Leave your Ableism outside the Bedroom: in conversation with Andrew Gurza and Rachele Manett





What if you’re ‘a cripple and you’re Queer’?

I am always thinking about the power of words. What is OK and what is not, especially in today’s cancel culture society.

As we head on into the May long weekend, I pose to you, the reader, this question:

  • Does the above blue sentence make you feel a little on edge or…. uncomfortable?

How these two words: Cripple + Queer, are being reclaimed just might make you stop and rethink the way you talk about, support, engage with, or even think about the intersections of what is like for someone queer who is living with a disability. The above video is Part 2 of a 2 Part conversation Isaac and Cyn had with Andrew Gurza (Part 1) and Rachele Manett (Part 2) about ableism, advocacy and breaking down stigma facing Queer people who are living with disability.

Back to the Question above: if it does make you curious, then please join us, as we put those 2 punchy words together with Andrew Gurza: a most POWERFUL guest speaker on Hey, Cis! podcast, and the host of their own award-winning podcast Disability After Dark.

You’ll want to grab your headphones and turn up the volume because we are about to go beyond being uncomfortable together and shift some soul-sucking stigma into information that can make us better humans. 

Barriers to self-pleasure, isn’t something most cisgender non-disabled people may have given much thought too.

Self-pleasure as privilege?

In Episode 28 of Season 2: Leave your Ableism outside the Bedroom, featuring Andrew Gurza, hosts Isaac and Cyn ask about reclamation; the realities of queer, disabled dating; and the importance of accessible sex for everyone. 

“I know what you already think about me. I know that you think I’m.. you know.. less than.  I know you think I’m not viable… for Queer men,” says Andrew Gurza talking about reclaiming the word Cripple.

But, we do not get to define Andrea Gurza. In one of the final epsiodes of Season 2, we talk all about ableism, the ‘power of being crippled’ and breaking down stigma by talking about what matters.

Andrew Gurza is an award winning Disability Awareness Consultant and the Chief Disability Officer and Co-founder of Bump’n, a sex toy company for and by disabled people.  Check out the video below highlighting one of their products.

Andrew uses they/he pronouns and identifies proudly as disabled. He has spoken all over the world on sex, disability and what it means to be a Queer Cripple. 

Their work has been featured on BBC, CBC, Daily Xtra, Gay Times UK, Huffington Post, The Advocate, Everyday Feminism, Mashable, Out.com, and several anthologies.  He was the subject of an award winning National Film Board of Canada Documentary “Picture This”. 

In addition to those accolades, Andrew is also the host of Disability After Dark: The Podcast Shining a Bright Light on Disability Stories. Andrew is also the creator of the viral hashtag #DisabledPeopleAreHot.  

Part 2: Bringing the conversation local!

Rachele Manett (she/they) is a queer, Jewish, disabled sexuality educator. Currently the education coordinator for Venus Envy Halifax, an education-based sex shop and book store located in Kjipuktuk (Halifax), they organize and deliver workshops on all sorts of sexy topics.

Rachele has a particular interest in accessible sex practices and pleasure experiences.

Above is a vlog chat between Cy and Rachele talking about barrier-breaking supports and resources available and the intersections of being Queer and living with a disability.

 Video Above.

Hey, Cis! is a beyond binary conversation in being a better human.

We are about current affairs and gender-based issues affecting trans and non-binary youth, students and adults within our Maritime community.

We take on difficult topics; (and this week it is a difficult topic), breaking us out of the binary, smashing stigma and fostering greater connection between our cisgender community and trans, gender creative and non-binary community.

Upcoming on Hey, Cis! podcast we are talking about travel, crossing those borders and coming out the other side… Tune-in in June for our season finale episodes of Season 2.

Take care!

Cyn & Isaac

You can find out more about Andrew by visiting www.andrewgurza.com and connecting via social media @andrewgurza_