‘Angry, when things don’t go my own way’: what it means to be gay with learning disabilities?

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Abstract

This article presents six poems constructed by George, a gay man with learning disabilities, who took part in an arts-based project for men with learning disabilities. The poetry reflects upon George’s feelings relating to his sexual desires, his longing for a loving relationship and his frustration and anger at not having control over his life. Like other people who are gay with learning disabilities, George regularly encountered stigma because of his disability and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer status, limiting the development of meaningful relationships, and increasing the resentment and anger George felt about life. Thus, barriers remain for people with learning disabilities who are gay. With this in mind, the aim of presenting the poems in this article is to develop further understandings of what it means to be a gay person with learning disabilities using poetry in an arts-based project.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1165-1179
Number of pages15
JournalDisability and Society
Volume32
Issue number8
Early online date19 Jul 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sep 2017

Keywords

  • Learning disabilities
  • arts
  • poetry
  • sexuality

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    Dr MICHAEL RICHARDS

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