|LGBT Disabled Heroes: Frida Kahlo, Lisa Egan and Lord Byron (also feat. Betty the Cat)|
"Is there really anything brave and wonderful about wanting to get drunk and stick your tongue down someone else's throat?"It was with this line, in an article called Locked Out Lesbian about the physical inaccessibility of gay night clubs, that Lisa Egan joined the ranks of my personal heroes. She later told me that it was through this piece on BBC Ouch! that her father first learnt that she was gay.
|A pretty young wheelchair-user with |
a purple hoody and a drink, probably Absinthe.
In recent years, Lisa has become one of the hardest working disability activists fighting the punishing benefit reforms which are threatening the lives and quality of life of disabled people. She founded and runs Where's the Benefit?, probably the largest active disability group blog, as well as the Where's the Benefit Podcast?. She has made radio and TV appearances, as well as writing for the Guardian, the Huffington Post and the Independent about disability, welfare reform and the Paralympics (having been a Paralympic hopeful herself).
Last December, Lisa wrote very bravely about the harsh reality of her own situation and the how the abolition of Disability Living Allowance may leave her without a life worth living, leading to a surge in signatures to Pat's Petition against benefit cuts (which you can still sign, if you haven't already).
|Lisa (bottom left) and fellow campaigners at an anti-cuts |
march last year.
Lisa has major problems with modesty, once stating, "Being fat, ugly and fairly dull makes me unattractive. Being disabled is one of the few things about me that I'm actually confident in."
This is the only reason why she's not one of the most prominent faces of disability campaigning, instead working and organising others behind the scenes.
As you can see, Lisa really ought to be on The Independent on Sunday's Pink List, a list of the 101 most influential lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Britain, nominated by members of the public. As well as giving Lisa the recognition she deserves, it would be great to have a disability activist (or indeed any disabled person) on that list. And quite seriously, can you think of 101 more influential queer people? I certainly can't.
So if you would, please pop over to the nominations page before Sunday and write a few sentences about why Lisa should be on that list. Thank you.