By Caitlin Hernandez
Oleb Books author Andrew Gurza, a self-identified “queer cripple,” not only writes, speaks, and tweets about his experiences, but also hosts a podcast about disability and has become well-known for his ability to spread awareness about the intersection between the queer and disabled communities.
Having earned his masters degree in legal studies from Carleton University in 2013, Gurza, who has cerebral palsy, switched from writing stories and imitative newspaper articles as a child to writing about his experiences as a man who is both queer and disabled. He views himself as a “Cripple Content Creator” and encourages both his readers and podcast audiences to think outside the box and attempt to examine disability and sexuality through the lens of those living the experience. “I love bringing people into (my) world and sharing perspectives around disability that we don’t often talk about,” he says.
Growing up, Gurza felt supported by his family, who ensured he was able to participate in any and all activities that interested him. His mother was his strongest and most steadfast supporter and advocate. “She’s been my rock,” Gurza says.
Though his childhood was fairly typical, Gurza stated his disability did pose its own unique challenges. “It was hard for me to make friends as a disabled kid and teen, and, ironically, as a queer, disabled man, that feeling hasn’t necessarily changed.”
In addition to making and listening to podcasts, Gurza is a True Crime fan who also enjoys traveling and exploring.
In his essay for Firsts: Coming of Age Stories by People with Disabilities, “Baring It All,” Gurza takes us back to college life. He shows the reader the ins and outs of navigating gay culture with a disability.