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Identities: The Intersection of Gender, Sexuality, and Disability

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Presentation on theme: "Identities: The Intersection of Gender, Sexuality, and Disability"— Presentation transcript:

1 Identities: The Intersection of Gender, Sexuality, and Disability
Teryn Robinson, Lake Forest College Jen Dugger, Portland State University Preface the panel by touching on the fact that intersections of all of our identities help to make us who we are, and by simply addressing disability, we are not really looking at the entire person. We know that stigma, discrimination, and oppression affects people with disabilities. Those same evils affect other marginalized populations, including those who identify as glbtq. We also need to be clear here that we are in no way saying that people who identify as glbtq (solely because of their identity) are disabled. We should let them know that should they have any questions, they can feel free to ask throughout the presentation or they may write their questions down on a 3x5 and a basket will be passed around to collect questions when we are about half-way through. We should also explain the set-up of this presentation (1st half – PowerPoints, 2nd half Panel Discussion) now so they are not confused. We are here to speak on gender and sexuality and how those identities are very similar to and (how they differ from) the identity of disability. We are really speaking about diversity and integration of cultures.

2 Objectives Gain a base-level understanding of the differences among sex, gender, and sexuality and understand what language is appropriate when referring to the LGBTQ community Understand some of the key similarities and differences among gender, sexuality, and disability Take home a number of ways in which we can support and advocate for our LGBTQ-identified students with disabilities, along with others who are non-disabled. After the learning outcomes run-down, introduce all presenters.

3 LGBTQQIA…LMNOP Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer Questioning
Intersex Ally Alphabet soup!

4 Sex Sex refers to the medical assignment of male or female at birth based on biological differences; chromosomes, hormonal profiles, internal and external sex organs.

5 Sex Male Female * External sex organs * XY chromosomes
* Elevated levels of testosterone * Distinct Adam’s apple Female * Internal sex organs * Development of prominent breasts * XX chromosomes * Elevated levels of estrogen and progesterone

6 Intersex Could be characterized by any of the following (this list is not exhaustive): Ambiguous genitalia Undescended testes which could turn out to be ovaries in boys Delayed or absent puberty Unexpected changes at puberty At least 14 different kinds of intersex conditions

7 Gender Gender describes the characteristics that a society or culture delineates as masculine or feminine. Use a flip chart to capture all the many ways we gender folks

8 Gender Male Female Masculine Feminine Dominant Independent Rational
Assertive Analytical Brave Active Insensitive Feminine Submissive Dependent Emotional Receptive Intuitive Timid Passive Sensitive Gender is a social construct – these terms are really only valid in our society right now and in other similar places around the world. In certain countries or time periods, these characteristics do not necessarily fit …Address the “man’s man”.

9 Gendering our Children

10 Transgender Transgender is an umbrella term often used to refer to people whose gender identity differs from their assigned sex at birth.

11 The Transgender Umbrella
Drag Performer Cross dresser/Transvestite Gender Variant/Gender Queer Transsexual Two Spirit Third gender Feminine Men Masculine Women Androgynous folk Also see: Trans, Person of Transgender Experience

12 Appropriate Language Transgender
FTM = Female to Male MTF = Male to Female Transboy/guy/man Transgirl/woman Gender Neutral Pronouns The pronoun associated with the person’s gender identity They/Their Ze Hir

13 Sexual Identity (Sexual Orientation)
A romantic or sexual attraction to people of a certain gender Heterosexual Gay Lesbian Bisexual Asexual Pansexual/Omnisexual Queer At this point, say “what’s in my pants”, “what pants am I wearing”, and “who do I want in my pants”?

14 Language Sexual Identity
Inappropriate Self-avowed or Self-admitted Sexual Preference Of the other persuasion “Playing for the other team” Gay lifestyle Appropriate Openly gay Sexual Orientation Sexual Identity Coming out Homosexual is another term that is on some folks’ “Inappropriate” list; of course there are also fag, faggot, queen, dyke, homo, and sissy. OH and more…

15 LGBTQ/Disability Intersections in Research
High incidence of mental health issues in LGBTQ youth High prevalence of autistic traits in gender dysphoric youth Statistically significant number of lesbians, gays, and bisexuals with disabilities

16 Perspectives on Being Queer and Disabled
“Many LGBT establishments are not wheelchair accessible. Because of this, I cannot easily access gay establishments or be readily involved in LGBT themed events or meet other gay men the conventional way. I also think that the attitude around disability and difference in our community plays a huge role in how I have been hindered.” -Interview with Andrew Morrison-Gurza, “LGBT's Living With Disabilities: Also Here, Also Queer”, Huffington Post, April 5, 2013.

17 Perspectives on Being Queer and Disabled
“The way in which people interact with me because I’m and the way in which people interact with me when they know I’m trans are quite similar. People think that this gives them some sort of a right to my body, a right to information about it, they’ll ask personal or invasive questions and not realise why those might not be appropriate. I’ve had to work hard to reclaim the right to privacy about my body. Asking someone whether you can help them (and taking no for an answer), or asking someone their preferred pronouns, are far more appropriate than personal questions about somebody else’s body.” -theselfmademen.tumblr.com

18 Other Perspectives on Being Queer and Disabled

19 LGBTQ and Disability Similarities
Stigma/Discrimination/Inequality Oppression Being viewed as having something “wrong” Feeling the pull to conform to societal “norms” Fighting for civil rights Reclaiming identifying language Individuals claiming identities to varying degrees  I'd like to say a few quick words about the difference between impairment and disability (as Eli Clare so eloquently distinguishes). Then I will explain that I believe LGBTQ folks still today are oftentimes viewed through the lens of the medical model, as is especially true of the trans population, rather than the social model. If we would do this, we would find that it is not the person, but the system that needs a bit of an adjustment.   And we can support it by noting that homosexuality was not removed from the DSM until the 80s, when "Sexual orientation disturbance" was removed with the publication of the revised DSM-III in 1987.  I think it's important to point out that not everyone in either identity group is a flag-waving, card-carrying member of the respective communities.

20 LGBTQ and Disability Differences
Individuals with disabilities are federally protected from discrimination People with disabilities are often pitied by the non-disabled while many in the LGBTQ community are denigrated for their “choice” Hyper-sexualization of LGBTQ and de-sexualization of people with disabilities Collective and individual pride seems to be more solid for LGBTQ people

21 Advocating for Action At the University Level:
Support an inclusive non-discrimination policy and an anti-harassment policy Ensure that gender identity and expression are protected for all university community members to enjoy  We can't forget to talk about gender expression.  That's something that has the potential to affect anyone regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity!

22 Advocating for Action Inter-departmentally:
Advocating for inclusive and supportive university policies for all people Facilitating discussions that integrate various identities Educating the university on Universal Design Supporting construction of single-use bathrooms

23 Advocating for Action Within your Office:
Establishing gender-inclusive intra-office procedures Encouraging your institution, division, department, etc to adopt gender and sexual orientation non-discrimination policies Ensure counseling and health care staff on campus understand needs of LGBTQ students

24 What’s One Thing You Can Do?

25 Resources!! Reach Out USA- http://www.reachoutusa.org/
Regard - Queer Disability: Queer and Disabled Community Discussion - BENT: True Stories of Disabled Gay Men - Crip Commentary - Deaf Queer.org - Passing Twice: A Proud Network of Queer Stutterers and Their Allies - Queers on Wheels - Rainbow Alliance of the Deaf (RAD) - Nothing to Hide: Gay People with Disabilities Come Out of the Closet - The Sexual Politics of Disability, by Tom Shakespeare, et al. Exile and Pride, by Eli Clare Mean Little Deaf Queer , by Terry Galloway

26 “To transform self-hatred into pride is a fundamental act of resistance.” -Eli Clare, Exile and Pride


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