Sunday, June 10, 2012

Pride and Disability

This city is wonderful: full of opportunity, knowledge, and beauty. I am not just talking about the vast, colossal buildings that surround the National Mall. I am talking about the people. No matter what area of the city I have found myself in, whether in southeast or northwest, there is a richness of culture and diversity. This weekend, many of these individuals came together for one cause: DC Pride.

Identifying as bisexual, disabled and a woman, this year’s DC Pride was a chance for me to embrace all of my different identities. And yes, the expression and celebration of my sexuality and gender were present; but not my disability. During Saturday’s Pride Parade and Sunday’s Festival, there were floats and booths representing all different groups: religious, multicultural, sexualities, genders, the young and old, but there was nothing disability-related. This was a clear indication of need for coalition building. There are obviously many disabled members of the LGBT community, thus there should be a booth, float, or some type of engagement that can promote full inclusivity at Pride.

Now that this issue has been identified; it is time to act. This is where building bridges between civil rights movements and marginalized communities is crucial. With the power of advocacy in this city, especially within the AAPD program, by next year I hope to work with others, people with and without disabilities, to bring a booth and/or float to DC Pride 2013.

With that said, the richness of the diverse DC communities may have been at Pride, but NOT all were represented, including disability.

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