Banner for ST

location, location: Queer/ying Disability & Access

Kickass local writers, performers, and mediamakers reflecting on pleasure, access, and place in all of its manifestations. At the intersection of disability and queer, visible and invisible, episodic and chronic: check out these artists and thinkers as they rock nuance and traverse binaries, from a queer lens. Emceed by writer and humourist Taylor Katzel. FEATURING:

  • Hana Shafi (aka Frizzkidart) – Instagram Artist and Poet
  • Rasiqra Revulva – Musician and Poet
  • Marusya Bociurkiw – Writer and Filmmaker
  • Sanchari Sur – Writer and Academic
  • Patricia Wilson – Poet and Musician
  • “Long Lost Lover”, a film by Sandra Alland & Bea Webster
  • Bisexual deaf poet, Bea Webster, performs a poem in British Sign Language about her return to Thailand. Captioned.

Listening is Love at Location Location: Queer/ying Disability and Access

Posted on February 26, 2020 by Maria Barr

On Tuesday night a cozy crowd buzzing with energy huddled to watch and learn from Location Location: Queer/ying Disability and Access, an event put on by Ryerson’s Studio for Media Activism and Critical Thought. Set in the world’s oldest queer theatre, the focus was on queer artists with disabilities, who told their stories through their own mediums: standup comedy, poetry, essay writing, short film, and burlesque, to name a few. The event was hosted by comedian Taylor Katzel, who kept the audience laughing throughout by his hilarious stories detailing some intersections between his queer identity and disability. Musician and poet Rasiqra Revulva shared some powerful poetry while visuals danced on screen behind her, and writer Sanchari Sur shared a personal essay about her childhood. The Studio’s own Marusya Bociurkiw gave a series of musings on elevators and their implications, and poet Patricia Wilson shared a personal essay and some excerpts from her book. Finally, Hana Shafi (aka Frizzkidart) closed the night with an electrifying burlesque performance. 

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre seemed to be conscious of the accessibility needed to put on such an event (and hopefully, to put on any event). A lift was available in the front lobby to lead to the bathrooms downstairs, all video had auditory captioning and visual, and sign language interpreters translated everything on stage. These alterations for accessibility followed the guidelines for accessible art spaces as detailed in the Accessibility Toolkit. Overall, the toolkit states that accessibility is not possible without the respect needed to accurately communicate with people with disabilities. Disabled people must be listened to and accommodated…

The night centred on a theme of intersecting identities. Many remarked on the challenges – and pleasures! – of this intersection. Marusya remarked on the duality of the elevator – both as a private/public place where queer couples can have a moment alone, and as a figure of movement for people with disabilities. [Visually impaired] standup comedian and host Taylor told a funny anecdote about needing assistance from an elderly woman to buy condoms before a Grindr hookup. Patricia commented on the exhaustion she sometimes feels just to move in this world, saying that “sometimes all we want is to be invisible”. 

… Sarah Alland writes that “access is love” in her essay ‘My Arrival at Crip”. She writes about caring for a partner who had become disabled after an accident, and the love that shone through her actions for him. If access is love, so is listening. Accessibility is only capable through empathy, and recognizing that making spaces available is not just accommodation, but an action for everyone, since disabled people are all around us, and make up large quantities of audiences. Through listening attentively to the voices of those with unique stories, we understand the importance of access. 

#SpeakerSeries2020pleasures of resistance
This event is part of The Studio for Media Activism &Critical Thought’s 6th annual speakers’ series, pleasures of resistance. The Studio, based at Ryerson University, blurs the boundaries between activism, scholarship and artistic practice.

Scroll to Top