At last we are getting taken seriously and we are being supported by professors, lawyers, barristers, teachers, and other professionals who know that disabled people need support with their sexual lives and relationships.
Currently, we are getting help for an elderly member who met his girlfriend quite recently and moved into her care home but, because of his speech impairment, staff think he is not responsible enough to share a bed with her. This is actually illegal !
It is illegal not to support disabled people to enjoy the same pleasures as others enjoy in the privacy of the their own homes(Equality Act 2010, Human Rights Act 1998).
It seems we are offering just what disabled people want – a safe and friendly environment where they can slowly get to know each other, feel supported and find the partner who suits them. We cannot understand why clubs like ours don’t spring up all over the globe. Obviously, the UK is small compared with the US and Australia but small things an grow, as we have found.
And in just over a year’s time, Outsiders will be 40 years old!
This new website/e-book is for disabled people who want a good sex education – as they tell us the current education is worse than useless. Our writers are people with disabilities who are sexually experienced and those who provide them with sexual services.
We have been amazed by the quality of chapters coming in – information which cannot be found elsewhere. Only Outsiders could produce this – as nobody would fund it (we have learned to our cost) and al our volunteers work for free. We expect the work to take about a year. If anyone wants to contribute, please get in touch.
The Sex and Disability Alliance has an exciting programem for our Autumn meeting on 19th October.
The work of Change People will be told by its Director Philipa Bragman and a speaker with a learning disability. As learning impaired people struggle to express their needs for love and sex in our society, this talk will be very welcome to our group.
In the afternoon, the role of social workers in supporting disabled people with their sexual lives, and how this has become problematic, will be discussed with Sally Lee and Dr Lee-Ann Fenge.
At the end of the afternoon, SHADA International will be launched.
‘Thanks to Outsiders I am out and proud and loving it. Because of the confidence this group gave me, I was able to go to Pride London this summer.’
‘Belonging to the women’s group, I realised I really am asexual and now I am living it.’
‘Outsiders made be see that it’s OK to approach other women I fancy’
We welcome gay, bi and asexual members who may perhaps, because of their disabilities, have felt free to come out before.
Here are some of the things they are telling us:
‘Outsiders has connected me with other people who are as ill as I am, which is a great comfort, as they understand and show concern for me.’ Emma
‘Thanks to Outsiders I have started seeing someone for the first time in my life! It’s a huge learning curve but it’s great to have the peer support from other wonderful, intelligent and sensitive women.’
‘Having allowed me connect with people I wouldn’t have otherwise, I have new friends, new relationships and a much richer life because of Outsiders.’
‘Within just a few short months in Outsiders I was able to meet and begin a relationship with a really lovely person.’
‘Having grown up with a disability, I have always felt that society generally does not view people with disabilities as viable romantic partners.’
‘Outsiders provides an invaluable platform on which those of us who are excluded by society’s attitudes are able to get together with each other. This means that we don’t have to suffer the indignity of continuously being rejected by society in our search to find love.’ Sam
‘Outsiders has helped me come out of my inner shell and be more sociable.’ Jade
‘Outsiders has introduced me to members with different disabilities who I have enjoyed speaking to and getting to know.’ (man with Diabetes)
‘Outsiders has showed me that lots of others are in the same boat.’ Desi
‘Outsiders… the diverse yet most inclusive club were we are liked and learn to like’. Arun
The Outsiders now has many successful and enjoyable lunches, a vibrant Clubhouse with amazing group chats offering peer support, and we have a new buddy system to help newcomers settle in, enjoy and make the most of the club. Love affairs are blossoming.
Many members are offering to help us run the show and create more lunches, group chats and some are becoming buddies to support newcomers who are struggling to find their feet.
We just don’t understand why more disabled people in the UK don’t join us, and why Outsiders Clubs have not bossomed all over the world.
Young people are being invited to contribute their thoughts to a documentary exploring the effects porn is having on the first generation with free access to the internet (in essence 16 to 30 year olds). They want to find out how it’s affecting how we feel about ourselves, our relationships, and how we have sex – in positive and negative ways. It’s a video documentary for BBC iPlayer, to be filmed in early July. They wish to include disabled people.
Call 0203 614 1120 or email Hannah on Hannah.Moore01@BBC.co.uk
Jo King, the wonderful striptease and sexual confidence teacher is now offering disabled women a new course on flirting. She has created a closed group on Facebook, so that interested women can tell her their needs and learn when the next class is. Classes are in central London and inexpensive.
This project is to allow those who support disabled people with their sexual lives to see what others are doing around the world, and join together for mutual support. Many health and social care professionals working to help their disabled clients in this way feel quite isolated and unsupported – so this will provide them with opportunities to find other people to start local groups and enjoy group discussions online.
Some amazing pioneers are already featured on the website and we will be collecting many more in the next 6 months, launching the website in London in October.