6 Disabled LGBTQIA+ Activists You Should Know

MatthewsPlace.com
Aug 3 · 3 min read

By Judy Bokao

Disabled individuals are in most cases desexualized. However, they are like every other person and have sexuality. It is incorrect to assume they are heteronormative. It is not easy living with a disability but it is even harder when one’s sexuality is also factored in. Today, we celebrate disabled LGBTQIA+ activists who have inspired us throughout the years.

CHELLA MAN

He is a deaf, transgender, genderqueer YouTuber who has been very open about his experiences. His rising popularity on YouTube opened doors for him. He was casted as a mute superhero in the second series of the DC Universe series “Titans”. His character uses sign language to communicate with his colleagues. His desire to speak openly on his YouTube channel has given many people insight into the challenges he goes through and it is certainly wholesome and eye-opening.

AARON PHILIP

She is the first black, transgender, and physically disabled model to ever be represented by a modeling agency. Aaron was born with cerebral palsy and is a wheelchair user. She first shot into the limelight when she tweeted pictures posing in her wheelchair asking for inclusivity and diversity when it comes to being scouted or signed by a modeling agency. Her tweet went viral and her wish was granted. She has been featured in photo shoots for different magazine publications. She is a huge fashion lover and she uses her social media platform to raise awareness by sharing LGBTQIA+ and disability content.

KAY ULANDAY BARRET

Kay is a disabled transgender poet, activist, and fashion star. Kay’s work covers a range of topics from race, disability, sexuality and how they all intersect. Barret’s poetry can best be described as powerful, inspiring, heartbreaking with a good sense of humor.

JUSTIN CHAPPELL

He identifies as a gay man with a disability. He was born with spina bifida and is a wheelchair user. His passion is in politics and hopes to get more involved with the political system to address the issues the LGBTQIA+ and the disabled communities faces. He wants to deal with issues such as stigma in these communities particularly when it comes to employment discrimination.

RYAN O’CONNELL

He is an American writer, actor, director and comedian who identifies as gay and has mild cerebral palsy. His Netflix series “Special “ is breaking new ground when it comes to representation of disabled LGBTQIA+ people. In his past interview he has spoken about Hollywood’s need to be more accepting and considerate of the disabled creators.

DOMINICK EVANS

Evans is a trans quip (portmanteau of “queer” and “crip”) filmmaker, father, gamer, writer, founder of #FilmDis, and media advocate for the Center for Disability Rights. The 37-year-old, who has spinal muscular atrophy as well as asthma, chronic pain, and psychiatric disabilities including OCD, faces ableism on a daily basis. He is working on raising awareness on discrimination in healthcare services . He said he has nearly died because of the slow treatment he got at a hospital upon identifying as a transgender. He hopes such biases can be eradicated in the medical field.

It is clear that we still have a long way when it comes to raising awareness on the LGBTQIA+ and the disability intersectionality. It takes more voices like these to be able to speak up and demand change and support from all communities. Hopefully , we will be able to tackle the issues they face and make the world a better place for everyone.

About the Author:

Judy Bokao is 20 years old and was born in Ethiopia but relocated to Nairobi two years ago. She is passionate about everyone having equal rights and is also big on conservation and speaking up for our planet. Judy loves reading and photography and is just a free-spirited young lady trying to grow into a woman her mom can be proud of.

Matthew’s Place

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MatthewsPlace.com is a program of the Matthew Shepard Foundation| Words by & for LGBTQ+ youth | #EraseHate | Want to submit for our publication? Email allison@matthewshepard.org; patrick@matthewshepard.org

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MatthewsPlace.com is a program of the Matthew Shepard Foundation| Words by & for LGBTQ+ youth | #EraseHate | Want to submit? Email patrick@matthewshepard.org

Matthew’s Place

MatthewsPlace.com is a program of the Matthew Shepard Foundation| Words by & for LGBTQ+ youth | #EraseHate | Want to submit for our publication? Email allison@matthewshepard.org; patrick@matthewshepard.org