We enjoyed a fabulous afternoon in the Backyard Comedy Club in Bethnal Green in June. We started with the Tactile Fashion Show which was run by costumier D. and both physically disabled and other people dressed up in outfits of various textures and walked around inviting others to feel the clothing. This is to include blind members in the experience. It was really exciting and spectacular.
After that, Mouse, dressed as a Mermaid gave everyone coloured pens, sparkly stick-ons, wool and white boards to draw her and make a lovely image.
Winning Image by Maria
The images were all put up at the back of the stage and Tuppy Owens, founder of Outsiders, chose the winners. It was won by a lovely girl called Maria.
Tuppy announced the Ted O’Dwyer Award for Rising Above It to Anna Higgs who is living a really positive life after having a serious stroke at the age of 24.
Lastly, Jo King gave us a lesson in gaining sexual confidence so that you can walk (or wheel)m tall when approaching a potential partner and Anna Higgs spoke of how she has done this herself by learning to be a burlesque dancer. This lead to discussions and we decided to create a series of photos of disabled people saying, ‘Please ask if I need any support instead of forcing support on us or ignoring us’, put in various wording.
Some people who become disabled after forming a relationship find their partners accept them and the relationship thrives, but others don’t. Other disabled people may find non-disabled partners and it works fine, others don’t.
If you are disabled and reject other disabled people as partners, you may not be comfortable in your own body, and not accepting yourself.
Outsiders members gain a great deal from the club, and many say it has changed their live for the better.
But boo to Scotland which is making an exception of private and religious schools.
We wonder what the quality of education will be – and if disability will be included. Why are politicians so very much behind the times?
The Spinal Injuries Association magazine, Forward, April 2017 edition published a full page article about the Outsiders called ‘Join the Club’. Let’s hope this will be the first in a series of serious articles about the great work we do.
This is always a hugely enjoyable afternoon with the Tactile Fashion Show, Snail Racing and a discussion. It will start at 1pm and continue till 5pm at the Backyard Comedy Club in Bethnal Green, London.
The event allows people who are curious about Outsiders to come along and see for yourself what an amazing collection of members we have.
See you there!
Back in the 90s Dr Tuppy Owens wrote to 32 disability charities to see if they would work with us. We do so much, voluntarily and unsupported, where as they have funds, salaries and could be supportive. None of them agreed to work with us.
This year we tried again and contacted Enhance the UK, Leonard Cheshire Disability and The British Society of Sexual Medicine to invite them to speak at the March meeting of the Sexual Health and Disability Alliance, SHADA. None of them came, but Leonard Cheshire say they will come next time.
I guess the other charities steer clear of us because we focus on disabled people enjoying their intimate lives and do massive things to support them to do so. Oh well, we have worked alone since 1979 so we can carry on, unfunded and on a shoe string!
The last meeting of the Sexual Health and Disability Alliance SHADA, listened to people who live with hearing loss and no hearing. There are those born deaf who use signing, those who lose their hearing who use lip reading , and those who use hearing aids who might also use lip reading.
We were sad that Action on Hearing Loss ignored our invitations to come and speak, and we wonder what they do, as nobody mentioned they had been supported by them. Members attending the meeting realised how different hearing loss is to other impairments. Signers often stick with their own community and are not so isolated and there are some groups for other isolated people but not enough support. GPs and hospital staff are ignorant and many people treat them badly. Basically, they have a rough ride.
Our Club and the Sexual Health and Disability Alliance are reaching out to gain more members as both are free and we do great work. Both provide for isolated people : many single disabled people feel isolated and health and social care professionals who support their disabled clients to enjoy their sexual lives feel very much alone in their work. Both groups appreciate what we do.
Outsiders founder, Dr Tuppy Owens was featured in the Scottish Sunday Times 12.03.17 in an article ” Ban on buying of sex a ‘breach of rights’ “. Cchallenging the Scottish parliament, she told them that :-
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).
This means that those disabled people who rely on sex workers must continue to have that right. She was backed up by Professor Claire de Than, Human Rights and Criminal Lawyer.
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). Thus you can demand that you receive a care package which included supporting you to have a sex life or else your carers could be prosecuted.