Working Together to Leave No One Behind: the intersected experiences of young LGBTIQ persons with disabilities


The institutional barriers to accessing spaces of power are similarly experienced by both LGBTIQ people and persons with  disabilities, including because of ableist assumptions, ageism and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, intersecting in various ways and across all lived experiences.  


For example, different LGBTIQ organizations highlight the intersectionalities between intersex persons’ lived experience and the experiences of persons with disabilities, as this intersection of experience ranges from trauma resulting from over-medicalisation and ableism, to discrimination due to the impact of long-term medical conditions. The challenges faced by both movements also intersect on the stigmatization of their sexualities, as well as on medicalization and ableism, creating barriers to their meaningful participation in decision-making spaces and processes.


The meaningful engagement of the most marginalized youth, including young LGBTIQ persons and young persons with disabilities is one of the priorities of the United Nations’ Youth Strategy and is stressed on the UN Disability Inclusion Strategy. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) also broadly stress the importance of achieving a disability-inclusive development and include young people as equal partners in promoting the change envisioned by the Agenda. However, despite the acknowledgment of the need for participation, young LGBTIQ persons with disabilities remain one of the most marginalized communities with little representation at national, regional and international levels.


Intersectional barriers experienced by youth limit their potential for success in leadership and participation in high-power spaces. These barriers need to be recognized and addressed so that young people can continue to emerge as leaders and agents of change, and no longer be kept as passive recipients of programmes and policies.


This session of the Queer Youth Dialogues will promote a dialogue in two parts. First, speakers will be invited to discuss the intersections between LGBTIQ and disability rights, highlighting the common challenges and the importance of creating and maintaining bridges between these movements. Following that, a different set of speakers will reflect on the issue of  representation and meaningful participation of young LGBTIQ persons living with disabilities in relevant decision making spaces, from international human rights forums to national level decision making spaces. Speakers will also be invited to reflect on their diverse experiences of “Coming Out”  across the intersections of their identity, for example as a queer persons, as persons with disabilities, and as intersectionality complex activists. 

Session objectives: 

By joining the session:


  • Participants will gain insight into the intersectional world of youth LGBITQ and disability rights activism.

  • Participants will have increased knowledge about how the meaningful participation of young LGBTIQ people with disabilities can be fostered inside their movements.

  • Connections are made between activists from different movements

  • LGBTIQ youth are empowered and inspired to engage and influence the conversations that impact their lives.

Register to attend in 2 steps:
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