A Message for Disability Pride

This Disability Pride Month, we affirm the wide range of embodied experiences in our community as well as the ways disability can compound the discrimination and stress faced by LGBTQ+ individuals. According to the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, LGBTQ+ adults are 50% more likely to self-report a disability compared with cisgender heterosexual adults. These disabilities range from impairments of cognition, to mobility, to vision and hearing, to independent living itself.

Liberation for our communities means liberation for our bodies to exist in their fullness — experiencing the truth of our attractions, the integrity of how we personally move through the world, and the reality of the challenges our bodies face as we navigate it.


At the Center this month, we’re celebrating disability rights champions like Farrah Garland (they/them), a disabled, queer, nonbinary artist, activist, educator, model, and academic who gets the message out every which way, from op-eds and social media to talks and lectures at government functions, universities, and corporations.

Farrah has called attention to issues ranging from the casting of abled actors as disabled characters, to the greater risks disabled people experience from COVID-19, and the importance of placing disabled folks in positions of decisionmaking power. Learn more about Farrah and their work here.


Meanwhile, telling stories is at the core of Mark Travis Rivera’s (he/him) purpose in life. In addition to being a widely published writer and accomplished public speaker, he is a disabled choreographer and dancer with cerebral palsy who, at age 17, became the youngest person in the United States to create and lead an integrated dance company for disabled and non-disabled dancers.

As a Puerto Rican queer man, he is one of just a handful of artistic directors of color in the disability dance field in this country. A first-generation high school and college graduate, Mark also works as a diversity, equity, and inclusion consultant internationally. Learn more about Mark’s work here.

Are you a member of our community who lives with a disability and would like to share your story with us?

DM us on Instagram at @lgbtcenternyc by July 20 to be featured on The Center’s social media and communications this Disability Pride month.