Link June 2018 Volume 27 Issue 3 - Page 25

people D aniel – who recently won “In my experience, gay male spaces “It was an incredibly challenging the Flash Forward Busan can often be quite exclusionary for time,” he said. "Puberty is a difficult Bank Award at the Busan anyone who isn’t able bodied, white time for anyone, but I acquired my International Film Festival in South or cisgender (identity matches birth disability at the start of it, which Korea for his feature film, Pulse, which sex), and unfortunately they are also compounded the challenges. he wrote, produced, edited and the spaces where I’ve personally was the lead actor in – said that so received the most amount of I was young was that being gay and often in the diversity conversation, discrimination for having a disability. having a disability made you lesser disability is invisible. “It’s important we amplify the “The Mardi Gras, however, feels “The messaging I received when than your straight and abled peers, like such a joyous, inclusive event and so I wished I could change those stories of those who are frequently where we proudly celebrate the rich things about myself. made invisible, or spoken for by diversity within our community, and I those who think they know better, as hope in doing so, encourages more parts of my identity I am most is so often the case for people with inclusivity and accessibility for all proud of, and the reason why I disability,” he said. LGBTQIA spaces.” feel it is important for me to be so The ‘Evolution to Inclusion’ float Daniel – named one of Music “Now, however, they are the public about my identities and my brought together four disability Magazine’s Ten Top Talents to Watch experiences is because I want to organisations – Cerebral Palsy in 2018 – went into his teenage be part of changing the message Alliance (CPA), the National Disability years with an acquired disability and – so that our future generations of Insurance Agency (NDIA), Northcott realising he was gay at the same time. children with disability and LGBTQIA and People with Disability Australia (PWDA). These organisations share the common goal of raising awareness of the right to inclusion and sexual expression for people with disability, while celebrating the ongoing involvement of people with “It’s important we amplify the stories of those who are frequently made invisible, or spoken for by those who think they know better, as is so often the case for people with disability.” disability in the Mardi Gras. Daniel, 29, describes leading the ‘Evolution to Inclusion’ float as “absolutely incredible”. “To be able to march proudly with my LGBTQIA family with disability means the world to me,” said Daniel, who also marched in Mardi Gras from 2014 to 2016. “Being part of two marginalised minority groups, I often felt my disability identity and my gay identity were quite separate, as those two communities had felt quite separate from each other, and so the first time I marched was an incredibly liberating, healing experience. linkonline.com.au This year's 40th annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. people 25