Recommended Reading for 16 April, 2010

Today is the Day of Silence for lesbian, gay, bi, queer/questioning, trans, asexual, and intersex (LGBQTAI) youth. In honour of that, I’ve selected some thematically related reading. Some of these pieces are older, but still highly relevant.

Corbett Joan O’Toole at Disability World: International Conference on Queerness & Disability Planned

It is challenging and often frustrating to get information about people who are disabled and queer. Most of the queer organizations do not have any information about people with disabilities. And most of the disability organizations do not have information about people who are queer. In fact, most organizations seem to assume or pretend that there are no queer disabled people. But numerous studies indicate that between 8-10% of any group of people will be queer people.

The Goldfish at Diary of a Goldfish: Trans Women & Feminism

I think I can best relate to this when it comes to my bisexuality. I didn’t finally work out that this is what I was until my twenties, but I was queer ever since I first fell in love with a girl, aged eleven. Without pointing the finger at me, people around me and society at large made it very clear how they felt about people who deviated from the heterosexual norm and I knew, whatever my exact complaint might be, I deviated. Stephen Fry writes very well about this in Moab is my Washpot, where even at a boarding school where everyone was at it like… rabbits in the absence of lady rabbits, Fry still knew that he was queer and queer was a problem.

cripchick: Join the Azolla Story

‘we, as disabled queer people of color, are the azolla. we are everywhere. we have the power to grow and build community (the azolla can double its biomass in 2 days!) we are beautiful. we give nutrient to those around us but either are invisible or called weeds. although we sustain community, the focus is never on us. we are working on creating a space, the Azolla Story, that changes this.’

Mia Mingus at Leaving Evidence: “Intersectionality” is a Big Fancy Word for My Life

Intersectionality is not just talking about the places you’re oppressed, but also the places where you have privilege.  Intersectionality is disabled white folks enacting their white entitlement through their disability identity.  It’s me having to choose between the POC caucus, the disability caucus, the API women’s caucus, or the adoptee caucus at the Creating Change in Detroit.  It’s thousands of LGBT and queer folks coming out for pride and 150 people coming out for Transgender Day of Remembrance…

Kenyon Farrow at The Grio: Anti-gay bullying is a deadly threat to children of color (via Racialicious)

The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) released a study last year about black, Latino, Asian, and Native American lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students, and found that “more than 80 percent of students reported being verbally harassed in school in the past year because of their sexual orientation, with African-American and Asian/Pacific Islander students being somewhat less likely than other students of color to report such experiences.”

Finally, a link to our own archives: Kaz’ guest post on Disability and Asexuality

Talking about the intersection of asexuality and disability is pretty difficult, because “asexuality” gets another meaning in disability rights discourse: it’s used to refer to the various stereotypes about disabled people’s sexualities. People do often seem to realise that this is problematic when it’s pointed out to them. However, what not so many people realise off the bat is that it goes beyond just “problematic”.

Please feel free to drop links to related reading in the comments!

About s.e. smith

s.e. smith is a recalcitrant, grumpy person with disabilities who enjoys riling people up, talking about language, tearing apart poor science reporting, and chasing cats around the house with squeaky mice in hand. Ou personal website can be found at this ain't livin'.