My 20 year old adopted daughter, Charlie, suffered quite a traumatic incident of disability discrimination during Gay Pride weekend in Brighton last year - a weekend which is clearly supposed to be all about inclusion. I wrote about the incident on my Facebook page and the story was shared by my friends, posted on many local Facebook groups by various people, then it spiralled and went viral internationally.
At the end of my Facebook post, I said, ‘ Disability Pride anyone?’ and I received many messages and comments saying what a fabulous idea that would be. Disability discrimination is obviously an emotive subject but I was still overwhelmed when I saw how much support we received and just how strongly this issue affected and incensed people. I received many messages from people with disabilities saying they had suffered similar problems which naturally made me sad and frustrated.
I decided to do something to try to get all disabilities - visible and invisible - acknowledged and accepted. So… here it is - DISABILITY PRIDE BRIGHTON - a celebration of and for people with disabilities. There has never been a Disability Pride event in England before and I am sure you will agree that there is nowhere better than Brighton to hold the very first one.
The event will take place on Sunday, 9th July 2017 from 12 noon in New Road. There will be various stalls and stages offering music, performers, information, arts, comedy and food. We are excited to be running our event at the same time and date as Disability Pride New York City as well as a similar Disability Pride event in Switzerland and Italy.
This is going to be a community-led event as much as possible and we would like members of the disabled community - and their families, friends and carers - to get involved. Although it has been fantastic to see how much everyone has got behind this venture, we have no funds. I have spent many hours working on this project and it has almost become like a full time job, albeit for no pay. I don't mind this at all but, sadly, I don't have any money to put into it and, with the best will in the world, I have to accept that we can't put it on for free!
Here is the link for the Facebook group for Disability Pride Brighton which I invite you to join.
We also have a website: www.disabilitypridebrighton.com
Please will you enable us to put on this wonderful event which will be a big step towards eradicating disability discrimination? Every little helps! Thank you.