LGBTQ+ and Disabilities: Understanding the Intersection


Have you ever wondered about the intersection of LGBTQ+ identities and disabilities? It’s a topic that has gained attention recently, and for good reason. This article explores the complex relationship between these two aspects of identity, shedding light on the challenges and unique experiences faced by individuals who belong to both communities.

The Overlapping Realities

Studies conducted by the American Public Health Association and the Movement Advancement Project have shown a higher prevalence of disability within the LGBTQ+ community. In fact, it’s estimated that approximately 1 in 3 LGBTQ+ individuals have a disability. Recent national census data in the UK supports these findings, revealing that a higher percentage of disabled people in England identify as part of the LGB+ spectrum (lesbian, gay, bisexual, or other sexual orientation) compared to non-disabled individuals.

Interestingly, LGBTQ+ adults with disabilities tend to be younger than their heterosexual counterparts with disabilities. This article explores the reasons behind this disparity.

Intersectionality of Identity

Disability is just one facet of an individual’s identity. People with disabilities can belong to various cultural, ethnic, religious, or racial backgrounds. Similarly, LGBTQ+ individuals can come from diverse backgrounds, including some who may hold homophobic views. This article emphasizes the importance of recognizing that people with marginalized identities, such as being both LGBTQ+ and disabled, are more likely to face health challenges stemming from discrimination and social factors.

The Impact of Discrimination

Discrimination, whether based on sexual orientation or disability, takes a toll on an individual’s well-being. This article delves into the idea that initial discrimination may contribute to the high incidence of disabilities among LGBTQ+ individuals. The trauma associated with discrimination and rejection can be viewed as a form of disability in itself, affecting both mental and physical health.

The Role of Caregivers

For LGBTQ+ individuals with disabilities, particularly those who rely on family members or caregivers, coming out and expressing their identity can be complicated. Caregivers may have difficulty seeing them as mature individuals capable of forming relationships, which can lead to internalized homophobia or fear of coming out.

The Need for Inclusive Spaces

This article discusses the importance of creating inclusive spaces for LGBTQ+ individuals with disabilities. It highlights the challenges faced by those who may encounter inaccessible LGBTQ+ events, such as clubs with physical barriers. Recognizing the need for accessibility is essential for fostering a sense of belonging within both communities.

Celebrating Diversity

The article briefly introduces some well-known figures who belong to both the LGBTQ+ and disabled communities, emphasizing the need for diverse representation. It also discusses the importance of activism and how even small efforts can contribute to positive change.


In conclusion, this article seeks to shed light on the intricate relationship between LGBTQ+ identities and disabilities. It underscores the significance of understanding the challenges faced by individuals who belong to both communities and the importance of creating inclusive spaces and supportive environments. By acknowledging and addressing the intersection of these identities, we can work towards a more inclusive and equitable society for all.