“There is a special power in being around other Black, Queer, Disabled people like me.”

As a Black, Queer, Disabled woman, I have a lot of pride in all my identities. All of which are marginalised and come with different challenges, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The support and interactions of those in my community bring me so much comfort and pride. There is a special power in being around other Black Queer people like me. The energy, the love and care we feel when we are together is indescribable.

On the rare occasions there are also other Black Disabled LGBTQIA+ people, the happiness and comfort I feel is even more elevated. We understand and empathise with each other’s journeys around race, sexuality and disability.  

During Pride, I surround myself and celebrate with other Black LGBTQIA+ people. This is where I feel there is most unity, elsewhere I often feel isolated and like I don’t belong. However, as a Disabled person, I can sometimes feel left out when people do not consider the presence of people with disabilities at their events – including in the planning and marketing stages.

I struggle to understand how in 2024 people can still be so ignorant of the experiences of disabled people and often fail to include us. Pride is an important time to remember the resistance, the rebellion, the protest and how far we have come and still have to go – none of us are free until all of us are including those with additional marginalised identities.  

I have always been filled with wanderlust, which was probably passed down from listening to all of my Great Grandma’s adventures. My experiences as a Black, Queer Disabled woman have further pushed me to explore planet Earth and understand what it is like to navigate this world as a person with all of my identities, especially with such limited accessibility.

I also wanted to help others understand so I started my blog BLD Experiences to log my adventures. There are queer communities everywhere, even in countries with anti-LGBTQIA+ laws. I love the opportunity to safely and respectfully experience the LGBTQIA+ side of the place I travel to. I want to experience places they find Queer Joy and express their pride – how they find community. And the chances I get to do that I feel joy that I can share these places for other Queer Black Disabled people to experience.

On a family trip to Jamaica, I connected with some great Queer people. Unfortunately, I was ill and unable to explore local LGBT events – I can’t wait to go back and experience them. 

When travelling, I balance my desire to share my whole self and ensure my safety. You don’t get to know all facets of myself without understanding how each part of my identity impacts me. Travelling as a Black woman is so rewarding but due to racism and some people’s lack of proximity to Black people it can be difficult. It is important to make sure I understand how to keep myself safe but unfortunately also prepare for racism.

With the added dimension of being an openly Queer disabled person, I feel even more guarded and cautious of my safety in new environments. I come across many inaccessible places, and I sometimes have to rely on support from strangers, especially physical support with my wheelchair. So, I feel like there is another element to my safety I have to think of, especially in countries that don’t have LGBTQIA+ rights.

Fortunately, people have been accepting and/or curious whenever I share this piece of myself. As they are with my disability. But I can also reflect and think that some of these experiences would be different if I weren’t a cisgender disabled woman.

Having intersecting identities can lead to some very complex experiences and needs. It is always a difficult but important journey to share how each of my identities impacts me, sometimes all identities at once or one or two at a time impact an experience

I am grateful for the many good experiences and lovely people I have met during my travels. I can’t wait to make more incredible memories, understanding and embracing different cultures… and food!