Des­tig­ma­tiz­ing dis­abil­ity

The Georgia Straight - - Movies - By

TCraig Takeuchi

he sex­u­al­ity of peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties is un­der­rep­re­sented—or not rep­re­sented at all—in con­tem­po­rary cul­ture, which can lead to peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties ei­ther feel­ing in­vis­i­ble or be­ing treated like an anom­aly when it comes to their sex­ual lives.

How­ever, a Toronto ad­vo­cate has been rais­ing aware­ness about sex and dis­abled peo­ple, and a Cana­dian film about him and his work is now avail­able for on­line view­ing.

On Novem­ber 19, the Na­tional Film Board of Canada (NFB) re­leased Jari Os­borne’s short doc­u­men­tary “Pic­ture This” for free on­line stream­ing. (Os­borne’s pre­vi­ous NFB doc­u­men­taries in­clude Un­wanted Sol­diers and Sleep­ing Tigers: The Asahi Base­ball Story.)

The 33-minute film pro­files Toronto dis­abil­ity-aware­ness con­sul­tant and pod­caster An­drew Gurza—who iden­ti­fies him­self as a “queer crip­ple”— as he pre­pares for the sec­ond edi­tion of a sex-pos­i­tive play party, which has been la­belled a “hand­i­capped orgy” by the me­dia and gar­nered in­ter­na­tional cov­er­age.

Gurza held a dis­cus­sion in Van­cou­ver in 2016 in con­junc­tion with Van­cou­ver queer or­ga­ni­za­tion Health Ini­tia­tive for Men that was filmed for and is fea­tured in the doc­u­men­tary.

Among the top­ics Gurza dis­cusses in the doc­u­men­tary is the awk­ward­ness and dis­com­fort he has wit­nessed po­ten­tial sex part­ners be­ing un­able to hide (not to men­tion his own heart­break) once they find out he is dis­abled. In ad­di­tion, he talks about the chal­lenges of be­ing both gay and dis­abled.

“Pic­ture This” can be viewed at www. nfb.ca/film/pic­ture_this/, and is also avail­able on itunes and Ama­zon.

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