Visually impaired drag queen Ebony Rose Dark is “challenging the seeing eye” through cabaret.
Taking to the stage in drag, Ebony Rose Dark’s performances explore disability within the LGBT+ community.
Watch her interview below:
“I often introduce myself as VIP and I always have my cane with me,” Ebony Rose Dark told PinkNews.
“My cane is very important to me and very important to share that with other people in the LGBT community because I’m not sure how aware people are of people who have disabilities in the community.”
Ebony first got into drag and cabaret after a trip to Royal Vauxhall Tavern with a friend who introduced her to Bar Wotever—and the rest was history.
“I just thought right, I want to make a go of this, I want to do it,” she explained.
“I did Nina Simone and it was great fun. I was really nervous but the crowd was absolutely amazing, just so warm.”
Ableism in the LGBT community
When it comes to venues for performances, Ebony Rose Dark said “there’s room for improvement” in accessibility.
“Most bars are very dark which is hell for me because there is no contrast and everything blends together,” she explained.
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“Then these lights come on and there’s lots of bodies and stages move around in some places.
“I have to walk around the space to make sure I know where the tables are, the seats are and where the stage is in relation to that.”
Venues should be considering ways to make shows more accessible through British Sign Language (BSL) signing, audio description, as well as the physical venue itself.
Some venues are happy to be making these changes.
“Royal Vauxhall Tavern are great, they are ready and have always been ready—they seem to want to make things work,” she added.
Disability in the LGBT+ community: Why visibility is important
“It’s good to show your face because people need to be around you to get used to you, especially when you have a disability,” Ebony Rose Dark explained.
“There’s sections of the LGBT community that are not so aware, yet there are so many disabilities within the LGBT community and some people forget that.
“Everyone needs support and if you can just open up your mind to not what you can see but the person, then that makes for a better space.”
You can catch Ebony Rose Dark performing at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern in London. She also supports disabled LGBTQ+ group, Unique LGBT Disability, and the Disabled Queer And Hear club night.