The Intersection of Pride and Disability

Andy Arias, a member of the Center’s Advisory Board, gives some gentle truths about intersectionality.

On Being Gay and Disabled

Image of Tylor sitting in front of a rock wall and big wheel. He's wearing a turquoise shirt and has short brown hair with a mustache.

I want to tell my story of coming out as a gay man, but also being a person with a disability. When I came out I was 17 years old. It was a very tough situation because I was going through a lot in my life at that point. What I wasn’t expecting, as far as family issues and adding that to the mix, was not the worst with my mom. But, as far as my Dad, he disowned me as a person. He disowned me for a while, but he’s still not accepting. I mean- we talk occasionally, but he’s not accepting of me being gay.

There is a lot of stigma around being gay and having a disability. A lot of people think ‘how can he be gay and be disabled?’ or ‘how could he have a relationship with someone that’s disabled?’ It’s a very interesting journey, but one that I have learned to be very passionate about. I really feel like there’s so much stigma against people with disabilities and their sexuality. Some people feel like, ‘oh they’re just not sure what they want in their life because they haven’t had a relationships. Because they’ve been disabled and haven’t really had relationships growing up.’ At least that was my case.

Gray background with white text that reads: " People who think disabled people can't have love are totally wrong."

In my life now I am happily with someone and I am able to live my life to the fullest. I couldn’t be happier and I enjoy every second. Although, my living situation right now is not the best, my future looks bright because of this person. This person treats me with unconditional love and I do the same with him. He is my everything and I don’t know what I would do without him. Never give up on love or never give up on yourself because you never know what’s out there. People who think disabled people can’t have love are totally wrong.

Tylor was selected as one of our 2024 Youth Equity Ambassador’s. You can read more about him and our Youth Equity Ambassador program here.