The COVID-19 pandemic and the associated containment measures have resulted in a mental health crisis globally. Marginalised populations have been disproportionately affected during the pandemic with an aggravation of existing inequalities, and this has increased the risks to their mental health. The LGBTIQ+ population is among those marginalised whose lives have been rendered even more precarious than before by the pandemic. This paper explores some of the main risks to the mental health of LGBTIQ+ people in India, the advice being given to them by mental health professionals and activists, and need for queer revisionings of uncertainty, the concept of a future and individualism.
In March and April 2020, Women Enabled International (WEI) conducted an online qualitative survey of issues impacting women, girls, non-binary, trans, and gender non-conforming (TGNC) persons with disabilities, which received 100 responses from around the world. These individuals identified that COVID-19 had had a significant impact on their ability to meet basic needs, achieve an adequate standard of living, and live independently, including because of issues related to employment and income, access to support services and assistive devices, access to public transportation, and access to assistance from friends, family, and the public. This policy brief will discuss some of the findings from this survey to illustrate how the pandemic worsens existing realities of marginalised communities and will provide recommendation to stakeholders, in particular UN agencies and UN Country Teams and their partners, on how to mitigate adverse effects of pre-existing inequalities faced by women, girls and TGNC persons with disabilities, including on how to engage with networks and organizations as active agents in the process of ‘building back.’
Studies worldwide indicate that sexual minority students often face different forms of bullying in everyday life at school, and young people growing up in communities with conservative values, such as in rural areas, are often in a particularly vulnerable position. Nonetheless, there is an absence of studies addressing the everyday lives of sexual minority students in rural schools. Drawing on interviews with students in the ninth grade of a rural lower secondary school in Sweden, the current study has investigated experiences of violence and harassment routinely directed at sexual minority students at school. The results indicate that the local gender regime is strongly framed by heteronormative values that position non-heterosexual students as the Other. Sexual minority students are exposed to homophobic name-calling on a daily basis, and threats and physical violence are also common. To fit in and to ‘survive’ in school, sexual minority students are forced to accept the homophobic name-calling and are sometimes also forced to physically fight back. This study concludes that it is important that schools address issues around violence directed towards non- heterosexual students, and that ways to create a more inclusive and safe school environment be identified.
n the 1970s, grassroots disability movements in many countries changed the thinking around disability and disability politics. Nonetheless, they were also part of larger political upheavals in the western world. How were they inspired by the socialist, feminist, and gay and lesbian movements? In addition, how did they relate to non-disabled allies? Organisations in Denmark and Sweden are investigated and compared to early disability-rights movements in the United Kingdom. Independently of each other, all groups developed materialist models, although only in Sweden and the United Kingdom did this lead to a linguistic distinction between ‘impairment’ and ‘disability’. Danish activists would rather use provocative language, while developing a social understanding of disability. They were also the only ones to discuss gender and sexuality. There are more similarities than differences between the movements, although the Danish specificities contributed to improvements in how Danes with disabilities can develop a positive sex life.
- In the 1970s, new political ideas grew about ways of living, equality between the sexes, gay and lesbian rights, and sexual freedom. New groups started to talk about how to understand disability.
- This article investigates whether the new disability groups in Denmark and Sweden talked about these ideas and whether they involved non-disabled people.
- Danish and Swedish disability groups are compared to early disability rights organisations in the United Kingdom. The Danish and Swedish disability groups were more open to non-disabled members than groups in the United Kingdom.
- The article also found that the Danish group discussed sexuality a lot. In Sweden and the United Kingdom, the disability groups did not talk about sex at all.
In 2013, the European Union (EU) mission in Zambia made a public statement about its financial support to the LGBTI community. In panic and fear, LGBTI leaders urged the EU office to withdraw the statement and encouraged other foreign missions to instead offer discrete support to the LGBTI community. This anecdote is illustrative of the experiential gap between geopolitical groups confronting a similar policy issue. For the EU, the rights of LGBTI persons are universally important; for the LGBTI community in the Zambian context, safety and discretion are more important. This paradox illustrates the challenges facing the transnationalizing of disability policy. How could we explain the fact that transnational disability actors have for the last two decades been trying to disseminate disability ‘knowledge’ and norms in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) without corresponding social policy and ideational success? This article examines this policy and ontological discrepancy. Advancing a constructivist argument, the article contends that transnational policy diffusion, largely built on colonial legacies of universalizing Western knowledge paradigms, has preoccupied itself with political institutional engagements at the expense of engaging contextspecific sociological and ideological factors, resulting in sterile legislative exercises. To develop a truly SSA-relevant disability policy infrastructure, the article proposes ideational bricolaging and translation, a constructivist process of carefully adhering to and negotiating with context-specific ideational factors that inform the disability experience in SSA countries.
Disability & the Global South (DGS), 2018, Vol. 5 No. 1
This paper draws on feminist and queer philosophers? discussions of precarity and employment, too often absent from disability studies, to explore the working lives of people with learning disabilities in England in a time of austerity. Recent policy shifts from welfare to work welcome more disabled people into the job market. The reality is that disabled people remain under-represented in labour statistics and are conspicuously absent in cultures of work. We live in neoliberal- able times where we all find ourselves precarious. But, people with learning disabilities experience high levels of uncertainty in every aspect of their lives, including work, relationships and community living. Our research reveals an important analytical finding: that when people with learning disabilities are supported in imaginative and novel ways they are able to work effectively and cohesively participate in their local communities (even in a time of cuts to welfare). We conclude by acknowledging that we are witnessing a global politics of precarity and austerity. Our urgent task is to redress the unequal spread of precaritization across our society that risks leaving people with learning disabilities experiencing disproportionately perilous lives. One of our key recommendations is that it makes no economic sense (never mind moral sense) to pull funding from organisations that support people with intellectual disabilities to work.
In this paper we argue that school toilets function as one civilising site [Elias, 1978. The Civilising Process. Oxford: Blackwell] in which children learn that disabled and queer bodies are out of place. This paper is the first to offer queer and crip perspectives on school toilets. The small body of existing school toilet literature generally works from a normative position which implicitly perpetuates dominant and oppressive ideals. We draw on data from Around the Toilet, a collaborative research project with queer, trans and disabled people (aroundthetoilet.wordpress.com) to critically interrogate this work. In doing this we consider ‘toilet training’ as a form of ‘civilisation’, that teaches lessons around identity, embodiment and ab/normal ways of being in the world. Furthermore, we show that ‘toilet training’ continues into adulthood, albeit in ways that are less easily identifiable than in the early years. We therefore call for a more critical, inclusive, and transformative approach to school toilet research.
This website offers a number of online resources about disability and sexuality. Topics include gay and lesbian sexuality, aging and sexuality, sexuality and disabled adolescents, and more. The site also contains references to other resources and an online forum
The author uses UN human rights declarations to highlight the right for men who have sex with men to be included in HIV/AIDS programmes
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