The Business Gay Podcast with Host Calan Breckon
The Business Gay
The Wrongs and Rights of Inclusivity
The Wrongs and Rights of Inclusivity with Andrew Gurza

In this episode of The Business Gay Podcast, host Calan Breckon speaks with Andrew Gurza.

Andrew is an award winning Disability Awareness Consultant and the Chief Disability Officer and Co-founder of Bump’n, a sex toy company for and by disabled people. Their work has been featured on BBC, CBC, Gay Times UK, Huffington Post, The Advocate, and just to name a few.

Today Calan is talking with Andrew about bringing access to businesses in a truly inclusive way and what you can do at your company to make it even just a little bit more accessible and inclusive.

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*EXPLICIT WARNING: Some of the topics talked about in today’s episode are a bit spicy*

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Links mentioned in this episode:

Key Takeaways for quick navigation:

  • [00:15] Andrew Gurza shares his journey as a disabled entrepreneur, highlighting challenges in job seeking.
  • [02:32] Gurza advocates for self-advocacy, discussing the importance of creating spaces for queer and disability representation.
  • [12:17] Gurza’s role as Chief Disability Officer underscores the need for empowering marginalized voices within organizations.
  • [20:33] Gurza urges companies to prioritize inclusivity, from physical access to genuine representation, and check internal ableism.
  • [21:38] Smaller companies often offer a more personal connection and willingness to vet individuals compared to larger corporations.
  • [23:14] Gurza embarked on an entrepreneurial journey to create a sex toy for people with hand limitations after identifying a market need.
  • [27:30] Andrew expresses frustration with companies that tokenize inclusivity without genuine action, particularly in LGBTQ+ spaces.
  • [32:59] Andrew dislikes companies using superficial slogans instead of addressing real inclusivity issues.


[00:00:00] Calan Breckon: I don’t have time to create social media content for this podcast. It’s just a fact. When you’re a solo entrepreneur, your time is very, very precious. And the thought of me taking that time and sinking it into editing a bunch of short videos for social media was absolutely not at the top of my list of things to do. Problem is, how are people going to find out about my show if I don’t have anything on social media? Thank goodness today’s sponsor was invented and saves me countless of hours editing each and every week. OpusClip is a generative AI video tool that repurposes long form videos into short social clips for social media in one simple click. Seriously. After I record an episode, I upload the video into OpusClip and within minutes, the powerful AI tool has created about 25 ready to use short videos for me. You can even create templates for the AI to follow so that your videos come out perfect each and every time. I 100% would not be sharing any videos on my social media if it was not for Opus clip. Check out OpusClip by going to or click the link in the show notes to start repurposing your long form content today with an easy, simple click. Now let’s get into today’s episode.

Welcome to the Business Day podcast, where we talk about all things business, marketing and entrepreneurship. I’m your host, Calan Breckon, and on today’s episode, I have Andrew Gurza. Andrew is an award winning disability awareness consultant and a chief disability officer and co-founder of Bumpin’, a sex toy company for and by disabled people. Their work has been featured on BBC, CBC, Gay Times, UK, Huffington Post, the Advocate, and, just to name a few. Today I’m going to be talking with Andrew about bringing awareness to businesses in a truly inclusive way and what you can do at your company to make it even just a little bit more accessible and inclusive. So let’s jump in.

[00:02:03] Calan Breckon: Hey, Andrew, how’s it going? Welcome to the show.

[00:02:06] Andrew Gurza: Hey, good. Thank you for having me. Pleasure to be here.

[00:02:08] Calan Breckon: Yeah, I’m really excited to jump into, like, your journey and what, you know, your entrepreneurial life has been like. So let’s just get right into it. As an entrepreneur, what’s been your biggest, biggest lesson that you’ve learned on this entrepreneurial journey? Because you’ve had a different one than I would say most people have had?

[00:02:26] Andrew Gurza: Yeah, I mean, I started my entrepreneurial journey. I finished school. I went to Carleton U back in zero three all the way through to 13. Did two degrees in law and kind of left school and was like, oh, no, I don’t have it. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I have no job prospects and I’m a disabled person. So the idea of getting a job is really a lot harder. When you have severe disabilities, there are only certain things you could do. And so when I called up disability employment agencies at the time, they were like, you can do call center work, which I did all through my college years. And I was like, don’t really want to do that again, or you can flip burgers. And I was like, cool, I have an ma.

I’d like a career. Please, can you help me get a career? And they were like, yeah, we don’t do that. That’s not what we do.

And so I was like, okay, what am I going to do? And I hadn’t it. Like, I was living on social assistance, which I still do right now, and I was like, I want to make my own money. Like, I’m, I’m in my late twenties. I want to, I want to get out of academia because when I was in school, they were like, oh, just go do a PhD, which is another seven years of school. And I was like, I don’t want to do more academia and maybe get a job at the end of that. So I just started kind of figuring out what I could talk about and I was like, well, I’m queer and disabled. Nobody really at the time was talking about that in the Toronto area. And that really wasn’t part of, like, the queer scene at the time. So I was like, well, I better.

I bet I maybe I can do that. So I just started, like, cold emailing huffpo and cold emailing, like, queer outlets and cold emailing fab magazine in Toronto and saying, do you have disability representation? No. Do you want some? Cool, I’m right here. Let me, like, I’ll write pieces for you. I’ll put my name out there. Like, and I did a lot of it for free at first because I wanted to get my feet wet. And I just started literally, I made a card on vistaprint with my name that said disability awareness consult. And here’s what I do. Having no idea what that was, kind of making it up as I went and being like, this is what I do. I talk about queer stuff. I’m disabled. Hire me. Thank you. Bye. Like, that’s literally what I do. Please.

[00:04:46] Calan Breckon: Thanks.

[00:04:47] Andrew Gurza: Yeah.

[00:04:48] Calan Breckon: Oh, my goodness. Okay, so that must have been a journey. So a first of all, talking about, like, what you could do and being told what you could do, that’s really disappointing because that’s just keeping people in a box still not giving the opportunities. Like, there’s so many more things that you could do that to just kind of be leveled out at. Like, oh, you could go flip burgers. It’s like, okay, like, I’m way more than just flipping burgers.

[00:05:13] Andrew Gurza: Yeah, like, not that there’s anything wrong with anybody who flips burgers. Like, good for you. Get that money. But, like, I was like, I can’t do burgers. I’ll never be able to do burgers. That’s impossible for me to do. Plus, I have all this years of education behind me. Like, I want to use that. Can I. Can you. Can we do something with that? And they were all like, no, we don’t know. That’s your over educated. Sorry, bye. And I was like, great, bye.

[00:05:39] Calan Breckon: You’re too smart for us. So then moving on to the journey of, like, cold calling and reaching out and doing all that, how did that progress for you? And how difficult or how easy was that for you to kind of navigate that space?

[00:05:53] Andrew Gurza: It was hard at first because at first, I didn’t believe that I was worth anything. So I would take jobs for zero. I would do articles for nothing. I would do talks for free. And for the first, like, couple months, that’s expected because you’re getting your name out there. People want to know who you are. Why would they trust to hire you when you’ve done nothing? So, like, honestly, I would say the first. I started doing it in 20. I started doing it in 20 13, 20 12, 20 13. And the first year was just, I have to make a name for myself. So I contacted out magazine, the Advocate, every queer magazine under the sun. And I was like, do you have. I see all your, like, able bodied, like, white, muscular gay men on your. On your covers. Amazing. Good for you. But where is disability? Do you have any stories about that? Do you have any stories about disabled people’s sexuality? Like, where is this? And they were all like, oh, no, we don’t at the time. And so I jumped on every chance I got to write anything about I’m queer and I have sex and I am disabled.

Where can I put this? And so for the first year, I literally just retold the same stories over and over and over again to get recognition and to have these big outlets know who I was enough that I could then say, you know what? I want to charge $1,000 for a talk. Or I want to charge like 500 for a talk.

Sometimes they would give you like lunch and that was your, that was when you got paid. And so, like, for a lot of them, I didn’t make any money. But that’s also because I didn’t believe they had any value in what I was doing. So I really had to like, no, this is valuable. They need this. They need you. And still now, I’ve been doing this now for twelve years and as a freelancer and they still, like, when they want diversity, they hire me. When they want like, a disability person to be like, we want the disabled guy, they hire me, which I’m gladly take, but then I charge them for it, right?

[00:07:49] Calan Breckon: So this kind of does bring something up for me when it’s like talking about tokenism and it’s just like, oh, yeah, we’re just checking the box because I have multiple feelings on this about, you know, people just checking a box. But then on the flip side, if you’re the person who’s like, yeah, give me the money, I’ll do it. What are your thoughts and feelings on that if, like, sometimes do you feel like you’re just a box being checked? And how, from your perspective, can people navigate that in maybe a better way?

[00:08:16] Andrew Gurza: That’s a great question. I think I am being a box being checked. And you know what? That’s okay because I live well below the poverty line on disability benefits in Canada.

So sometimes I need that $300 to feed myself or pay a bill or keep the lights on. So sometimes I’m like, yeah, I will be tokenized. And there, you know, because oftentimes I’m the only disabled person in the room. When we’re talking about queer stuff, not so much anymore. But when I first started out, I was.

So I go to big queer events and I’d be invited to big queer events and I’d look around and there was no one else in a wheelchair there. I was it. So I kind of got off on being tokenized in a weird sort of way. I, like, I I took power in that of like, I’m the only one here that lives this experience.

This is important. You got to show up for that.

[00:09:16] Calan Breckon: Yeah, yeah. Because not only are you queer, you’re also in a wheelchair and living a disability life. So you have the intersectionality of multiple things. And when you roll into a room like that and you’re like, okay, not only am I here standing out in a different way, but I’m also queer. On top of that, you kind of check multiple boxes. Was there ever times earlier on, or I guess, let me rephrase this question differently compared to earlier on to where we are today.

How do you think that progress has progressed, if there has been progress? And what have you seen? Like, where are people getting it right with this inclusivity?

[00:09:59] Andrew Gurza: They’re not.

[00:10:00] Calan Breckon: They’re not. Okay. Okay. Good to know.

[00:10:02] Andrew Gurza: In the. In the queer male space, particularly, like.

[00:10:05] Calan Breckon: Which is in any, like, in, like, incorporate. And when you do talks, like, in all spaces in general, and then we can jump on into the queer.

[00:10:14] Andrew Gurza: I mean, in all spaces in general, they’re not. They’re trying really hard, and by hiring me and bringing me in, they’re showing. They’re making an effort, but they’re not.

I mean, I would say that since the pandemic. Okay, let me backtrack. Since the pandemic, having stuff over Zoom is a thousand times more accessible than me traveling to your little town to give you a talk and having to fight with all the traveling and doing all that stuff to get there and having my wheelchair broken on multiple occasions to fly to your little event to do a 45 minutes talk that I could have done in the comfort of my bedroom. So, like, where they’re getting it right is saying, we don’t need you there in person. We can do it over Zoom. That’s good. And they’re saying, we want you here.

And I did a talk last year for, I think, the gay and lesbian Chamber of commerce, and they said, we want you because you’re disabled. And I was like, that’s sure.

Like they’re trying to show they’re trying in their limited capacity to show they’re trying, which I think is a step in the right direction.

[00:11:25] Calan Breckon: Gotcha. So not everybody is getting it right, but people are trying to make steps. How can a company or organization make those steps in a better way? Or what ideas or thoughts do you have on improving that?

[00:11:38] Andrew Gurza: I think a company can make those steps by considering, hey, CEO, when you’re disabled and you walk into or you roll into your company or whatever, you end up being disabled when it comes for you because it’s coming for you whether you like it or not, how would you feel if you rolled in the room right now? Would you feel included? Or would you see all the ways around you that the access was excluded? So getting these big companies to look at, what will you want when you’re disabled at this company, how will you want it to work for you?

[00:12:18] Calan Breckon: Yeah, I think a lot of the hard conversation, the hard part in opening people’s eyes, it isn’t just for disabilities, it’s for a lot of different experiences, is that people can be very internalized and selfish because we only know our own lived experience. So if you don’t know or you’ve not learned how to be empathetic and, like, empathize with people and to actually truly try to be in somebody else’s shoes, you’re not going to go above and beyond in order to do that. And, you know, the stereotypical, like, old, rich white guy who’s at the top of the list who cisgendered straight, isn’t going to need to have to gone through that empathy because he’s like, well, I’ve gotten everything I wanted in my life, and that’s, like, the big major problem. It’s like, yes, which is why all these other things need to now come into account. Because it’s been that way for so long, things need to start changing.

Is there any example specifically that comes to mind of maybe an organization or something that you’ve done with a company that they were getting inclusivity, right?

[00:13:25] Andrew Gurza: Not to do my own horn, but my sister and I, a couple years ago, started a sex toy company for and by disabled folks. And the very first thing she said to me is, what role do you want? And I said, I don’t know, like, I’m co founder. She’s like, what? Well, why don’t we make you chief disability officer of this company? And there had never been a chief disability officer anywhere in any company. We looked and we appointed me the chief disability officer. So anything, anything that our company did around accessibility, anything that our company did around, like, copy that was written, any filming that we did went through me to be like, does this look acceptable? Are we okay with this? Yes or no? And so we put me in power, a position of power, right away. And that was amazing because we never see that. We never see disabled people in businesses in positions of strength and change maker positions. And we did that. So that was really cool for me. And that’s one of the ways companies can do it, right, because we see a lot of videos on social media where a company will hire a disabled person for a day and they’ll be filmed. We’ve seen it a lot with, like, airlines. They’ll hire disabled folks for a day to be a stewardess or be a banker or whatever it is, and they’ll film themselves and pat themselves on the back and be like, look, we’re inclusive. Yeah, yeah, rah, rah. But if that person you’re hiring can’t make any changes in your company, and you only do it for a day. What are you doing?

[00:14:59] Calan Breckon: Yeah. That’s not inclusivity. That’s checking a box and making yourself look good for pr.

[00:15:04] Andrew Gurza: Yeah, yeah, exactly.

[00:15:06] Calan Breckon: So when you’ve dealt with a lot of these big companies or big organizations, was there any.

I don’t want to call anybody out badly. Was there anybody, any organization that did it really well or did something different that stood out to you that you’re like, huh? This is something that if other companies implemented, I could see it helping or improve the way things are done.

[00:15:30] Andrew Gurza: I really just think hyper Zoom. Zoom is like, Zoom has really changed the game, you know, allowing people to present on Zoom. I have presented now all over the world because of Zoom. And when they say to me things like, you have to be there in person, I’m like, why do I have to. Again, we’ve just been through a worldwide pandemic. Why? But when they offer me, or when they say, like, you know what? I had a company last year, a little tech company out of, I think, Nova Scotia. Can’t remember their name right now, but they were lovely. And I said to them, I know times are tough. I’m happy to have my rate for you and, like, cut it in half. Cause I know that you’re small and I’m small, and I get it. I’ve been. I’ve been the little guy trying to make things go, and I’m happy to, like, cut my rate down for you. And they went. They went, oh, no, no. We. We put this money aside. We respect what you do. We’ll pay you upfront. Don’t worry about it. And I was like. I literally was like, wow, this is so, like, what do you mean, you put the money aside? You already have it ready. Like, what? Usually with companies, I have to negotiate a rate with. With them and with me, that is comfortable. But this, this company, right away, right out of the gate, was like, no, no, no, we want you. We’ve looked at your rate card. We have the money ready. When would you like it? In your account? And I was like, ah, okay. It was so nice because usually I do a lot of talks for big universities, and they will always say, like, cool, we’ll pay you, but you won’t get the check for six weeks. And I’m like, cool. That doesn’t. The groceries that I need today aren’t going to stretch six weeks. Like, what do I do?

[00:17:08] Calan Breckon: Right? So that’s an example of, like, a small company being able to do it well, or they’ve taken on the responsibility of doing well. Do you think that sometimes because a company, when they’re smaller, they’re more agile, they can do things differently than big companies, it’s almost easier for them to pivot and to be more inclusive?

[00:17:28] Andrew Gurza: Yeah, I think when you’re smaller, you have more. You not, you don’t have so much pressure, like a big bank or BMO or a CIBC or like a, like a big company that has so many eyes on it when you’re a small company. Not that you can go underneath the radar, because we should be watching already, but you can, like, do things that will make an impact, that are not going to get a ton of press. You can do things like have a female lead company, have a trans led company. One of the companies in Toronto that I work with, with my podcast is come as you are, and they’re a trans led sex toy company out of Toronto. And they, they’re a small company and they don’t do a lot of social media and they don’t do a lot of stuff, but they. Every year, when I say, okay, it’s podcast renewal time, we have a very quick discussion about, like, okay, what can we do? How do we work? What do you need? Here’s the money. Like, and they’re so quick to support because they’re smaller and they’re not. They don’t have a ton of eyes on them.

[00:18:29] Calan Breckon: Yeah. So they have the capability to say, well, you know, we the ones who make the decisions, we’re choosing to put our money here, and we’re choosing to put our money where our mouth is as well. Like, if you’re going to have the lip service, I’m a big, big believer that if you’re going to have the lip service, you better have the money to back it up and to, like, walk the walk.

[00:18:47] Andrew Gurza: Well, that’s why it’s so surprising to me, like, how many times this past year alone, it’s only, it’s only, like, by the time people listen to this, I’m sure it’ll be April. Um, so it’s only like April and.

[00:18:59] Calan Breckon: Uh, it might actually be May. Okay, April, May. It might come out in April, May.

[00:19:06] Andrew Gurza: Some, sometime, whenever. Whatever day. Whatever it looks like. It looks like, um, you know, this time this year, we’re only in that. We’re recording this in March. Um, and the amount of times I’ve been asked to work for $300 by a big university or, like, $500 by a big university and you sit there and you go, you’re a big university pulling in millions of dollars a year to make your university run. And you want me there to show that you’re inclusive, but you don’t give your dei departments or your classrooms enough money to make that go anywhere. And that’s such a shame. Like, I can say that I spoke to XYz University and they’re great. But then you look at what they pay you and you’re like, well, that. What? Hang on. And then on the flip side of that, I’ve had universities who were like, oh, no, you need the money. Here it is. Like, it’s so upsetting how there’s not a standard for Dei that’s across the board. It’s so, like, piecemeal. So when you come in to do a talk so that they can get their diversity check, you don’t know if you’re getting a couple thousand dollars or a couple hundred.

[00:20:18] Calan Breckon: Yeah. Do you have the same? Because I know you were specifically talking about universities. Is that the same for corporate?

[00:20:25] Andrew Gurza: Yeah, I keep everything the same because I. Again, that could be me, you know, devaluing myself. But, like, the more and more work I do, people are like, no, no, go higher, go higher. But I also look at it like, I have to eat. Sometimes when you go. Sometimes you go too high. They all say no. So I really have to, like, I keep it low, not low, but I keep it, like, mid range so that I can still survive.

[00:20:49] Calan Breckon: Yeah, but I’m speaking more about, like, corporate. Are they, uh, difficult to work with in the sense that they’re like, oh, no, we only have this much of a budget. Like, universities maybe low ball more? Or is corporate, like, worse at it, you know?

[00:21:03] Andrew Gurza: Oh, no, no. I find corporate to be. When I have done corporate gigs, I find them to be pretty like, oh, that’s the money. Okay, cool. Or they’ll be like, listen, we do only have this much money because of our dei budget, but we want to support you. What can we do? Like, how do we work it out? And I’m very flexible with them because, again, I realized that, like, in this economy where we are right now, things are weird. And I also want to feed myself, and I like working, so I take what I can get. But I also. If I know it’s a big, big company, like, if Tim Cook from Apple email me, not that he has, but Tim Cook, if you’re listening, hi.

If he emails me and says, like, hey, I want you to do a keynote, I would, of course charge. Like, you know, a good, like 25 30,000, of course. But if it’s a little, like, even if it’s a mid range Toronto corporate thing, I’m very, very conscious of what can they do? What is their budget? I always ask when I’m pitching myself, what is your budget? To show people that I cannot do this for free. I will not do this for free.

That said, though, I have put on my website for this year, like, I want to give back to the community and I know that we’re all in dire straits. So I have now three spots in my calendar that are designed to be free so that I can say, you know what, you don’t have to pay me for this. Let me give back to the community because I know we’re all struggling.

[00:22:28] Calan Breckon: Yeah. Which is. That’s awesome. Thoughts of for you to do that. I want to move into a little bit of, you know, doing it wrong stuff. We’ve been talking about some of that. Let’s move into what first, what small organizations can do to be more inclusive and then larger organizations. Because I know there’s probably two very different answers there. So let’s start off with a smaller organization. What can they do? Or what have you seen them doing that is on the right track to being more inclusive?

[00:22:59] Andrew Gurza: I mean, I think the answers for big and small are the same, and I think they are.

Check your ableism. Like, check it within yourself. Interrogate that within yourself.

It isn’t just about elevators and buttons and access to your space. It’s about how do I feel as a customer or as a entrepreneur when I’m in the space. Are you trying, like, to doing your best to make sure it’s successful? Are you, are you tokenizing me or not?

I would urge companies to think about, like, who are they putting in the series? I give a lot of talks, but I also say, like, you know what, I have a ton of privilege. I’m a white cis person, although I’m non binary. I’m red as CIs and I have the ability to speak, like, next year, don’t hire me. Hire a disabled person of color that needs to have the platform.

I think that companies are trying to listen more, even though when they’re, even if they’re tokenizing a little bit, they’re doing their best to try. But I like, what I like about smaller companies is the turnaround with which they pay the personal, the personal connection you have with them. Like, I can sit on a zoom with somebody that likes my work and talk about what we want to do for an hour and a half. Whereas if it’s a big corporate person, they’re like, oh, yeah, here’s a talk. Give us talking points. Goodbye. And I like small companies. They want to get to know who they’re working with. They want to vet you. They want to make sure you’re who they want. But in order to do that, they have to get to know you.

[00:24:43] Calan Breckon: Yeah, definitely. Okay. So it’s not different and it’s not hard. Just, you know, do the work, basically.

[00:24:50] Andrew Gurza: Yeah, just. Just try a little bit.

[00:24:52] Calan Breckon: Right. Just do the work. So you mentioned earlier about the company that you and your sister started. I want to know more about that now. More about, like, your entrepreneurial journey. Was this the first time that you really, other than being, like, a solopreneur doing your talks, was that the first step into, like, actual building of a business, like. Like, with physical products or something like that that you started?

[00:25:13] Andrew Gurza: Yeah. My sister and I, I did a video for the National Film board of Canada back in 2017 called picture this. And in the video, I talk about how I can self pleasure because of my disability or how I lost the ability to masturbate.

And my sister saw the video because it got screened at the Sydney Queer film festival. It went down there, and she lives down there. And she saw the video. And I went down there about six months later to visit her, and she said, oh, I saw your video. And I saw that you talked about how you couldn’t masturbate. And I was like, well, that’s embarrassing. And so we kind of had a giggle about that for a minute. And then she was like, well, there must be toys for you. And I said, not really. They’re kind of too small, and my hands don’t have a lot of dexterity. I can’t really. I can’t do that with myself.

And so we talked about it some more, and she said, well, is, you know, do you kind of want to make one? And, you know, at first blush, hearing that, do you want to make a sex toy with your sister? It’s like, do I know?

[00:26:15] Calan Breckon: Yeah, this is like, hmm. How do we feel about this conversation?

[00:26:20] Andrew Gurza: Yeah, it was a bit weird. But then we put a survey on Surveymonkey, and we surveyed about 100 people with hand limitations, and 93% of them said, it’s about time for a toy like this. And we recognize that that percentage actually translated into, like, hundreds of thousands of people worldwide who couldn’t masturbate because they hand limitations. So if you have disability or arthritis or you’re old age or you. I don’t know you want to use your hands for something else during. During a sexual encounter. Like, all of that applies to you. And we’re like, oh, we have a market now. And so then it was just finding people that would want to work with us. And we connected with Doctor Judith Glover, who is the leading sex toy researcher out of RMIT in Melbourne, Australia. And we called, emailed her, and just said, here’s our idea for a product. Here’s what we want to do. We want you to work with us. And so we raised about $10,000 to do research with her team. And then from there, we have meetings with her and we built out our idea for the toy.

[00:27:29] Calan Breckon: Nice. Have you since then taken the toy to market? How’s that progressed?

[00:27:34] Andrew Gurza: It’s been really slow because COVID really screwed us right over. So we’re in a kind of holding pattern to see if we can get it going again.

The factories are overseas, and that just really messed us up. So we’re hopeful that things can move ahead, but we’re.

We’re cautiously watching how things are going.

[00:27:53] Calan Breckon: Yeah. So what are some lessons that you’ve learned over this process of, like, creating a physical product?

[00:28:00] Andrew Gurza: Hardware is hard. Hardware is really freaking hard to sell. It’s. And my sister can speak more eloquently to this than I can, but she. It’s hard. Like, not only were we selling a product, we were also selling the idea that disabled people deserve to masturbate. And that was really hard to sell to some people. And to pitch that in a room was really tough. And so I would always, when I wasn’t there, I would always be there on video being like, hey, here’s why I can’t masturbate. Let’s. So I’d always be there to show that, like, this is a thing, but getting people to buy a new product that was tied to sexuality and wellness has been really hard, tough to navigate.

[00:28:49] Calan Breckon: Yeah. Because you’re not only pitching a product, you’re pitching a whole idea behind the product that may. Might make people uncomfortable.

[00:28:59] Andrew Gurza: Oh, yeah. Yeah. And we found that a lot people were excited by the idea, but also, like, what? Okay, how do we. What do we do with this? It was. It’s a lot to manage. And, I mean, we’re hopeful that things move ahead, but if not, I’m so proud of what we did, and I’m proud we put the. We put that out into the market and we made some waves that way. At the very least, we started a conversation or reignited a conversation that’s been. That’s been long since forgotten.

[00:29:31] Calan Breckon: Yeah. Which is good, and it’s needed. Well, hopefully the market. I mean, the market’s still there, so hopefully you’ll be able to get things together and be able to bring the product to market.

[00:29:40] Andrew Gurza: Yeah.

[00:29:41] Calan Breckon: My fingers are crossed for you. So what about your podcast? What do you. I know your podcast is a little bit spicier than this podcast. So tell us more about your podcast.

[00:29:49] Andrew Gurza: It’s a little spicier. It’s called disability after dark. It’s a solo little thing that I do once a week, and I talk to. It started out as a sex podcast, and now it’s an everything podcast. And I talk to disabled people about their stories, and I shine a bright light on their experiences as disabled folks, and I talk to them about not only sexuality, but just living a disabled life. And I shine a light on that so that people can hear about it weekly, because there’s really not. When I started, there’s more shows now, and with the kind of growth of TikTok and all the social media, there’s more people talking about it. But when I started, there were no podcasts talking solely about sexuality and any sexuality and disability, and any disability podcasts were so dry that I was like, well, I can do this. I’ve been writing for. At that point, I was writing for five or so years for outlets. I was like, I can turn on my articles into a podcast and just do that. And then it morphed to guest, and then it morphed into, like, I’ve done different series on the show. I do sometimes movie reviews of disabilities. So it’s a little bit everything. It’s kind of like the kitchen sink of Disability podcast. But I love it because it’s something I can do for free, basically, from my house. I don’t have to go anywhere. I can do it. I can talk to anybody from my house. And I make a little bit of money off that from people who subscribe. But it’s a labor of love for me. We’ve been going for about eight years now, and it’s. It’s award winning. We’ve won awards, and we’ve been invited to, like, queer events because of that. I got invited to the 2020 Queer tease because of my podcast, like, which was really kind of weird. Like, wow, cool.

So to think that somebody who makes something in their bedroom could then have that thing go viral a little bit and go kind of out in the box and have people take notice of it, it’s really, really cool.

[00:31:49] Calan Breckon: Well, it’s an important topic and it’s a topic that, you know, isn’t something that’s naturally talked about a lot because again, if you’re not in that world, you’re not going to be concerned about it. Like, it doesn’t come into people’s reality. So when they, it does or when it hits somebody and they kind of have to, when they are forced to understand that, I guess what I’m trying, what I’m kind of dancing around is that I, I personally have a physical medical disability that I don’t talk to people about. That has hindered a lot of my life in the last ten years. And so I’ve talked about it before on like the gay men going Deeper podcast because that was all about personal development, sexuality, mental health. And so there was a lot more space over there. But on this podcast, I never really talked about it. But it wasn’t until that started affecting my life on like a heavy level that I started paying attention to these kinds of things. Because it’s like I can’t always just leave my house. I can’t just go and get a regular job because I can’t physically be at that regular job, depending on how my body’s going to be acting that day. And so when people aren’t in that sphere, they don’t understand it. And now having lived that experience, I see it a lot more and I see the importance of it.

[00:33:02] Andrew Gurza: Yeah, I would love to invite you on, on disability after dark if you want to, to talk about that.

[00:33:08] Calan Breckon: I think that would be exciting. Even now, I just got really nervous talking about it just because I haven’t expressed it in this, you know, it’s like when we have to come out as like queer people, it’s like you’re constantly coming out of the closet. It’s just like, it’s a never ending non stop thing. And especially me, I lived with, I live with the privilege of, you know, I can walk around, I look at out as people look at me, they can’t see anything, but it’s like, I know, and I feel my doctor knows and like a few close, select friends know, but unless I tell people, people aren’t going to know. Right? And so there’s a different lived experience that happens there as well, too.

[00:33:47] Andrew Gurza: Yeah, yeah. And I think, you know, I have invisible disabilities too. I’m very markedly disabled. When you look at me, you know, right away, oh, he’s in a wheelchair, he must have disability of some sort. But I also live with depression, anxiety, ib’s like different things that people don’t, will never see, but are very real for me. So I understand the fear you feel about exposing that and, like, disclosing that because. And also, to kind of go off on a little tangent for a little bit, gay men are not the nicest to each other about differences. And so when you expose that you have a disability in queer spaces, gay men can be kind of trash about it. So I get. I understand that fear totally, especially when.

[00:34:31] Calan Breckon: It comes to, like, sex or sexual acts.

[00:34:34] Andrew Gurza: Oh, yeah. Like, gay men are the worst.

[00:34:37] Calan Breckon: Yeah.

Oh, yes. Okay, so we’ve. We’ve gone on many tangents here. Um, let’s. I want to end off on this one kind of last question. I don’t want to beat around the bush. Is there anything that super pisses you off about inclusivity in regards to business or what area tends to be get. Where?

[00:35:00] Andrew Gurza: Where.

[00:35:00] Calan Breckon: What area do they tend to get super wrong?

[00:35:02] Andrew Gurza: You know what I fucking hate?

I’ve tried this whole podcast not to swear, and that’s where I’ll use it right there. You know what I fucking hate? When a company will say things like, you’re not disabled, you’re enabled. Or a company will say stuff like, don’t look at my disability. Look at my ability.

It makes me want to rip whatever that makes me want to, like, destroy whatever they’ve created and be like, no, no, start again. Your marketing is bullshit. Start again. It makes me so angry because why shouldn’t we look at disability? Why shouldn’t we be looking at dead in the face and talking about it?

[00:35:45] Calan Breckon: We are. People are different, and that’s okay. What’s not okay is judging somebody about the fact that they’re different. And I think that that’s what people don’t understand. We’re all different. That’s totally fine. That’s cool. We can acknowledge it. It’s when you choose to hate other people or persecute other people or judge other people or treat other people like shit because of that difference. Yes, the part that’s wrong.

[00:36:15] Andrew Gurza: Exactly.

Look at how so many businesses are treating trans folks right now. Not binary folks. Like, it’s reprehensible. And then you want to say you’re all about Dei, but no, you’re not. Because where is your trans representation in your business? Where’s your severely disabled representation in your business? And when I think about this, I think about queer clubs. I think about queer nightlife, their business. And, you know, every time I see a queer club poster, what do I see? White cis gay men with their shirts off looking beautiful. Good for you. But where’s the. Where is the inclusivity that you speak so highly of?

[00:37:03] Calan Breckon: Yeah, it’s always abs. Always abs. Or if it’s the bears, then it’s the bears, but it’s. Everybody’s always, like, so segregated into their.

[00:37:10] Andrew Gurza: Yeah, yeah.

[00:37:11] Calan Breckon: You know, everybody’s always so, like, off on their own thing. It’s like.

[00:37:15] Andrew Gurza: Like, I’ll never understand why in 2024, we have.

We have so. And I’m. I think these. These things are great. We have HIV and AIDS cycles and HIV and AIDS parties for fundraising, and I’m always like, why don’t we have fundraising for accessibility in your club?

Why is there not a big go go dance party with a bunch of drag queens and a bunch of go go boys for a ramp in your club?

[00:37:42] Calan Breckon: Like, how do you even get into Woody’s?

[00:37:45] Andrew Gurza: I don’t.

[00:37:47] Calan Breckon: That’s, like, the first thing that popped into my mind the moment you said that is like, well, how do you even get in? Because it’s all stairs.

[00:37:53] Andrew Gurza: I don’t. I don’t like the black eagle, which is like, the kind of bar that I would want to go to because I like the leather and I like that we’re going off on all the tangents on the.

Because I like that. That’s my scene. I can’t go in there. When I’ve expressed like, can you build a ramp? Can we widen a door? Can we do something? And they said, well, we don’t have the money for it. And I just roll my eyes and go, yes, you do. Every Friday, when all those gay men come in and buy all those drinks and have all those parties with all those people, you’re telling me you couldn’t divert some money to that? Or you couldn’t have a party just for that? Explain to me why it’s so hard to like what I don’t. And it just doesn’t. It does not make business sense, because then, at the top of their lungs, those club organizers and club promoters will be like, the party’s for everyone. No, it’s not. Where am I?

[00:38:48] Calan Breckon: Yeah, like, you can’t. Like, the only way I could even think is it through the back alley. But I’ve never been through that way, so I don’t know what the access would be like that way either.

[00:38:59] Andrew Gurza: It’s hard. I went there one time about ten years ago, and it was. It took two or three guys to help me get through there, and they did it, but begrudgingly, not like they wanted me there. They did it becAuse, oh, I guess this guy’s here. I guess we better help him.

[00:39:11] Calan Breckon: Yeah.

[00:39:11] Andrew Gurza: And then when I entered the space, I wasn’t given any. I wasn’t treated KindLY either. Like, even if. Even if the space is accessible, the business is accessible. If Woody’s or the black eagle or whatever we’re looking at was accessible, if I go in there and you don’t talk to me and you don’t look at me and you’re afraid to approach me because I’m the disabled guy. How is your business inclusive? Yeah, like what? So I wish that these promoters would look at all of these communities that they are sidelining because the hot white gay is there. Like, all right, we got to do better than that, right?

[00:39:47] Calan Breckon: So one of the things I’m hearing is that organizations, companies, businesses, if they’re going to make changes, they need to have somebody who also represents those changes to talk truth to what actually needs to be done, not what surfacely needs to be done. Like the commercial for the day.

[00:40:04] Andrew Gurza: Yeah. And they need to pay them. Pay them. Like compensate them. Don’t give them free lunch. I’ll never forget, like one time I went to this big queer event and I was talking to them and they gave me my compensation was lunch.

[00:40:20] Calan Breckon: That’s not compensation. That’s.

[00:40:21] Andrew Gurza: And I was like, thank you for the sandwich, but where’s my dollars?

[00:40:26] Calan Breckon: Yeah, where’s my money? Please pay me.

[00:40:27] Andrew Gurza: Like, I have to make more sandwiches in order to do that. I need money.

[00:40:31] Calan Breckon: Yeah, right.

This has been a lively conversation and we’ve touched on a lot of all the things. Where can people find out more about you, your podcast, all the good stuff.

[00:40:41] Andrew Gurza: Yeah, they can follow my work at Andrew I’m very active on the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. It’s Twitter. Whatever. It’s Twitter. I’m on Twitter. Andrew Gurza six and on Instagram at the same handle. And I do a lot of stuff around queerness as best I can because those sites censor a lot of that stuff. So I do a lot of stuff around disability awareness and I’m really, really active there. And if anybody wants to hire me to speak, you can see family ray card, Andrew dot awesome.

[00:41:11] Calan Breckon: And I’ll make sure to have all those links in the show notes for you if you want to get connected. Thank you so much for being on the show, Andrew. This has been fantastic.

[00:41:18] Andrew Gurza: Thank you for having me. Such a pleasure.

[00:41:20] Calan Breckon: We definitely went on a few adventures today that I did not see coming, but I really enjoyed it. I think that conversations like these need to be had. I’m glad that you all got a little bit more insight into my life and my lived experience, because it’s not something that I actively talk about or share about a lot. It can still be uncomfortable, like I said, it’s like you’re coming out of the closet again and again and again and I know that a lot of you can resonate with that. Thanks again for listening to today’s episode. Don’t forget to hit that subscribe button, and if you really liked it, please give it a star rating. The business Gay podcast is written, produced, and edited by me, Calan Breckon. That’s it for today. Peace, love, rainbows.

Calan Breckon
Calan Breckon

Calan Breckon is an SEO Specialist and host of "The Business Gay" podcast. He has worked with companies such as Cohere and Canada Life and has been a guest on the "Online Marketing Made Easy" podcast with Amy Porterfield as well as featured in publications like Authority Magazine and CourseMethod.

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