Library programming can be a real drag… if you want it to be! [slides]

ALIA Library

Nicholson, James

ALIA National 2022 Conference, 16 May - 19 May 2022 Canberra: Diversity
Abstract: Our library service strives to be an inclusive space. We have considered our programs, spaces and collections in relation to the LGBTQIA+ communities and the same for those people living with a disability, and continue to improve our offerings, but we had never considered how these intersect. Whilst much might be known about the social, health and well-being needs of people with disability more generally, little is known about the social interactions and social opportunities available for people who identify LGBTIQ+ and with a disability within the Moreton Bay Region. What are the social interactions and opportunities needed for this demographic and how can we support them? This presentation outlines our collaborative approach, alongside the University of the Sunshine Coast, to begin to explore this space. We posed the question: “Can dress be the conduit for greater inclusivity in regional Australian communities where people identify as both queer and crip ?”. The initial scope aimed to identify if there is a Queer Crip community in the Moreton Bay Region, and if so, what their expressed social and community needs are. It was decided that a social event that includes opportunity for consultation with the LGTBQI+Q with disability in the Moreton Bay Region be undertaken. On May 17th, 2021, known as IDAHOBIT , a public event held in the North Lakes Public Library called Fab Abled brought together members of these communities who also identify as living with a disability. The event format was a panel discussion on how dress is used in the construction of identities. The panel consisted of Ms. Lisa Cox, an advocate for better representation of people with a disability in fashion media, Chinta Woo Allcock, a drag queen who is a person of colour and expert in cultural identity through language as well as local drag queen hostess, Tilly Screams who has Marfan Syndrome . Tilly Screams performed a song and dance in persona. The event was very well received and in this presentation we present our approach to planning, the learnings, and offer support and advice to other libraries services that want to support LGBTQIA+ and Queer Crip communities with a similar event of their own.

Deakin, ACT: Australian Library and Information Association