Stop assuming that people with learning disabilities don't know our sexuality

My name is Sas Granville, I’m 33, live in Worthing, West Sussex and have a learning disability and cerebral palsy. 

I volunteer at two charity shops and I play for the Brighton Seagals, a local football team. Being part of the team is really important to me as my teammates are all LGBTQ+. 

I think it’s hard to meet a partner if you have a disability, and even harder if you’re gay too. I find it difficult to meet people because of my disability. It can be quite hard to explain as some don’t know what a learning disability or cerebral palsy is.

Relationships are difficult for most people, but if you have a disability, it might make it harder to trust someone. I’m not very good at knowing when someone is a genuine friend/partner or when they are trying to use me.

I don’t always pick up the signs at an early stage, which makes me anxious. Some of my previous girlfriends didn’t understand my disability and didn’t treat me nicely and used me for things like making me do what they wanted to do rather than thinking about what I wanted, which wasn’t nice.

My sexuality is very important to me, it’s a big part of who I am. I came out when I was about 16. I like being gay and being with other gay people, but I don’t know what love feels like. I’ve been hurt so many times in the past.

I’ve seen the love my siblings have with their partners, and I want that for myself. But I am happier being single than being in a difficult relationship. 

Currently, I’m part of Mencap’s Myth Busters squad; a group of people who are challenging misconceptions about what living with a learning disability looks like.

As a Myth Buster, I want everyone to know that people with a learning disability can know their sexuality – I definitely know I am attracted to women! People who are gay should be able to do what anyone else does and have relationships and get married if they want. 

I’ve been bullied in the past about my sexuality and that’s not right. I’ve been thrown out of a community club and been discriminated against after people have found out I am gay in college.

I hope in the future to settle down and build a life with someone. I’ve seen people around me be in relationships and I want that for me

My teacher was really good and supported me by talking to the girls who were being unkind. I kept going to college as I wanted to finish my course but I was unhappy most days. I was so upset about being bullied for who I am. It shouldn’t matter who people are with or who they love, at the end of the day. People should be able to love whoever they want. 

I’ve always been comfortable with my sexuality and I’m lucky that my family and friends have always been supportive. I realised I was gay when I was a teenager, but my mum knew before I did! When I told her I was gay (in a text message!) she said ‘That’s good – I was pretty sure you were anyway.’

I never liked wearing dresses and was a bit of a tomboy. I came out after talking to my sister as she made me feel that it was OK. There wasn’t really one moment that made me realise that I liked girls, it just sort of happened.

I love Pride and going to Pride events! It’s my favourite day of the year, apart from my birthday! It’s so much fun because I’m with lots of other people who are gay and who want to have a good time and be themselves. It brings everyone together and tells the world, I’m proud of my sexuality. It’s great to see how far society has come. That’s why Pride is so important. 

This year I’ll be attending Worthing and Brighton Pride events where I’ll be in the parades and my football mates will come down to support. I’ve never been to Worthing Pride before as it’s still quite new so I’m looking forward to it, especially because it’s in my hometown.

The fact that sleepy towns like Worthing have Pride events is encouraging. It’s really nice to see more places other than big cities hold them. It’s a step in the right direction.  

I hope in the future to settle down and build a life with someone. I’ve seen people around me be in relationships and I want that for me. I’ve been single for a long time now but it’s important that who I’m with sees me for me and not my disability. I really want to find someone who likes football too! That’s important to me. I want someone to cheer me on when I’m playing. 

I would love to get married in the future. My past relationships haven’t stopped that. I want to get married in my Brighton FC football kit and they can wear a white dress or whatever they want to.

I would love to get married at Brighton FC’s Amex football stadium. There’s a VIP room which overlooks the pitch and it’s amazing, I want my reception to be there. No one has ever got married at the stadium, so I want to be the first person! 

Mencap supports thousands of people with a learning disability to live their lives the way they want. To find out more, visit www.mencap.org.uk

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Metro.co.uk celebrates 50 years of Pride

This year marks 50 years of Pride, so it seems only fitting that Metro.co.uk goes above and beyond in our ongoing LGBTQ+ support, through a wealth of content that not only celebrates all things Pride, but also share stories, take time to reflect and raises awareness for the community this Pride Month.

And we’ve got some great names on board to help us, too. From a list of famous guest editors taking over the site for a week that includes Rob Rinder, Nicola Adams, Peter Tatchell, Kimberly Hart-Simpson, John Whaite, Anna Richardson and Dr Ranj, as well as the likes of Sir Ian McKellen and Drag Race stars The Vivienne, Lawrence Chaney and Tia Kofi offering their insights. 

During Pride Month, which runs from 1 – 30 June, Metro.co.uk will also be supporting Kyiv Pride, a Ukrainian charity forced to work harder than ever to protect the rights of the LGBTQ+ community during times of conflict, and youth homelessness charity AKT. To find out more about their work, and what you can do to support them, click here.

For Metro.co.uk‘s latest Pride coverage, click here.

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