perceive and present themselves!
The concept of the Genderbread Person is a great way to explain and understand what LGBTQ+ includes, as well as the differences between gender identity, expression, and preferences. It also highlights how all of these terms live on a spectrum--one day someone might go to work wearing a traditionally masculine suit, and the next wearing a more feminine dress. It all has to do with how we present ourselves and our own identities!
Next, we will explore the intersection of queerness (a term that the LGBTQ+ community has reclaimed in recent years) along with developmental disabilities.
Debbie, a woman featured on Special Books by Special Kids discusses her experiences living with Williams Syndrome and her journey towards self-acceptance as a member of the LGBTQ+ community.
Her story reminds us that identity is SO complex! She also reminds us that assumptions are sometimes made about people with disabilities and how they 'should' behave. Let's work together on educating ourselves and others to love and accept each other! As always, check out the books below for content and authors relating to both LGBTQ+ experiences and disabilities.
“Sex and Disability” by Robert McRuer is a collection of essays that highlight scholarly and personal perspectives on
disabilities and sex—a subject which is often ignored!
“Mean Little Deaf Queer: A Memoir” by Terry Galloway describes her experiences growing up as a deaf girl and growing to celebrate her identity.
“Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice” by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha features a collection of essays by people with disabilities, including PoC and the LGBTQ+ community. A great resource to learn about the different parts of identity!
“Mute (Body Language)” by Raymond Luczak shares his experiences as a deaf, gay man through poetry.
“Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens” by Marieke Nijkamp is a collection of fictional stories written by teenagers with disabilities, as well as intersectionality with the LGBTQ+ community and diverse experiences.
About the Author:
Marissa is a graduate student at Illinois State University and has decided to create blogs for Marcfirst in the coming months to build awareness about important topics. Marissa has a background in women’s and gender studies, and uses this to locate high-quality research and understand diverse points of view that she herself can never fully experience.
Disclaimer: The views expressed are Marissa’s and do not necessarily represent the official views of Marcfirst.
Welcome to Lifelong Access.
You may know us as Marcfirst, but we've recently undergone a name change. Why? Because in every phase of life, it’s never a question of if we helped. It’s how we help that truly counts. And how much we helped. Because our clients never outgrow us. And, we never outgrow them. Hence, our new name: Lifelong Access.