The #DisabledPeopleAreHot Movement is Changing the Way People See Disabilities and Sex | 22 Words

Disabled people are sexy. That's the message Andrew Gurza is spreading. And, you know, a few thousand others on twitter. The founder of the #DisabledPeopleAreHot hashtag -- because every hashtag has a founder now -- says he wants "disabled people to see themselves as sexual and sensual."

People are starting to get the message. The hashtag has already been shared over three million times on Twitter and is beginning to spread to Instagram. And during the month that celebrates International Wheelchair Day (March 1st), what better a time to spread awareness that disabled people are absolutely sexy. Many enjoy healthy and active sex lives with long term partners, steady relationships, and hey, even a one night stand or two.

A quick warning to those of you reading at work: this article is about to get sexy. We're not going to show any bits and pieces, but best to make sure your manager isn't looking over your shoulder.

Meet Andrew Gurza.

The Disability Awareness Consultant and self-proclaimed "Queer Cripple" with cerebral palsy that's trying to change the conversation about disability. And it's working.

Here's how #DisabledPeopleAreHot started.

In an interview with Vice, Andrew lays it out. "A couple weeks ago I was bored and on Twitter. I typed in the sentence Disabled People are Hot in the search bar just to see what would happen. Nothing came up.

"So I posted a photo naked except for a hat covering my genitals."

"... afterward I put out a request for pictures of people feeling sexy, feeling good, and feeling happy being disabled. I asked them to use the hashtag. By the morning my mentions had exploded. They were full of people from all over the world posting photos with their mobility devices and/or with their invisible disabilities. Each photo was tagged #DisabledPeopleAreHot."

It’s important for two reasons:

"One. For disabled people to see themselves as sexual and sensual. To be given permission to do that is hugely important. We’re often denied the right to be sexual whenever we want to be. This hashtag is saying: Hey, you want to feel slutty today? You want to feel good about your body? Here is a place to do that!"

"We've been sexy the whole time."

via: Lady Pim/Twitter

"Two: it’s showing non-disabled people that we are here. We exist and we’ve been sexy the whole time. Here is picture proof of it. It’s showing them that it’s OK to sexualize disabled people as long as disabled people have agency over that sexualization. And that’s what the hashtag does. It allows people to put themselves out there in a sexy way. On their terms."

And the hashtag is killing it.

The hashtag has been seen by over 3 million users since its inception this week.

Andrew thinks that when people are uncomfortable, change can happen the fastest. He wants people to challenge their own views.

"If we keep talking about sexuality and disability in ways that are comfortable for non-disabled audiences we’re not going to get anywhere. What the hashtag does — what all my work does — is pushes people to sit in their discomfort for a minute."

"I didn’t have a role model like that growing up."

"My whole job as a disability consultant started out of the need to share. I was lonely, I didn’t have community and I had stories to tell. I wanted to talk about all the times I had been trying to access my sexuality and been told ‘no.’ I wanted to talk about all the times I had been told ‘no’ because of who I am. I want to be visible and disabled for people who need to see themselves. I want to show we can thrive." "I didn’t have a role model like that growing up. I don’t have a role model like that now. I am that role model for myself and for a number of other people. I may be in a wheelchair—and sure I can’t do some things—but I sure as heck can suck dick. I can be sexy, create viral campaigns, and be honest about who I am."

So now that we've shared the story of the hashtag, we'd like to share some of our favorite tweets from the movement. But first, it's important to remember this:

And you know, that's kind of the whole point of the movement. Disabilities come in all shapes and sizes. I'm sure we all know someone with a disability in some form or another, and those people are all still sexy af.


Natasha is a professional actor with Aspergers and is super hot.


Meghan is a historian that has to use a cane, and is also super hot!


Colin has MS, but that doesn't stop him from being absolutely hot af.


Kels has an autoimmune disease and is killin it with the hotness.


Peter has severe arthritis, a million tattoos, and is a real hottie.


Nichole had a number of heart complications and is super hot.


Alex has to use this wheelchair that shows off how hot she is.


Herenui is a singer/songwriter who is also in a wheelchair and she's... wait for it... totally hot.


Stephen is the hottest writer that also has a book of poetry.


Lexi has Lupus and is killing it with the hotness.


This person goes by the name "Knife" on twitter and wants to remind you that disabled people are vain and hot.


Brad is a self-described gay librarian with a disability, and might we just add, "heyyy Brad", lookin hot.


The person with MS in this photo is anonymous but anonymity doesn't stop you from being hot!


This is Blue. He is a disabled pole dancer, which might just be the hottest thing in this whole article.


David keeping it real as an Australian writer and a bonafide hottie.


This sculptor from California is all hot in his sepia tones.


Sabrina is a disability rights activist with a walking aid, and also just happens to be super hot.


This hottie from Des Moines is missing one of his feet, but that doesn't stop him from being super hot under all that Snapchat filter.


Um, hi. What can I say about him other than "he's a hottie". I feel like I'm repeating myself.


One finally hottie as Rae describes herself as a "disabled force of nature." Hell yes.