by Katherine Blakeslee
Sandy Ho is a person of color, has a disability and a member of the LGBTQ community. In light of the recent tragedy in Orlando on June 12, her collective identities felt even closer to her. As Sandy read the headlines on June 13, she asked herself, “How can anyone separate one part of themselves from the next? Where does my Asian-American identity end, and my disability, and queer identities begin?”
Having been wheelchair user her entire life, she did not have many people who understood her obstacles and challenges at a young age. Sandy’s career in the disability community began when she helped to launch Thrive at Easter Seals Massachusetts, which connects and empowers disabled young women with mentors during life transitions. She now sits on the Board of Easter Seals Massachusetts. Her current work is at the Disability Policy Consortium as the Disability & Intersectionality Coordinator. These days her schedule is a bit busy as she is preparing for Disability & Intersectionality Summit on Saturday, November 5, an event where people will come to celebrate and share their collective identities as their whole selves.
So when the events at Pulse night club occurred on June 12, Sandy shares, “The bullets pierced the bodies of those celebrating their whole selves led to a ripple effect where I am sure all other LGTBQ persons of color also winced in pain. We winced but we did not shy away.” As I chatted with her, Sandy’s message is clear and straightforward – Pride is not about splintering or recognizing one identity over the other; it is in fact the opposite. Pride is about empowering people to explore, accept, and celebrate their intersectional identities.
For questions about the summit or more information on the event, feel free to contact Sandy Ho at email@example.com.