Sexuality x Disability Summit first of its kind on Queen’s campus

Speakers at conference included a porn star academic and a sex educator and activist

Kaleigh Trace (right) speaks to attendees of Queen's Sexuality x Disability Summit while an ASL translator signs along (left).
Kaleigh Trace (right) speaks to attendees of Queen's Sexuality x Disability Summit while an ASL translator signs along (left).
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It isn’t often that pornography is shown to attendees of a Queen’s conference. Equally rare is the discussion of pornography as a transformative art form.

But at the Sexuality x Disability Summit on Feb. 27, the sex lives of disabled individuals were discussed openly to combat ableist stigma and assumptions.

The brand-new conference featured keynote speakers Dr. Loree Erickson — a poly queer femmegimp porn star academic — and Kaleigh Trace, an author, activist and sex educator.

Erickson’s lengthy title designates her as a polyamorous member of the queer, disabled community. She takes on a traditionally feminine sexual role in her filmed pornography work, which she uses for research.

At the event, Erickson discussed her career, which has included the creation of queer disability or “crip” porn. As both a porn star and an academic, Erickson holds a unique position, according to event organizers.

Trace, who self-identifies as a queer, disabled and white femme, talked to attendees about sex toys and disabilities.

The event was organized by Accessibility Queen’s co-chairs, Emily Osborne and Ashley Kim. They said they noticed that although there were many discussions of sexuality and disability on campus, the subjects rarely cross paths.

“There typically is an assumption of asexuality or desexualization [for persons with disabilities],” the two co-chairs wrote in an email to The Journal.

“While we consider asexuality to be a very real sexual identity, we wanted to disrupt the widespread notion that it is the only existent sexuality of disabled individuals.”

Simply put, they said disabled people are and can be sexy — and they have sex too.

Osborne and Kim say they took extra steps to make the event accessible to all students, including making American Sign Language interpreters available at the event.

The pair weren’t sure if the interpreters would be required, but that didn’t matter — the intention was to normalize the presence of interpreters instead of making them a special accommodation, they said.

The presence of interpreters led to some memorable moments during the lectures.

“Attendees, speakers, and workshop facilitators burst into laughter ... as [the interpreters] enthusiastically signed the term “selfies” with a very dramatic depiction of a duck-faced selfie,” they wrote.

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