Queer Crip Love Fest: Talking with Queer Disabled Latinx Activist Annie Segarra about Family and Connection

Disabled people’s lives are bursting with affirmation, affection, and meaning well beyond the half-baked romance narratives we get stuck with. So say hello to Queer Crip Love Fest, a new series where I talk to disabled queer folks about the love all around them — for partners, family, friends, pets, fictional characters, whatever — and share it with you right here on Autostraddle.

To start, I caught up with Annie Segarra, a queer disabled Latinx activist and YouTuber from Miami who advocates for diverse media representation, accessibility, and “uplifting intersectional and marginalized narratives.” We talked disability in social justice communities, her relationship with her sister, and what would have happened if Frida Kahlo had the internet.

So in terms of other kinds of love, the person I really want to talk about is my sister Emily. She’s one year younger than me, she’s my best friend, she’s autistic, and we take care of each other. I just love her energy and being in her presence.

My sister is generally not very verbal, so language is not necessarily the way that we communicate, which is a really cool part of our relationship. We have to find other ways. So now it’s really interesting — we swap help with one another. For the majority of my life, I’ve been helping to care for her and have her back on a multitude of things. When we go out together, she wants to be independent, but she has to learn the language to communicate with people. So either she will gesture to me or hand me something that she wants to buy and I’ll do the talking with the cashier, or sometimes she wants to do it herself and I’ll give her the language. Kind of like an interpreter. I’ll give her the words that she needs to communicate with that person.

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