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Andrew Morrison Gurza

I can’t live up to the high physical demands of the gay community

By Andrew Morrison Gurza, Lifestyle No Comments

“I’m not dating anyone and I’m sure part of the reason is the birth defects visible on my left arm and hand, and I don’t think I’m so attractive in the face anyway. I haven’t been out for long and all my friends are straight. I feel I can’t live up to the high physical ideals demanded of me by the gay community. Please tell me everyones not so shallow.”

anonymous, Cardiff

Andrew’s advice…

It is true that the LGBTQ community, particularly MSM, place a lot of value on our physical bodies. When one is physically disabled and queer, you can certainly feel unequal to your queer peer group. I know that having a physical disability and being a wheelchair user myself, my body CANNOT conform to our homo-normative ideals. This is where you have to learn to market your disability.

What is it about you that you think is attractive? What about your disability makes you unique? How can you turn that around to be a positive thing? When you go into gay spaces, you have to project an air of confidence simply because most gay men have little to no exposure with respect to someone with a disability. They are probably unsure of how to approach you. This means that you are the expert – you can teach them how your disability is just another part of who you are, but it is one of the most awesome and sexy parts.

Most importantly, you have to start realising that your disability makes you attractive. It gives you the upper hand, and a view on the world and gay life, that other people don’t have. This is an amazing quality. Your physical differences will never match the gay ideals that we have ascribed to in gay culture, but you can break the mould by offering a different perspective.

I’m a gay man with restricted growth

By Andrew Morrison Gurza, Lifestyle One Comment

“Being a man with restricted growth means I get a lot of attention in gay bars and clubs. However, this isn’t always the positive kind and I’m now looking for a serious relationship. Should I try another method of meeting guys? I’m so used to the gay ‘scene’ I don’t know where to start!”

Adam, Glasgow

Andrew’s advice…

The gay scene can indeed be a daunting one. As a wheelchair user myself, the scene is often inaccessible to me, as the buildings are not equipped for access. However, when I have gone, I either receive no attention or awkward attention – by which I mean people are not quite sure how to react to me. In those instances, I try to just have fun and be myself.
In your quest for a relationship, you may want to try online dating. I know that we all have our qualms about it, but you could at least put yourself out there in a different way. Specifically, online dating allows you in a sense, to market yourself and your disability in the way that you want it to be perceived by others.

I would also suggest going to games nights or discussion night that isn’t directly related to the ‘scene’. This will give the community a chance to get to know you and learn about your disability outside of the overly sexualised scene.

I’m an 18 year old lesbian with cerebral palsy

By Andrew Morrison Gurza, Lifestyle No Comments

“I’m an 18 year old female with cerebral palsy and I’ve known from a young age that I am a lesbian. My parents are currently my full time carers, and I haven’t told them this. They are quite conservative. How shall I break it to them? I hope they can cope with having a gay and disabled daughter.”

Katie, Manchester
Andrew’s advice…
Thank you so much for writing in to me at the Love Lounge. Coming out, is stressful enough as it is, so first I would like to applaud you for taking the first steps to come into your sexuality! Congratulations.
In terms of coming out with a disability this can add even more pressure, because you feel as though you are adding to your perceived burden in their lives. I understand that completely, and when I came out that was one of my biggest fears. Because your parents are your primary care givers right now (I’ll presume that you need them for all your daily activities?), I might suggest waiting until you are in a different care situation, wherein you have the independence. I understand how you might feel like you want to be honest with them RIGHT NOW, but it is always best to come out in an environment where you feel most comfortable.
I certainly empathize with you. Two weeks before I came out, I was just about to turn 16. I had read all the literature and was absolutely petrified that I would be disowned. Finally, my mom asked me: “What’s wrong? Are you gay or something?”. When I said yes, we sat down and had a great heart to heart. So, you may feel safe enough to sit them down and tell them how you feel, rather than wait. They may even surprise you. No matter what you do, please be sure that you feel safe and secure in coming out to them. There is no right time or way to do it. Of course, remember that you being both gay and disabled is not an added burden. It is an added power you have to enlighten people and open their eyes to other possibilities and realities.