Disrupting Ableist Narratives: Queer and Disabled Panel Discusses Representation and Advocacy

Leslie Lozada, Editor in Chief

March is not only Women’s History Month, but it is also Disability Awareness Month. The “Queer and Disabled Panel” that was held via Zoom on March 2, 2023, was one of the few events during the month of March that helps to intersect those two.

Created by Gee Davis, who is doing their internship in the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Department, with input from Dr. Laurie Fuller. Davis stated to the Independent that “having a panel discussing disability and queerness on campus could be fun and interesting.”

The two panelists answered questions related to their experiences, the communities they were able to find and accessibility around the NEIU campus. They mentioned certain classes that were able to highlight queerness and disability, such as professors Francesca Morgan’s history class about sexuality in America, as well as Matilda Stubbs’ Anthropology of Disability class.

One panelist mentioned the different communities for LGBTQIA+ students, such as Q-Spot, hosted at the Pedroso Center, and Pride Alliance, which meets every Thursday at LWH room 3081 from 3 to 4 p.m with online accessibility for students that are not able to attend the in-person meetings. Another panelist mentioned the History Club, which they enjoy attending and has managed to have events outside of campus, with one conference being in Wisconsin. 

There was some additional information regarding accessibility, not just for NEIU, but for the greater Chicagoland area. One question involved possibilities of disability clubs or groups, including physical and online accessibility for interested students, as well as having a social space for people with disabilities.

“We also deserve spaces to be happy, or sad or emotional to whatever degree, and … just exist as people, enjoying the fact that we can exist in a space with other people with disabilities,” said Fae Rose, one of the panelists and President of the Pride Alliance club.

For similar events, check out the other events for Women’s History Month at NEIU, made possible with the help of Fawn Pochel, Valentina Gamboa-Turner, and Dr. Fuller.