LivedX 2022 series: Full policy paper - Community spaces for LGBTQIA+ Youth with disability
Children and Young People with Disability Australia (CYDA) is the national representative organisation for children and young people with disability aged 0 to 25 years. In December 2021 CYDA hosted a consultation with 11 participants that sought to understand the intersection between disability and LGBTQIA+ identity. The consultation was co-designed by a working group of disabled young people.
What young people said
Many participants in CYDA’s consultation felt marginalised as a result of their disabled identity not being considered in queer spaces, and their queer identity being ignored or erased in disabled spaces. Most participants agreed that having the option between online and in-person events and being asked their pronouns were important enabling factors in feeling included. Many participants felt their disability was ignored or infantilised in queer spaces, and the negative perceptions and ableist attitudes towards disability made queer spaces less accessible and welcoming.
The majority of participants acknowledged the need for greater accessibility measures within queer and disabled spaces, and described the major impacts that even small accommodations, such as seeing pride and trans stickers in disabled spaces, could have in making them feel more welcome and accepted. Participants also agreed that establishing spaces specifically for queer and disabled individuals would be extremely beneficial, and that more people who identify as queer, disabled, and both, need to be in leadership positions, both within these communities and outside of them.
1. Recommendations for governments:
- The Australian Government should fund collaborative opportunities between disability and LGBTQIA+ organisations to enable disabled and queer people to develop best-practice guides for services and hosting events.
- Governments at all levels create graduate and progression opportunities within the public service to work towards having greater representation of disabled queer people in leadership and decision making roles.
2. Recommendations for community services and organisations:
- LGBTQIA+ services and organisations should implement accessibility and inclusion measures so young queer disabled people can access and feel safe in spaces and events on the same basis as their non-disabled peers.
- Disability services and organisations should implement accessibility and inclusion measures so young queer disabled people can access and feel safe in spaces and events on the same basis as their cisgender, heterosexual peers.
- Disability and LBGTQIA+ organisations and local councils should develop targeted social opportunities and safe spaces for young queer disabled people to meet and network.
 LGBTQIA+ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Aromantic/Asexual, with the ‘+’ being an umbrella for all other gender, sexual, and romantic minorities. Detailed definitions available at ibid
Full suite of resources for this topic
Other policy papers in this series
- LivedX 1: Tertiary education and learning
- LivedX 2: Financial security and employment
- LivedX 3: Healthcare settings for LGBTQIA+ youth with disability
- LivedX 4: Community spaces for LGBTQIA+ youth with disability
- LivedX 5: Inclusion and decision making