Navigating Life as a Proud Member of the LGBTQIA+ and Disability Communities

June 20, 2023

Denver community member James Seger speaks out about his lived experience within the intersection of the LGBTQIA+ and Disability Communities.

As the Denver community celebrates Pride Month and gears up for the annual Denver Pride event, members of the LGBTQIA+ (LGBT) community and the advocates that support them reflect and honor the identities and experiences of all people.

These identities span across every color of the rainbow, but some of them intersect in ways that are unexpected to some.

Meet James Seger. He is 21 years old, an employed high school graduate, and a disabled member of the LGBT community. He is passionate about the nail industry and interested in attending Nail Technician School. James spends his spare time making beaded jewelry, training for the Colorado Special Olympics, and playing with his dog, Muffin.

As someone who is part of both the LGBT and disability communities, James’s experiences often differ from many of those who are in either community alone. The intersection of these communities can be an isolating place.

“Being bullied as both queer and disabled is a huge challenge,” James said. “It happens all the time in the general community. It is a struggle to find a safe place to express who I am.”

But thanks to the active and welcoming Denver community, there are opportunities for James to be himself, make friends, and feel valued in his community. Recently, James participated in a short documentary currently in production by BEAM+, an organization that works to break down stigmas and provide access to equitable opportunities for all people, including those who are disabled or part of the LGBT community.

“I was able to highlight who I am as a queer, disabled man,” James said. “My new connection with BEAM+ is by far my most enjoyable experience with the LGBT community.”

James is also very excited to participate in Pride Month, an event where he feels welcomed and valued as part of the Denver LGBT community. He looks forward to enjoying the dedicated space to express himself, who he is, and to make friends.

Pride Month is an annual opportunity to spread love, kindness, and acceptance, and reject the shame, discrimination, and secrecy some experience in the LGBT community. It is a celebration of differences.

As someone who understands what it means to be different in multiple ways, James commented, “It is important for neurotypical people, parents, and caregivers to be open-minded and caring for their child who is expressing who they are. It is important to see the world and its changes.”

The differences within a community help to make it a strong, diverse, and welcoming place that allows all its members to thrive. This Pride Month, RMHS invites you to hold space for those in your life who are part of the LGBT community and celebrate the unique qualities that make them who they are.