“I’d like to see more allyship among LGBTQ+ groups, different groups learning from each other, communicating with each other, asking questions and working together towards a more resilient LGBTQ+ community”
Co-founder and Community Engagement Director of Parapride, a non-profit organisation that focuses on the intersection between disability and LGBTQ+.
I’m a disabled gay man living in London. I’m originally from Italy and my ethnic background is from Eritrea. I am a proud person of colour. My disability is very physical – I’m a double leg amputee and I walk on prosthetic legs. I’ve been an amputee since 2016 after having meningitis and septicaemia. This life-changing event came with many challenges but it also
made me shift focus on the more important things in life, such as creating positive social impact through my lived experiences.
One of my earliest memories of seeing a disabled person in the media who was proud and empowered by their difference was watching Alexander McQueen’s fashion show from 1999 which featured double amputee athlete Aimee Mullins modelling on the runway wearing prosthetic legs which had been created by the designer himself. As a younger person who never thought of one day becoming disabled, I felt this made a very positive impact and
changed my perception of disability. Since then, when coming across differently abled people I could see their strength and their beauty. When I eventually became disabled I knew it was going to be very challenging, but memories like this made me determined to feel empowered by my difference.
Throughout my journey as a disabled person I realised there was a very evident need to address the lack of inclusion for disabled people within the LGBTQ+ community, a need for more accessible LGBTQ spaces, and a need to promote sex positivity around different bodies and being able to celebrate that. That is what motivated me to co-found Parapride.
Parapride is an empowerment charity advocating for the visibility, education and awareness of LGBTQ people – living with disabilities, impairments, alternative needs and different health conditions.