Pride and Intersectionality
Happy Pride Month! Pride is an important part of our community. Many members of get2gether are part of, and supporters of, the LGTBQ+ community and pride! get2gether has worked hard to create a community with intentional events that create a supportive and educational environment for our members.
Last year, we asked some of our members to consider –– what does disability pride mean to you?
Robert: Disability pride to me means having access to pride.
Katrina: Disability pride is really special to me. It’s great to be able to have something to celebrate and be proud of myself and others with disabilities. I prefer to use the term ‘unique abilities’ because they are a part of me and others and they’ve helped me become the person I’ve become.
Pride month is the perfect time to reflect on what pride means to you, and how you might choose to celebrate this June. Earlier this month, our members showed up to party the night away at one of our Hype club nights. Excitement filled the air as get2gether members celebrated pride month in a supportive space filled with friends and all colors of the rainbow!
get2gether’s Let’s Talk About Sex programme gives members a safe space to discover and discuss their sexuality with other members of the get2gether community. This is a space dedicated to learning, where questions and curiosity are always welcomed! During the Gay/Queer Q and A, topics such as the difference between sex and gender, what it means to be transgender, what gender dysphoria looks like, were discussed. Members expressed the desire to continue to create open conversations and remember, above all, the importance of being kind and accepting towards yourself and others. Ambassador Natalie described these sessions as “safe spaces – somewhere I feel safe being me with all my questions about topics I didn’t understand and didn’t feel I was allowed to ask before. Suddenly I had the freedom to ask, even encouraged to ask, instead of getting into trouble from people who felt I should already know the answers. It’s where I can feel the different parts of me coming together to shine.”
What is intersectionality?
We asked Ambassador Natalie what Intersectionality means to them?
“Intersectionality is being seen and valued for all the different parts that make you who you are. For me, the whole song is really important but I hear each instrument individually and the value and the beauty that each instrument brings to the overall song. If one instrument were missing it wouldn’t be the same song, if one aspect of me was missing, I wouldn’t be the same me. But for the song to be really powerful, each instrument has to be valued. So for me, that means my gender, my sexuality, where I grew up/class, my communities and my disabilities.“
What has it meant to you, Natalie, to have your whole intersectional identity valued?
By acknowledging Intersectional identities, get2gether has valued and honoured all parts of me and increased my participation.
Being part of get2gether gave me a chance to meet other people that are like me. Not just people with disabilities, people who are autistic or people who are part of the LGBTQ+ community but people that are all three. It was the first time I’ve had a space where I’m seen as a whole person, accepted as a whole person and the first time I’ve felt like a real human. I’m not just autistic or bisexual or non binary, I’m all of these different things. Growing up, I didn’t realise that having multiple identities is what it means to be human.”
Intersectionality is very important. Without it, we wouldn’t be the same welcoming diverse organisation and all the learning from each other that we do. We know that as an organization, it’s so important to always be learning, looking at the strengths within the room as well as promoting awareness, acceptance and inclusivity. We know that more and more members will sign up the more that we value intersectional identities. Our staff are trained to value intersectional identities. It’s really important for get2gether staff members to be able to work with a whole range of people and as whole people. Understanding people is a huge skill.
get2gether is able to thrive because of the community of love and friendship our members have created over the years. All year round we strive to celebrate and practice love and friendships in all their shapes and sizes.