Community Forum | Fighting Back: Disability and the LGBTQ Community    

Wednesday, January 24  
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
The GLBT History Museum
4127 18th St., San Francisco 

Admission: Free. $5.00 donation welcome.

The latest in the GLBT Historical Society’s monthly “Fighting Back” series exploring contemporary queer issues in a historical context, “Disability and the LGBTQ Community” will offer a multigenerational conversation about relations and intersections between the LGBTQ and disability communities. A panel of historians, veteran organizers and younger activists will discuss the history of challenges and successes related to disability awareness, discrimination and activism within the LGBTQ community and how this history can help inform today’s resistance movements:


Laura Bock is a 72-year-old lesbian, a red-diaper baby, Jewish, and a native San Franciscan who has sight and hearing disabilities. A founding member of Fat Lip Readers Theater, she is active in fat politics, peace and justice, and disability rights movements. Bock is the author of a recent memoir, Red Diaper Daughter, Three Generations of Rebels and Revolutionaries (2017).

Tracy Garza is a member of the board of the GLBT Historical Society who also serves on the LGBT Advisory Committee of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission and the board of Trans LifeLine. Garza formerly was a member of the boards of Lyon-Martin Health Services and the Transgender Law Center and was active in the leadership of the San Francisco Trans March.

Danny Kodmur was in a frequent contributor to the webzine Bent: A Journal of CripGay Voices. His work has also been published in Queer Crips: Disabled Gay Men and Their Stories (2003), as well as the Jewish anthology The World Is a Narrow Bridge (2004).

Tadhg Laasko is a disabled transgender queer artist based in Oakland. He is the single parent of a 16-year-old trans and autistic daughter and an 18-year-old genderqueer child. He works as an illustrator, artist and art teacher. Laasko also runs the disabled services committee at the Oakland LGBTQ Center.

Frank Lester started his activist work for the deaf-blind community and his advocacy for deaf people with HIV. Later he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa, teaching life skills and HIV/AIDS prevention for deaf students. Currently, Lester teaches high school at the California School for the Deaf and is chair of the Parodi Charitable Trust.


Lito Sandoval became active in the queer community in the late 1980s when he joined ACT UP/San Francisco. He later joined the leadership of AGUILAS and served on the board of the Queer Latina/o Artists Coalition. Currently, he is co-president of the San Francisco Latino Democratic Club and a board member for the GLBT Historical Society. Sandoval also is a spoken word performer. His essay “I Love You Alto” appears in Virgins, Guerrillas y Locas: Gay Latinos Writing on Love (Cleis Press, 1999).


The GLBT History Museum is wheelchair-accessible. ASL translation will be provided.

Inset: The Gay Disability Rights contingent participating in the 1977 Gay Freedom Day Parade in San Francisco. Photo by Marie Ueda. Courtesy of GLBT Historical Society.