It was in college that Nidhi Goyal, 30, realised that dating would be tough. The writer and gender activist is visually impaired. “I asked out a guy to a film and his response was ‘what’s the point of taking you to one?’” she says. She didn’t bother talking to him again.
This weekend, Goyal and three other differently abled people will share anecdotes about dating, relationships and sex, as part of a stand-up comedy act. Called Sex and Sexability, the event is being organised by city-based social enterprise, Crayon Impact, in collaboration with the We Care Film Festival.
“We want to raise awareness, question and ridicule the myths and taboos around disability and sexuality, but in a fun and non-preachy way,” says Rachana Iyer, co-founder, Crayon Impact (CI).
Watch: The Improv-Ability workshop organised by Crayon Impact
“We can’t punch everyone in the face or shake them till they get the point, so why not use humour?” says disability rights activist and toastmaster Neenu Kewlani, 45. Kewlani’s ten-minute act will focus on the myths associated with her capabilities, intelligence, beauty and desirability. “People call me their inspiration but I don’t care about that,” she adds.
The other performers are Rohan Sabharwal, filmmaker and co-founder of CI and Gavin ‘Chubby’ Methalaka, standup comedian and improviser with Improv comedy Mumbai. Robyn Lambird, a wheelchair athlete and disability advocate known for her videos about living with cerebral palsy, will screen a video at the event. Standup comic Aditi Mittal will play host.
The comedians will talk about reactions they get on a daily basis – getting judgmental looks on entering a club, pub or even a beauty parlour; being denied entry into a pub because they would ‘disturb the patrons’ or even being told to leave the wheelchair outside and just settle on a sofa and not move. Expect a dark, humourous take on masturbating in a mental hospital.
“The whole idea is that the disabled should be treated like everyone else when it comes to their sexuality. They’ve got dirty minds and they also get horny,” says Methalaka, 30, who participated in an improv comedy workshop for the differently abled called Improv Ability.
It took CI 60 days to find the perfect venue — the hall at Daughters of St Paul is completely accessible. “This is not a charity event. You will get your money’s worth,” adds Rohan.
When: Sunday, 7 pm to 9 pm
Where: Daughters of St Paul, Waterfield Road, Bandra (West)
Cost: Rs 200
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