chapter  11
18 Pages

Double the Trouble or Twice the Fun? Disabled Bodies in the Gay Community

The London Gay Pride march is repeatedly led by the disability rights banner, but the disabled1 contingent of the crowd are marginalised in the parties which follow it by ‘the cult of “body beautiful” and celebration of glamour and glitz’ (Corbett 1994:345). The same ableist obsessions with the perfect body which have been noted by feminists as strongly affecting women’s lives (Baker 1984; Wolf 1990), and by disability activists as heavily influencing disabled people’s lives, run deep in the gay ‘community’2. As a result many disabled lesbians, gay men and bisexual individuals (LGBs)3 feel the need to attend Pride festivals, not to support gay rights, but to draw the LGB population’s attention to their disabled members (Shakespeare et al. 1996). This chapter questions why, how and at what cost disabled people remain marginalised in the gay ‘community’.