A Disability Is Not An Identity Diagnosis

Disability Article Graphic

In the month of July, we come together as a community to celebrate Disability Pride Month. This beautiful month is often lost in the shuffle after the joyous roar of June’s Pride Month, and members of the LGBTQ+ community who are living with a disability often face challenges for inclusion and accessibility.

Helping serve these members of the community is part of Edgewood’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.  We strive to provide a safe and welcoming environment to all people despite different backgrounds, cultures, and associations. Edgewood Center is an ally for all underrepresented communities to be heard, seen, and respected. In doing so, Edgewood creates places and spaces where healing and growth can occur.

We are encouraged by recent efforts in San Francisco to help ensure that the needs of these members of our community are met. London Breed, the Mayor of San Francisco, decreed that San Francisco will officially celebrate Disability Pride Month each year in July. The decree proclaimed, in part, that “Disability Pride enables people with disabilities to redefine their identity with self-worth, serves as a tool to tackle ableism, bias, and discrimination, and reshapes false negative perceptions of individuals with disabilities as people with value, talents, and significance” (Mayor’s Office on Disability, 2020).

The Arcus Foundation reports that an estimated 3-5 million LGBT people have disabilities. By adding on layers to a disability, individuals often experience stigma when trying to express the other parts of themselves. The global pandemic even further highlighted the disparities apparent in many underrepresented communities that may have already been previously struggling.

With the passing of The American with Disability Act (ADA) by Congress in 1990, across the United States many cities and states have begun rising up as a movement to help individuals that identify with the disabled community to use their voice to help bring awareness to the beauty in all of us holding multiple identities.

Although some positive changes have been made since the passing of the civil rights law enacted ADA act, there is always room for more improvement and space for inclusivity. This law was set in place to try to deter any type of discrimination against those with disabilities. Pauli (2021) notes that “people who identify as LGBTQ+ and people who have nonvisible disabilities such as learning disabilities like dyslexia, mental health or ADHD have to decide whether or not to “come out of the closet.” Accessibility and a whole well-being awareness in response to all identities is crucial.


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Arcus Foundation (2019). LGBT People with Disabilities. Accessed on July 23, 2021 from https://www.arcusfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/LGBT-People-With-Disabilities-MAP.pdf

Disability Pride Toolkit and Resource Guide. National Council on Independent Living. (2017, October 3). https://ncil.org/disability-pride-toolkit-and-resource-guide/

Disability Rights California (2020). 2020 Annual Report. Accessed on July 24, 2021 from https://www.disabilityrightsca.org/2020-annual-report

Kim, Sarah (2019, Jun 24). Pride Month Too Often Overlooks LGBTQ Members With Disabilities. Forbes. Accessed on July 23, 2021, https://www.forbes.com/sites/sarahkim/2019/06/24/pride-month-too-often-overlooks-lgbtq-members-with-disabilities/?sh=1ca3d9fd1ef8

“Mayor’s Office on Disability.” Mayor Breed Proclaims July Disability Pride Month in San Francisco | Mayor’s Office on Disability, sfgov.org/mod/mayor-breed-proclaims-july-disability-pride-month-san-francisco

Miranda, Gabriela. “A Chance to ‘Amplify One Another’: What Is Disability Pride Month?” USA
Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 4 July 2021, www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2021/07/02/how-disability-pride-month-started-and-what-means/7840560002/

Pauli, Philip (2021, Jun 2). Celebrating Approximately 5 Million LGBTQ+ People with Disabilities for Pride 2021. Respectability. Accessed on July 24, 2021 from https://www.respectability.org/2021/06/pride-month-2021/