Monday, 20 June 2016

Why I’m Boycotting ‘Me Before You’ And Why You Should Too

Here's the link to my Junkee article on why I'm boycotting, ‘Me Before You' a film that perpetuates the message that you are better off dead then disabled.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

On Radio talking Disability & sexuality, the social model and disability pride

I did a little interview on Clementine Ford's Misandry Hour and talked about Disability & sexuality, the social model and disability pride.

Have a listen here

(Image: Jax Jacki Brown's legs in rainbow stockings draped over the wheel of her wheelchair, wearing black Doc's with red laces). 

Monday, 1 February 2016

Why I'm supporting 'Queers Revolt' at pride march Melbourne

This is a video of what happened to the protesters at pride march in Melbourne on Sunday (31/01/16). It is harrowing to watch. I was marching in pride with Quippings Disability Unleashed Disability IS Desirable but had no idea this was going on. 

One of the protesters is a wheelchair user too.

The protesters, calling themselves ''Queers Revolt'', were engaging in a peaceful protest against big corporations marching in pride and are holding up the transgender pride flag. 

People from the crowd start yelling abuse and throwing buckets of water. The level of hostility from the crowd is intense, a lot of whom would have also been members of the queer community.

Particularly poignant is when someone from the crowd says to them ‘’you're a minority. You're a minority. Remember that is all that you are’’. Yes, WE ARE A MINORITY as a queer community. We shouldn't be treating each other like this, especially trans people.

People have a right to protest and to ask as all to think about why what was a protest march has now been co-opted by big corporations. Coles marches by and everyone cheers, someone from the crowd says ‘’remember what you're here for, pay them [the protesters] no attention’’, Coles disappears from view and everyone goes back to booing and abusing the protesters.

We cheer big corporations who do next to nothing for lgbTI people and abuse our own people? Is this progress? Is this what assimilation looks like? 

I went in Pride March because i think its important to show that people with disabilities are part of the queer community, that we have sexualities and/or gender diversity. But after seeing this I'm going to think twice about going in it next year. 

Thursday, 28 January 2016

#SayTheWord: Why I'm reclaiming the word 'disabled'

The personal is political, when I call myself disabled I am aligning myself with the disability rights movement. It is a conscious deliberate and pride filled choice. Disabled as a self-chosen marker of identity and pride has a more recent history, one in which it has experienced a positive reclamation of a stigmatised identity, in much the same way the LGBTI community has reclaimed queer as an identity and pride term. 

The pervasive idea that disability is an inherently negative experience which one must feel ashamed of is, I argue, central to person first language, ie. 'person with a disability'. I do not need to remind people that I am a person because I use a wheelchair, as though my disability renders me without personhood. 

Language holds power, the power to transform ideas and attitudes. It shapes how you see yourself and the world. Words like disabled are not just words, they hold an entire history of struggle for social justice and provides connection to others experiencing the same marginality. Self-chosen labels hold immense power for individuals and minority groups. Self-chosen labels are political, they enable minorities to mobilise on issues of discrimination.

Read more of my thoughts on this in my article here

My 1st article on Junkee- Same-sex adoption and disability!

Everyone's talking about what a win for equality the amendment to the Victorian Adoption Act has been for same-sex couple's but people with disabilities are still discriminated against because in Victoria you have to be deemed '“fit and healthy and able to actively parent a child” in order to adopt. Read more on this in my article here 

LGBTI Disability Forum 2015-It's time to make sexuality a priority for disability rights!

On Dec 3,  International Day of People with Disability, 2015, I was part of putting on a landmark event at the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne an LGBTI Disability Forum. Led by myself and Jarrod Marrinon and and in partnership with Rowena Allen, Victoria's first Gender and Sexuality Commissioner, and with limited funding from the Office for Disability and Department of Premier and Cabinet, we were keen for this event to be more then just a talk fest and to have LGBTI people with disabilities at the event contributing to discussion. The morning session was us educating service providers from both the disability and LGBTI health sectors and the afternoon session was a closed session with the commissioner for LGBTI people with disability, in which we discussed our issues with her and reached some concrete fundable outcomes. There are some great things underway so watch this space!

You can read more about my experience of the forum here :)