Many disabled people in India live with their parents and any expression of sexuality is suppressed as a rule within the confines of their homes. Sexual desires of persons with disabilities are seldom a priority issue for families or civil society. More is said through silence than words. Be grateful that you are alive. Isn’t that enough?
Companions take many forms. Using the word very loosely here, a companion is anyone the self is connected to, anywhere, at any point in time, from a family member, to a stranger on a train.
We are plugged in to all kinds of data from a variety of sources, through technology, and even a window view of this space is like stepping into a global COVID control data centre. We are standing up to be counted, to be seen, to do, to contribute, to advocate, to remind, to rectify and restore, to strengthen a growing network of support and response to crisis on a scale we have neither been able to process or measure.
The linkages between access, health, violence, the law, workplaces, gender and sexuality are really high and that’s why we all today—whether we are working on street accessibility, education, disability and employment—need to bring and build our collective understanding around gender and sexuality, keeping it at the core of our work with people, youth, and women with disabilities.