Disability activist and writer Andrew Morrison-Gurza shares his first experience going into a gay bar.
Andrew has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair to get around. He went to visit his first gay bar when he was 19. He was very excited – what young man wouldn’t be – but when he arrived, it was both exactly what he expected and something he wasn’t ready for.
We got ready, and I had to have my friend get me all dressed. We made all these jokes about, “Oh, you’re going to look really good. You’re going to pick out somebody there tonight.” I was 19, and I was really excited, but also really scared because I had never done it before. So we made a bunch of mix CDs with a bunch of early-2000 pop songs on it, like Christina Aguilera and all those things.
And I just thought, ‘Okay. I really have to hype it up, and get really excited and really do it, ’cause this is my first thing, and I really want to “be gay”.’ So I had a pink shirt on. I had some glow sticks that we had gotten from somewhere. And we were like, “Yeah! We’re gonna go!”
The special transit bus got them there, they got inside (via a tiny freigh elevator in the back, since the front was inaccessible), and he saw the crowd.
I was like, ‘Okay. This is what it is. Alright.’ So I waited. I remember I was all excited thinking, ‘Wow. All these men like men? This is amazing!’ And I remember being really, really excited by the prospect that I might be able to sleep with them of them or all of them!
I remember going up to a couple of guys trying to dance, and having them look at my chair, and not being sure what to do but back away from me. So it was almost like parting the sea, because they would see me coming, and all move out of the way, thinking they were being polite, thinking they were moving for me to get through, when all I wanted to do was dance.
It left him with an impression about his community that has stuck with him. He’s currently a disability activist, working to raise awareness of the issues people with disabilities face in their day-today lives, things that most of us take for granted or never think about.
Originally posted at I’m From Driftwood. I’m From Driftwood envisions a world where every lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer person feels understood and accepted, and every straight person is an ally.
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