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New Edinburgh Group for Disabled LGBTQ People

Queer Disabled Spoonies is a new inclusive group for queer people, disabled people, their friends, family, carers, and allies to get together, support one another, create, craft, play board games, and organise intersectionally and in solidarity with other marginalised people.

You don’t have to be LGBTQIA+, disabled, or identify as queer to attend, but this space will be about centring the needs, experiences, and voices of people who identify themselves as queer and/or disabled/chronically ill.

The group plans to meet every first and third Thursday of the month between 17:30 and 20:30 at Shrub Zero Waste Hub in Edinburgh (22 Bread St, EH3 9AF).

The venue is accessed either by a staff-operated ramp or a single step. Once inside, the venue is on one level with gender neutral accessible toilet facilities.

Two volunteers will be on hand in the café area to serve hot and cold drinks, as well as the café’s usual food options. There will also be vegan and gluten free snack food available made by the group organisers.

Donations made for these, as well as to help cover the running costs and venue hire will be greatly appreciated if you are in a position to do so.

It will be set up such that people can sit and chat/organise at one table, craft or make things together at another, play board games at a third, or sit quietly at the chill out tables.

If you have dietary requirements or access needs not catered for already, please contact the group organisers/admins who will work with you to make this space as safe and accessible as possible for you (red heart emoji)

A note from the organisers – Please note that while we understand that people can learn, grow and change, we cannot tolerate behaviour that makes the space unsafe for others. We aim to make this space safer for all queer and disabled people, and for our attendees to listen with respect to each other’s lived experiences and meet each other where we are all at with solidarity and kindness. We may have come from different experiences and oppressions but we can do great things to help each other if we meet with kindness.

Happy Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week

February 20-26 is Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week. Most of us will know an aromantic person, even if we don’t identify with the label ourselves, so it’s a great opportunity to learn more about what that means so that we can be better allies to aromantic people.

Aromanticism is a romantic orientation, which is different to a sexual orientation. Aromantic people may be gay or lesbian, bi or asexual, but for the most this sexual orientation is separate from ideas of romance.

Romantic norms vary a lot over time and between cultures, and even those who experience romantic attraction might not want to buy into the full Hollywood/Valentines Day thing, but being aromantic is more than that.

People who are aromantic experience little or no romantic attraction and don’t have any desire to feel that way. Like every orientation, aromanticism is on a spectrum; demiromantic and greyromantic people, who only experience romantic attraction rarely or under some circumstances, are also included under the aromantic umbrella.

People who are aromantic may feel that:

  • They don’t experience feelings of romantic attraction
  • They don’t need a romantic relationship to feel complete or fulfilled
  • They don’t experience “crushes” or being “in love” with someone else
  • They have a hard time relating to romantic stories

This doesn’t mean that aromantic people don’t want partners or are incapable of intimate relationships. They may develop relationships based on shared interests, mutual respect, or forming a family. However, such relationships may be based on a different sense of love to a romantic one, such as platonic love, or the love you feel for family members.

It is important to remember that aromantic is not a one-size-fits-all label. Aromantic people vary a lot, and the best way to learn more is to believe people about their romantic orientation and listen respectfully to their lived experience. Hopefully the information here is a small step toward an increased understanding of aromanticism.

For more information on Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week and what it means to be aromantic visit arospecweek.org

And if you think you may be aromantic there’s some useful information here

It is Pride month at the Shrub Co-op!

It’s Pride month at the Shrub Co-op!

Pride flags, badges and leaflets

Mini Pride table at Shrub co-op

Shrub is an Edinburgh cooperative working for a world without waste, and includes a charity shop and food sharing hub. When they came to us for intersectional inclusion training they were already good at LGBT inclusion but now they’re even better…

For the month of June the window display at their shop on Bread Street Edinburgh features a range of Pride flags borrowed from us and outside there’s a rainbow rail of clothes for sale.

There is a selection of badges and leaflets available in store and an opportunity to donate to the Equality Network.

Mannequins wearing Pride flags in a shop window

Pride window display at Shrub Co-op

Unlike some businesses who just put up rainbows for Pride Month, Shrub are very inclusive all year round, they have gender neutral toilets, with gender inclusive and body positive messages in the loo and changing room. They are the only charity shop in Edinburgh as far as we know who don’t sort their clothes by gender. In the past Shrub has used the shop for meetings, including queer friendly events, and hopefully they’ll be able to do that again when Covid restrictions ease.

You can find out more about Shrub or become a member at https://www.shrubcoop.org/

If you would like training for your organisation from our intersectional team contact us at Mel@equality-network.org

A rail of colourful clothes sorted in rainbow order outside Shrub co-op

The rainbow rail welcome people from the street outside the shop