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AUTHOR: Leah Lakshmi; Piepzna-Samaras Piepzna-Samarasinha

Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice

by Leah Lakshmi; Piepzna-Samaras Piepzna-Samarasinha

In this collection of essays, Lambda Literary Award-winning writer and longtime activist and performance artist Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha explores the politics and realities of disability justice, a movement that centers the lives and leadership of sick and disabled queer, trans, Black, and brown people, with knowledge and gifts for all.

Care Work is a mapping of access as radical love, a celebration of the work that sick and disabled queer/people of color are doing to find each other and to build power and community, and a tool kit for everyone who wants to build radically resilient, sustainable communities of liberation where no one is left behind. Powerful and passionate, Care Work is a crucial and necessary call to arms.


Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha identifies as queer/bisexual. Notable is her essay “On Being a Bisexual Femme” in Femme: Feminists, Lesbians and Bad Girls.

  • Thanks and Acknowledgments
  • Preface: Writing (with) a Movement from Bed
  • PART I
  • 1. Care Webs: Experiments in Creating Collective Access
  • 2. Crip Emotional Intelligence
  • 3. Making Space Accessible Is an Act of Love for Our Communities
  • 4. Toronto Crip City: A Not-So-Brief, Incomplete Personal History of Some Moments in Time, 1997-2015
  • 5. Sick and Crazy Healer: A Not-So-Brief Personal History of the Healing Justice Movement
  • 6. Crip Sex Moments and the Lust of Recognition: A Conversation with E.T. Russian
  • 7. Gripping the Apocalypse: Some of My Wild Disability Justice Dreams
  • 8. A Modest Proposal for a Fair Trade Emotional Labor Economy (Centered by Disabled, Femme of Color, Working-Class/Poor Genius)
  • 9. Prefigurative Politics and Radically Accessible Performance Spaces: Making the World to Come
  • 10. Chronically III Touring Artist Pro Tips
  • 11. Fuck the “Triumph of the Human Spirit”: On Writing Dirty River as a Queer, Disabled, and Femme-of-Color Memoir, and the Joys of Saying Fuck You to Traditional Abuse Survivor Narratives
  • 12. Suicidal Ideation 2.0: Queer Community Leadership and Staying Alive Anyway
  • 13. So Much Time Spent in Bed: A Letter to Gloria Anzaldúa on Chronic Illness, Coatlicue, and Creativity
  • 14. Prince, Chronic Pain, and Living to Get Old
  • 15. Two or Three Things I Know for Sure about Femmes and Suicide: A Love Letter
  • 16. For Badass Disability Justice, Working-Glass and Poor-Led Models of Sustainable Hustling for Liberation
  • 17. Protect Your Heart: Femme Leadership and Hyper-Accountability
  • 18. Not Over It, Not Fixed, and Living a Life Worth Living: Towards an Anti-Ableist Vision of Survivorhood
  • 19. Crip Lineages, Crip Futures: A Conversation with Stacey Milbern
  • Further Reading and Resources

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