Q: Am I queer/trans/disabled enough to join?
A: We are an inclusive movement – if you’re asking, we’re willing to bet the answer is yes. There’s no litmus test. Asexual, bisexual, gay, genderqueer, pansexual, or transgender; chronically ill, sick, disabled, neurodivergent, mad, or have (or could have) a psych diagnosis, we want you here, and that list is far from exclusive.
Q: Why do you need an organization?
A: Access to resources and opportunities is a social justice issue. When a queer or trans disabled person can’t access medical care because of homophobia and transphobia or can’t access queer events and community resources because those spaces don’t accommodate their disability, we have a serious problem.
From a simple lack of wheelchair ramps to the complexities of navigating housing and medical care, we deal with unnecessary limits and barriers. A peer-led organization run by us and for us can work to take down those barriers. On top of that, creating a space that embraces our identities and sees accommodation as needs, not as special requests for out-of-the-ordinary treatment, can be a transformative experience.
Q: Why queer or trans and disabled or ill?
A: Our community has to deal with unique problems, and we need an organization that does work at that intersection of identities. A group for disabled or sick people where we have to worry about homophobia or transphobia or a group for queer and trans people that doesn’t address disability and illness can’t do that.
Our stories of exclusion and discrimination are both shocking and shockingly common. It’s not a matter of isolated incidents. It’s a matter of civil rights.
Q: Can you tell me what accessible locations I can use within this price range with these features for an event next month?
A: No. We’re looking at survival level issues here – we have to focus our energy on our own community rather than on providing services outside our community, even if we really really support your decision to take action for accessibility.
Q: Aren’t words like “queer” and “cripple” offensive?
A: Kind of. Sometimes. I might self-identify as a cripple in the long tradition of reclaiming slurs and insults, but that doesn’t mean you should use the term to describe other people or that all disabled or chronically ill folks are cool with the term. It’s all about context.
Got a question about OoOP? Drop us a line at OutOfOrderPhiladelphia (at) gmail.com