July 26, 2020 marked the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act – and to honor the landmark anniversary, our team at the Campaign for Southern Equality is reflecting on the intersections of LGBTQ identity and disability in a series of video conversations with CSE staffers and community members.
In this fourth video in the series, Campaign for Southern Equality’s Adam Polaski and Cecil Robinson share a conversation about their personal experiences with stuttering – and how they have intersected with their lives as gay men. Cecil hails from Crawfordville, Florida, and Adam will soon live in Asheville, NC.
“It’s funny you reference kind of ‘coming out’ as having a stutter,” Adam said to Cecil. “I see some similarities with becoming comfortable with being gay and also becoming comfortable with this part of me as well, being a stutterer. And it’s interesting that we’re celebrating Disability Pride Month on the heels of LGBTQ Pride Month. There’s a parallel there – a sort of reclaiming of something that people tend to marginalize or tend to think of something as ‘other’ or ‘different’ and make it a part of a pride celebration. But there are similarities in that you have to come to terms with this being a part of your life, and that this is OK.”
“Ultimately, I tell myself, ‘Your stutter is a part of your identity, and you wouldn’t be who you are without it,'” Cecil said. “And the people who are around you, they love you for who you are, and that encompasses having that stutter. It’s about appreciating the people around you who are understanding of the stutter.”
Listen to the Interview:
Read More About the Queering Disability Justice Series:
- BLOG POST: Ivy Hill introduces the series and shares their experience with disability justice.
- VIDEO INTERVIEW: Dede Norungolo and Al Murray speak about Dede’s traumatic brain injury and her work advocating for folks with disabilities.
- VIDEO INTERVIEW: Rhóna Ramsey and Emily Fox speak about disability justice – including Rhóna’s experiences living with Wolf-Hirschhorn and an Atrioventricular Septal Defect and Emily’s experiences with neuro Lyme disease and diet restrictions.
- VIDEO INTERVIEW: Priya Ray speaks with Liz Williams about the work she does to advocate for people with disabilities, as well as the intersections of her identities as a Southerner, an Indian, and a person who uses a wheelchair.
- VIDEO INTERVIEW: Holiday Simmons interviews Mark Travis Rivera about his work at the intersection of disability and dance, his experience developing cerebral palsy at a young age, and his advocacy alongside and on behalf of people with disabilities.