Intersectional Inclusive Arts - Identity & Belonging LGBTQ+ & D/disabled

Space Between the Boxes: Identity & Belonging: D/disabled or D/deaf and LGBTQ+

In my last blog post I mentioned that I’ve been given opportunity to lead on my own creative project whilst here at We Are Epic, so I will give you a bit of a more detailed overview of this and an update on where it currently is!

The Spark

When Ant spoke to me about running my own project one of the first things that came to mind was an article I had read the day before, written by a young man who identified as disabled and bisexual. In this article he discussed dating/relationships and the discrimination he has faced because of his disability and sexual orientation.

He discussed the kind of everyday discrimination he faced, and how being a part of two diverse groups meant that he was forced to identify as one or the other on many occasions, rather than being seen as a complete person.

‘The Space Between The Boxes’

This led to discussions around identifying in more than one diverse group, and the ‘space between the boxes’ that people want to tick when discussing identity, and questions such as what happens when you don’t fit into one ‘box’?

Why is this such a problem? Why can’t we see the whole person, why is there such a need to allocate people into boxes?

I realized that issues around identifying as D/disabled and LGBTQ+ had been something I had heard a lot about in the media, in discussion with people I know, and whilst working as a support worker at Outburst, an LGBTQ+ youth service in Nottingham. However, when researching this didn’t seem to be something that was being discussed at a level to affect change, and I wondered what was being done to tackle this sort of discrimination.

The Project Begins To Take Shape

Ant and Lou thought this was an interesting subject to focus on, and we had in depth discussions around what this might look like, they also gave me a lot of guidance on engaging participants in initial discussions and the best way to move forward with the project.

Having established artists to mentor the participants throughout the project is something that I also want to organize.

At the minute the focus of the project is meeting and having conversations around identity, belonging and the lived experiences of people that identify as D/disabled and LGBTQ+.

These conversations will inform where the project goes and the kind of output that will be produced, this will also be directly influenced by the creative practices of the participants.

The call out for people to engage in these initial conversations has now gone out and I am excited to start meeting and chatting about the project!

If this has answered a few more questions you had and you are interested then please get in touch, take a look at the callout below.