Identity for me is something I hold dear to my heart. There’s a lot of people who won’t define themselves with aspects of who they are, but I find it extremely empowering. (By Lauren). Check out all Lesbian Visibility posts this week.
To me, the words ‘queer’ and ‘disabled’ hold the same power. I identify as disabled as well as being a lesbian, and it’s part of my identity, both in my private life and publicly, too. To me, these words are empowering, and create who I am. They feed into the eccentricity of me, and allow me to create a brand for myself, subsequently making me more confident.
I’ve spent time over the years trying to pinpoint who I am, and that’s come with resistance – maybe my fashion sense is unconventional, maybe people aren’t used to a teenager using mobility aids. I’ve put my own spin on it the whole time. Glitter and pride flags covering my walker, cane, wheelchair, along with wearing what the hell I want regardless. I find it empowering to be authentically me, to struggle less physically by using an aid whilst I present more dressed up – it doesn’t ruin my “aesthetic.”
It’s also interesting to know that around half of the LGBT+ community are in some way disabled or chronically ill. As a result of this, I’ve fallen into a place I’m so comfortable, with meeting queer folk online. Having someone else who gets it is so important, and I can speak from experience, having the most supportive girlfriend in the world.
We stand with one another. I can sadly say that’s not the case always, our community is not perfect, but most of the people I have found stand by you, stand up for you, and it’s so validating.
My friends understand me, not just in one way, but two, and the intersectonality of it is so important. It allows me so much freedom and safety, and that’s why it’s so damn important.
I feel safe. I feel happy. I feel confident. I feel like me, and for that I am so grateful.