Disability Pride Month 2023
As a result of being asked by the Rainbow & Co community for the Disability Pride Flag, this has now been added to items across the range.
As an autistic business owner I was more than happy to meet this request as I know from my own research that there is a higher prevalence of neurodivergence within the LGBTQIA+ community than in the general population.
However, before we get to exploring the link between queer folk and neurodiversity, let's start at the beginning…
What is disability pride month?
Disability Pride Month is an annual observance held in July to:
- Celebrate and promote a positive and empowering image of disability
- Raise awareness of the challenges faced by people with disabilities
- Advocate for the rights and needs of people with disabilities
- Build community amongst disabled folk and our allies
- Influence policy makers and public opinion to encourage positive changes in law and societal attitudes
What is neurodiversity?
Our brains and minds are like a kaleidoscope of diversity. That's what neurodiversity is all
about—recognising and celebrating the unique ways our brains work. It is the understanding that different individuals have diverse ways of thinking, learning, and processing information due to their unique brain wiring.
Neurodiversity covers a wide range of conditions like autism, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, sensory processing disorder, and more. These neurocognitive differences are a natural and valuable part of human variation, just like other forms of diversity like sexuality and gender diversity!
How are the lgbtqia+ & neurodivergent communities related?
While the exact reasons for the link between LGBTQIA+ folks and neurodiversity are unknown, there are many potential influences which could explain the connection such as:
- Minority Stress - the stigma and discrimination faced by the queer community can lead to adverse mental health outcomes and physical health conditions that might be considered disabilities.
- Access to Healthcare: LGBTQIA+ individuals often face disparities in healthcare access and quality. Lack of inclusive healthcare services can lead to undiagnosed or untreated conditions that might be considered disabilities.
Mental Health Challenges: Studies have shown that LGBTQ+ individuals, especially transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals, have higher rates of mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation. These conditions can be disabling and impact daily functioning.
- Social Isolation: LGBTQIA+ people facing social isolation and discrimination may turn to higher-risk behaviours such as alcohol or drug abuse which can lead to health conditions that result in disabilities
When we look at the intersection of being LGBTQ+ and neurodivergent, it's like peering into a fascinating tapestry of experiences. We face distinct challenges, such as navigating relationships, accepting ourselves, and accessing the support and healthcare we need. It's vital that we understand and address these challenges to create a world where everyone feels included, supported, and celebrated for who they are.
Disability Pride Month and LGBTQ+ Pride Month allow us to promote inclusivity, acceptance, and understanding. It's about learning, growing, and breaking down the barriers that hold us back.
I’d love to hear your experiences and thoughts on being queer and neurodiverse, so leave a comment below or email me personally on email@example.com