English napisy

← Being Deaf & Being Blind - Chatting Disability Stuff w/ Jessica Kellgren-Fozard!

Get Embed Code
11 Languages

Showing Revision 24 created 04/25/2021 by alyssaann1219.

  1. I know exactly what you're saying when you
  2. say like when you're sitting at home writing
  3. you're not like, I'm deaf, I'm deaf
  4. I'm deaf, I say the same for me
  5. like when I'm
  6. sitting around doing my makeup
  7. I'm not like ooh I'm blind, I'm blind
  8. Like, I'm not thinking about my
  9. blindness, I'm just living my life
  10. because this is our normal
  11. (Music)
  12. Hello everybody, we are back
  13. with my series , where I sit down
  14. with another person
  15. from the disability community
  16. and we disscuss all things
  17. life and disability related
  18. and this one is probably the
  19. most requested that I've seen.
  20. So we finally have Jessica
  21. and I'm gonna let you say your
  22. last name
  23. (Laughs) Jessica Kellgren-Fozard
  24. It's ok, I know, it's a difficult surname
  25. we literally like went over this before
  26. we started filming
  27. We've just been like talking on
  28. Google Meet
  29. And I was like, practicing the name
  30. and I was like no, you know what,
  31. I got here, I was too deep,
  32. I was like, I'm jumping
  33. out of the pool.
  34. She'll take over. So thank you-
  35. It's ok. It's complex.
  36. The Kellgren bit is Swedish,
  37. the Fozard is my wife's surname,
  38. it's from Normandy, smush it together,
  39. it's complicated for everyone.
  40. Or Jessica Out Of The Closet,
  41. which I think is a brilliant name
  42. because not only are you one of
  43. the most fabulous fashionistas
  44. that I follow on social media,
  45. but you are also in fact out of
  46. the closet, and so I think it's just
  47. such a fun username.
  48. (Laughs) Yeah,
  49. out of the closet in many ways.
  50. Out of the gay closet, out of the
  51. disability closet, just living life open.
  52. That's the way to live life.
  53. Being your best, most authentic,
  54. confident queen self. And that is
  55. exactly what you do.
  56. I watch your videos and I
  57. legitimately laugh out loud.
  58. Like you're one of, not only the most
  59. fashionable people I follow but one of
  60. the funniest people I follow,
  61. and I think that you, just by simply
  62. being you, break so many disability
  63. stereotypes and misconceptions,
  64. and I think it's so fabulous for just-
  65. so thank you for just exisiting
  66. on the internet.
  67. (Laughs) I mean, I could say
  68. the same thing about you, Molly.
  69. I woke up this morning and I was like,
  70. OK, Molly, you have to try to look, like,
  71. a little bit half fabulous
  72. because you're going to be sitting next to
  73. Jessica in a video and it's going
  74. to be embarrassing.
  75. Oh no, I think you are incredibly stylish,
  76. I must say. I always enjoy
  77. your Instagram as well.
  78. Thank you, I appreciate it.
  79. So, I know a ton of my audience
  80. knows and loves your content already
  81. but for those who don't, would you like to
  82. kind of give the brief introduction of who
  83. Jessica is in a nutshell.
  84. My goodness, okay, the elevator pitch
  85. of me, then, I guess.
  86. So, I'm Jessica, I'm a YouTuber,
  87. content creator. I make content that is
  88. generally fun, informative, educational,
  89. amusing, around things that are to do with
  90. disability, chronic illness, and LGBTQ+
  91. issues. So I have two genetic conditions,
  92. hereditary neuropathy with liability to pressure
  93. palsies, which means that there are gaps
  94. in the myelin sheaths that surround your nerves.
  95. For me that means that I can paralyze
  96. parts of myself, that my nerves are more
  97. easily damaged, which does things like
  98. affect my hearing and I have loss of
  99. vision in one eye because of it, and it
  100. can do things like my hands don't have
  101. any feeling because I paralyzed both of
  102. my arms for a year and a half when I was
  103. a teenager. And they came back to a
  104. certain degree, but they can't now feel
  105. anything, so it's like wearing gloves
  106. all of the time. And I don't get hot and
  107. cold, any of those kinds of things,
  108. or wet. Which is really annoying when
  109. you're trying to hang up the washing,
  110. 'cause you're like, is this wet?
  111. Is this dry? Absolutely no idea.
  112. And I end up having to like, press my face
  113. to all of my laundry to see whether it's
  114. dry or not. Very strange thing.
  115. And then you just get a random cheek stain
  116. or random foundation stain on the side
  117. of your white shirt.
  118. I mean, I should add, I only do this when
  119. I'm not wearing makeup. (Laughs)
  120. Pro tip.
  121. And then I also have Ehlers Danlos
  122. Syndrome, which is about my connective
  123. tissue, and means that not only am I
  124. hyper mobile, and very flexible and bendy,
  125. which most people think is like, whoa,
  126. what a great party trick, and it is,
  127. it's a pretty good party trick that I
  128. perhaps overused when I was a child.
  129. I dislocated various things just to prove
  130. to people that I could. Don't do that.
  131. That's a terrible idea. Don't do that.
  132. But it also affects connective tissue in
  133. things like my internal organs,
  134. so I have some issues with my heart, and
  135. I have postural orthostatic tachycardia
  136. syndrome, which comes from that,
  137. which is just a regulating blood pressure
  138. issue, so I faint a lot. And I can't exert
  139. myself too much, basically I go up two
  140. flights of stairs and I'm like, oh gosh,
  141. there's a heart attack coming.
  142. Ok, wonderful, and then I've got to lie
  143. on the floor for half an hour.
  144. And the vintage fashion is just a layer
  145. over the top, just to make everything look
  146. gorgeous while we're here
  147. I think you should
  148. make more fashion content.
  149. I'm putting the pitch in now,
  150. and I think a lot of people
  151. in the comments will agree
  152. that you should have like a whole segment
  153. of your channel devoted to
  154. fashion content because we need that
  155. vintage inspo that you bring.
  156. We need your vintage wisdom.
  157. I was just, like, as we were talking
  158. before we started filming, I was
  159. peppering her with questions
  160. about the vintage fashion scene
  161. because I am fascinated by it
  162. and whenever I've tried to do it,
  163. it has not necessarily panned out
  164. So, I feel like you should make fashion
  165. videos and you know when I started
  166. doing fashion content
  167. it was kind of like a total mistake
  168. I wanted to make one video about, like,
  169. accessibility of online shopping
  170. and that was
  171. supposed to be it.
  172. But people requested me keep doing it
  173. and I was like
  174. "Well, If you want me to feed my addiction
  175. and talk about something I love,
  176. I am happy to do so"
  177. There is people
  178. in the disability activism community
  179. who have been upset by that.
  180. Like, they want me to kind of dedicate
  181. my channel to disability.
  182. And I can understand that, but
  183. to me, I am a human
  184. and disabilities are a very real,
  185. important topic to me
  186. and it affects my life daily,
  187. but so does fashion
  188. and the confidence that fashion gives me!
  189. So does makeup,
  190. so does my guide dog,
  191. so does dating,
  192. so do all these other aspects
  193. and I think it's very important
  194. for us, as a disability community,
  195. to show society the human side
  196. of our day-to-day life
  197. and the very normal, average
  198. human things that we love
  199. and that we partake in.
  200. Of course, of course
  201. I always link this back to
  202. children's books
  203. because I think it's the easiest way
  204. to understand people learning new concepts
  205. So, there are so many children's books
  206. that are about issues.
  207. It's about
  208. "Some people are in wheelchairs"
  209. or "some people have 2 mums"
  210. and kids don't love them.
  211. They don't want to read those books,
  212. because they're very much
  213. focused on this one object that you need
  214. to learn. It's not fun!
  215. Whereas, when they are reading
  216. like a fun, adventure book
  217. where oh, the main character just
  218. happens to have a disability
  219. or just happens to have a different
  220. family setup to the nuclear family.
  221. Then it's more engaging
  222. and they are more willing to learn things
  223. And I know the great things about
  224. having disabled content creators
  225. who are creating content
  226. that isn't just disability focused
  227. is that you are also bringing in people
  228. who wouldn't have necessarily have
  229. clicked on your video,
  230. being like "Ooh, I don't know,
  231. I don't know want to
  232. watch something about
  233. a blind person
  234. because I've never really
  235. met a blind person
  236. and that could be awkward."
  237. But if it's a video where you are
  238. doing something else
  239. and they click in,
  240. they are like
  241. "Well, you know what,
  242. this is actually really interesting!
  243. I'm gonna keep watching her
  244. other videos as well."
  245. And then, it's just a great way
  246. to lead people in, I think
  247. And they start to really be
  248. more involved in the issues,
  249. it's not something that's far away
  250. Now, it's "oh, my favourite
  251. content creator Molly
  252. also happens to have
  253. a disability and
  254. also happens to talk about that.
  255. And now I've learnt things about it"
  256. So I always think that's the best way,
  257. but, actually, Molly,
  258. two birds, one stone,
  259. to do with this fashion thing,
  260. I think the next time you come
  261. to England, I'm gonna have to give you
  262. a vintage makeover.
  263. Oh my gosh,
  264. absolutely!!
  265. Once this whole madness
  266. in this world is done,
  267. and we're all vaccinated,
  268. I'm coming out to England,
  269. so I can finally see my brother
  270. for the first time
  271. in over a year.
  272. AND I can see you
  273. and we are doing the vintage makeover
  274. I'm absolutely holding you to that.
  275. But I could not agree more with
  276. what you've just said.
  277. My favourite thing about what
  278. I do is that I get to
  279. make learning fun for people.
  280. I get to teach
  281. people in a way that entertains them
  282. that truly is the best way to learn.
  283. That's how I always
  284. learned the most growing up
  285. I was never somebody
  286. who could sit in class
  287. and hear you talk to me about something.
  288. I need to be the one
  289. that was getting up and doing it
  290. I was a very kinesthetic learner
  291. I need to be actually doing the thing
  292. and immersed in it
  293. to be able to understand it
  294. and being able to
  295. hopefully be entertaining to people
  296. um, while they- they learn
  297. and open their minds
  298. to new ways of thinking
  299. is so rewarding
  300. so I completely agree with you
  301. And I always say
  302. we talk a lot in the disability community
  303. about the fact that
  304. y'know that we're quite low
  305. on the totem pole of causes
  306. and of things that people care about
  307. and talk about or know about.
  308. You know, you often see those like
  309. "Diversity panels"
  310. and it's like everything is shown
  311. ... except disability.
  312. And we're like "Hey now,
  313. "Hi"
  314. "Where are we at the table"
  315. I think so many different
  316. brands and companies
  317. think that they can kind of get away
  318. doing the absolute least
  319. when it comes to disability representation
  320. Whether that be in adverts
  321. or actually making things accessible.
  322. So many of them think
  323. "Oh, a person in a wheelchair
  324. and we're done.
  325. That's it we've represented every
  326. disabled person,
  327. we've covered everyone's needs, excellent.
  328. Of course our brand is friendly to the
  329. disabled community, we have a ramp!"
  330. And you're like, "Uh-huh, I see.
  331. And how are you helping every other
  332. disabled person?"
  333. Mhm, mhm.
  334. Like, people who use wheelchairs
  335. actually make up quite a small part
  336. of the disability population as a whole.
  337. And, people just cannot get this through
  338. their heads and, of course, having
  339. the disability symbol be a wheelchair,
  340. obviously a very visual way to get that
  341. across very neatly, but it does tend
  342. to make people forget everyone else.
  343. Yes and I- I don't know if this has been
  344. happening in England but over the
  345. last number of years I've been seeing
  346. in North America one change is
  347. certain places are adding other stickers
  348. that represent other disabilities.
  349. Which is nice because for example on
  350. public transit, like a bus, I need to
  351. sit down, it's not a question I need to
  352. be able to sit. Because balance is a
  353. combination, as I'm sure you know as
  354. deaf woman, of ears and eyes.
  355. And so my balance, not being able to see
  356. is quite off. And so standing on a moving
  357. vehicle, even if I'm holding a pole, is
  358. just not really a thing for me. So I need
  359. sit. And so when I get on a bus with my
  360. guide dog, people used to not register
  361. that I was somebody who they needed to
  362. get out of the disability seating for.
  363. Um, so they would just continue to sit
  364. there. But now they've added these
  365. stickers where it's like a man with a cane
  366. a person in a wheelchair and there's
  367. somebody with a walker and I'm like
  368. Thank you for showing multiple visuals
  369. of what somebody who might need to sit in
  370. disability seating could present as.
  371. Yeah, I've definitely seen in the last few
  372. years that kind of not all disabilities
  373. are visible stickers on a lot more things
  374. in public places. And it's so good to see
  375. because I remember when I very first-
  376. so I kind of grew up with a disability
  377. but it wasn't, well I'm not going to say
  378. noticed, but it wasn't diagnosed until
  379. I was 17. And then when I was 17 and I
  380. suddenly had this big health crisis and
  381. very much did need to use, you know,
  382. disabled toilets and I need to have
  383. access to things. I had a lot of issues
  384. with this. Because people were constantly
  385. trying to stop me from using things
  386. saying "Oh that's not for you that's for
  387. disabled people." And I'm like I mean
  388. I am, I don't know what I can do to-
  389. to make this more obvious to people, that
  390. I'm really struggling and things would
  391. help me like this. So it's, it is really
  392. lovely to see now. I worry less about
  393. using disabled toilets in public
  394. when they have a "Not all disabilities
  395. are visible" sticker on them. Because the
  396. dirty jokes I've received coming out of a
  397. disabled toilet on two feet is like, ugh.
  398. Well I think part of the problem with
  399. that too is how many able-bodied people
  400. just do use the toilet for people with a
  401. disability?
  402. Um, so many, so many able bodied people
  403. do use different facilities that are
  404. accessible and designed for people who
  405. actually need them due to a disability.
  406. And, so now I think when people see
  407. somebody presenting as able-bodied, they
  408. just kind of assume they're able-bodied
  409. because of how many able-bodied people do
  410. take advantage of having a little extra
  411. wiggle room in the stall for when they're
  412. pooping and they don't want anyone to hear
  413. it and I'm like that's not what, that's
  414. not what that was for. It's not for all
  415. you extra shopping bags, ma'am.
  416. It's for people who require either the bar
  417. for support, who require the extra room
  418. for a support worker, for a service
  419. animal, for a mobility device. Like
  420. there's many reasons that that exists.
  421. But your extra shopping bags or like
  422. extra room for popping, isn't what it was
  423. for.
  424. The unfortunate thing as well is that
  425. so many places will put their baby
  426. changing facilities into the disabled
  427. toilets. And it's not like a special
  428. um, weighted table it means that you can
  429. anyone larger than a baby. It's literally
  430. just there because they've lumped in
  431. parents, disabled people, sure. You can
  432. use the same facilities, it's fine.
  433. You know, you'll never need more than one
  434. person using it at the same time. And I've
  435. had things where I have walked out of a
  436. disabled toilet and a mother rammed her
  437. buggy into my legs and was like "Oh, not
  438. disabled or with a child then." And I was
  439. like uhhhh... And at the time-
  440. Actually very disabled thank you!
  441. And at the time I mean I was a teenager
  442. and I was too upset to say anything or do
  443. anything. I'd only just been diagnosed
  444. and I was like, oh this label of disabled
  445. do I get to use this? Do I have the right?
  446. Can I stand up to someone and actually
  447. say "Actually I am disabled?" And it
  448. really upset me inside and it was so
  449. heart wrenching. Despite at the time I
  450. had two paralyzed arms. Like, both of my
  451. arms were paralyzed and I needed to use
  452. the disabled toilet because it was the
  453. only way that I could go to the loo.
  454. Um, but for ages after that I would not
  455. without someone else around.
  456. You know, you've mentioned, I've mentioned
  457. that you're deaf, and I think there's a
  458. a lot of stereotypes that come with that.
  459. Just like blindness and people are like
  460. "Blindness, you can't see anything," a lot
  461. of people think being deaf you can't hear
  462. anything. Being deaf you can't speak.
  463. There's a lot of things like that and so
  464. And then you've mentioned you know your
  465. diagnosis or being disabled as a child
  466. and all of these things, but we haven't
  467. actually like dove into it. So for those
  468. of my followers who have never heard your
  469. story could you kind of give a synopsis of
  470. like, if you're comfortable, what your
  471. diagnosis is? I know that uh, things like
  472. EDS can be very hard to diagnose again,
  473. an invisible disability so what was your
  474. diagnosis journey to getting all of- all
  475. of these diagnoses?
  476. Well, with the NHPP, uh, the diagnosis
  477. was sort of straight forward in that it
  478. I'd always struggled with my hands and
  479. feet as a child. And just being kind of
  480. what was called "clumsy" because they
  481. didn't realize that it was because I
  482. couldn't feel what I was touching. And
  483. you don't realize things because you
  484. assume as a child that everyone else is
  485. like this. So I can't feel the front of
  486. my calves because when I was a baby I
  487. crawled around on them and I've never been
  488. able to feel my knees. And I just assumed
  489. no one can feel their knees, right? Like
  490. you can't feel the skin on your knees
  491. that's weird, who can do that? Um, but I
  492. thought this was totally normal til I hit
  493. 17 and I was in an exam and I lent on my
  494. elbow for about twenty minutes whilst I
  495. writing. And I got a crick in my neck and
  496. woke up the next morning having paralyzed
  497. my arms. Because this crick in my neck had
  498. been so bad, I'm not helped by the stress
  499. of this exam and the fact I'd been on
  500. crutches for like six months before this
  501. point. Um, and I had paralyzed both of my
  502. arms and they stayed that way for a year
  503. and a half, which was very difficult. And
  504. I got rushed to hospital of course and
  505. they were trying to find out what was
  506. wrong with me, it could have been a stroke
  507. it could have been meningitis. And they
  508. ran all sorts of tests, did all sorts of
  509. things and then ran a genetic screening
  510. and were like "Oh, ah, you're actually
  511. missing a gene." I was like, oh right
  512. goodness. So I'm a mutant, which is great.
  513. Still waiting for my X-men powers.
  514. Fellow mutant here so I'm with you.
  515. There we go, see? Have you got your X-men
  516. powers yet? I'm hoping that mine will kick
  517. in soon. / Not quite yet. / A bit late
  518. you know? / Yeah I think they're in the
  519. mail but you know the mail's been slow lately.
  520. It has. We'll just keep blaming it on the
  521. pandemic. It's fine. It's fine. So that
  522. diagnosis was actually pretty
  523. straightforward because it was
  524. very much, "oh we ran your DNA, cool
  525. you've got this" There we go.
  526. But the EDS was a much harder
  527. diagnosis and funny enough,
  528. actually came from YouTube
  529. and my subscribers.
  530. So I was diagnosed with a thing called
  531. mixed connective tissue disorder. Which
  532. is also about being hyper-mobile
  533. and having collagen that is kind of
  534. too flexible and
  535. it also affects your internal organs, but
  536. there were parts of it that
  537. just didn't- i just didn't fit?
  538. I didn't like tick like all of the boxes?
  539. I ticked quite a few of them and
  540. my doctor was like, "Ah, well.
  541. I don't know, maybe it's cause you've got
  542. that other thing as well.
  543. And you know how doctors don't
  544. really talk to each other
  545. if it's not their specialty.
  546. They're like, "Oh, no, sorry.
  547. I'm very specifically an eye doctor
  548. so I don't talk to the brain doctor."
  549. Like, " Oh, thanks."
  550. But this is all one thing.
  551. It's all in- it's all in my head so
  552. if you could coordinate with each other?
  553. They're like, "Oh, no, no, no."
  554. Not my thing/It's also just one body.
  555. Yeah, yeah. One body. One human.
  556. All works. It's a system.
  557. And they're like,
  558. "No, oh no. Just this one thing"
  559. So they always just kind of
  560. chalked it up to that.
  561. That I had something else and
  562. therefore that's why I didn't really
  563. fit this profile and it was a bit weird
  564. and I talked about it on my YouTube channel
  565. I've got this and this
  566. but then in other videos I'd kind of
  567. talk about what I was struggling with
  568. and then say it's a bit hard because
  569. my doctor says: This doesn't fit the profile.
  570. And people in the comments were like:
  571. "That's probably because you have EDS Jessica."
  572. "Have you got checked?"
  573. "I think you've got EDS Jessica."
  574. "Pretty sure you've got EDS Jessica."
  575. "This is EDS."
  576. And I was like, is it?
  577. My goodness.
  578. So I went to my GP and said
  579. well I didn't say the internet says
  580. I have EDS. I was like:
  581. I just would like to be re-referred
  582. to rheumatology please.
  583. So they could maybe check to see
  584. whether I definitely have this thing
  585. that I was diagnosed with?
  586. Or maybe I have another thing.
  587. Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome? Heard of it?
  588. And my doctor: "Oh well that's not curable,
  589. so I'm not gonna refer you"
  590. What?!
  591. I was like... I'm sorry?
  592. Well we just shouldn't know if we have
  593. uncurable things.Obviously.
  594. What what what?!
  595. And he was like "Yeah they're very busy
  596. So, I'm not gonna refer you for them."
  597. Ok! Right!
  598. So I ended up having to go get a
  599. private diagnosis.
  600. Which, I live in England. We have the NHS.
  601. Doing private healthcare is like
  602. a weirdly out there type of thing.
  603. We don't do that much.
  604. So, I went to get a private diagnosis.
  605. Saw a private rheumatologist who was like:
  606. "Yeah, you've obviously got EDS."
  607. I was like, "Oh!
  608. Ok, well the internet was correct."
  609. See? Sometimes you can listen to the internet.
  610. Ok, that's how my Youtube subscribers
  611. wonderfully diagnosed me.
  612. What a story. I love that for you.
  613. Now do your two diagnoses
  614. often go hand-in-hand
  615. or are they rarely seen together?
  616. According to every doctor I have ever met,
  617. I am the only case of these two things
  618. interracting. Because, HNPP is quite
  619. a rare neurological condition.
  620. And it comes from my father.
  621. And my hyper mobility comes from my mother.
  622. So, I'm just blessed.
  623. What a combo.
  624. What a combo.
  625. Well, it's made quite a wonderful woman.
  626. So, I'm glad we have you.
  627. I'm not glad for your pain.
  628. I'm not glad for what you had to go
  629. through to get here.
  630. But I am glad our community has you,
  631. because we need more people like you.
  632. With such a powerful voice and
  633. a powerful story.
  634. As you've said, you've come out of the
  635. closet twice.
  636. As a disabled woman as well as being gay.
  637. Can you share some of that journey
  638. of intersectionality. Coming to terms
  639. with two different, being apart of two
  640. different minority communities.
  641. So I think I have a very different story
  642. and a very different journey to most
  643. young LGBTQ+ people.
  644. And I think in a way, that my disability
  645. really does play into that.
  646. So, I don't have a coming out story
  647. because I never came out to my parents.
  648. I was just always kind of like:
  649. "This is me. This is who I like.
  650. I really like this girl in the X-Men and
  651. we're going to date and I
  652. will marry her one day."
  653. And my parents were like:
  654. "She's animated but you do you."
  655. I'm like: Yeah!
  656. Um, I think partly my parents
  657. are Quakers.
  658. So they never put any expectation
  659. on me that I had to be a certain way.
  660. They never said, you know,
  661. "When you grow up and get a husband."
  662. It was always just:
  663. "When you grow up and if you choose
  664. to get married."
  665. I'm like, yeah ok.
  666. So it always felt very open and
  667. like I could kinda share that part of me.
  668. But, being disabled and having that with me
  669. as I was growing up.
  670. Not knowing that I was disabled but knowing
  671. that there was something about my body
  672. that was wrong, that other people weren't listening to.
  673. Weren't believing in.
  674. Because, my god, when you're a child
  675. and you try to tell adults things,
  676. it can be very difficult to explain
  677. medical conditions because people don't
  678. tend to believe children about these kinds
  679. of things. When you say
  680. you have a headache, they're like,
  681. "Yeah, but you know. Not really.
  682. Cause you're a kid."
  683. Like, no no.
  684. Genuinely, I'm having a migraine
  685. right now. I realize
  686. I'm a child but I'm having a migraine.
  687. And having that to kinda battle agaisnt
  688. and deal with made my sexuality
  689. almost a...it almost became
  690. something that I, of course,
  691. I would just accept it.
  692. Because I had something that was weighing
  693. quite heavily on me and my
  694. sexuality only brought me joy.
  695. It was only, I mean I'm not saying it
  696. brought me joy in fact like,
  697. I had lots of girlfriends.
  698. Because I really didn't, at all.
  699. But it brought me joy in that,
  700. I would have these beautiful really
  701. close relationships that I would
  702. have this massive crush on an actress
  703. and I get to like, watch her and things.
  704. and feel happy and I was like yeah!
  705. This being gay thing is great!
  706. I love it!
  707. But then the body.
  708. I'm like ugh, my body is useless.
  709. But at least I'm gay.
  710. So I've got that going for me.
  711. Yeah, it became almost a saving grace
  712. throughout my teenage years.
  713. Struggling against a body that didn't work
  714. and being told that it should.
  715. Being told that I was incorrect on something.
  716. And then having this thing that I was
  717. really sure of and really happy with and
  718. quite passionate about.
  719. So, it's definetly a different coming out
  720. to most LGBTQ+ young people
  721. but I, in a way, hope that it's something
  722. that we get more of going forwards.
  723. That it's more accepted.
  724. That children are able to
  725. just speak their mind.
  726. That people can support them.
  727. That's a really beautiful story. Honestly.
  728. You know a lot of my friends growing up
  729. were LGBTQ+ because I was the only
  730. disabled kid and they were the only gay kid,
  731. or the only trans kid, and so you know we
  732. just were like, "Hey!
  733. You're also different and not like the other
  734. kids in class. We should be friends."
  735. And so I really like hearing your story
  736. because it is very different than what
  737. a lot of my LGBTQ+ friends went through.
  738. There's actually a really big crossover
  739. between the disabled community
  740. and the LGBTQ+ community.
  741. I think, correct statistic, is that
  742. one third of people who are LGBTQ+
  743. also have a disability.
  744. And- which is a really interesting statistic.
  745. But I think a lot of it has to do with
  746. the fact that you have to come out
  747. about one thing, so you come out about
  748. something else. Like you're more
  749. comfortable with the other thing and
  750. you're like, "Look, let me just
  751. put this out here. You can all clearly see
  752. that I am disabled, so while I'm here,
  753. I'm gay too."
  754. Well yeah! It's like you already have this
  755. big thing to accept about yourself.
  756. You already have this big target on your
  757. back or you know a community runt
  758. so you're like, ok well, I've got one
  759. thing here's the other.
  760. Now I can see that statistic being true
  761. honestly because, as I said, so many of my
  762. friends are LGBTQ+ and I'm disabled
  763. so I kinda do have a lot of friends in
  764. both worlds and I see a lot of that
  765. crossover. I see that I've- now, at this point
  766. in my life for both communities.
  767. Met many people who do identify as being
  768. a part of both.
  769. When you met your wife did she know
  770. sign language?
  771. No! (laughs)
  772. She didn't. In fact, when I first met my wife,
  773. on our first date, I hadn't told her
  774. anything about my disabilities.
  775. I kind of wanted to see whether she
  776. even liked me because I'd been on so many dates
  777. where you spent so much time explaining
  778. what's up. / Yup! / and then you never hear from
  779. them again and ugh, it's such a waste of
  780. my time!/ Very much agree!
  781. But then you have to balance it with
  782. do I want to go on a number of dates
  783. or do I want to spend a whole month
  784. talking to someone and then I tell them
  785. and they're like, "Oh, I can't redo that?"
  786. And then you're like, "Ugh! Well I
  787. just wasted my month of talking to you.
  788. What a waste of time!"
  789. So when she first came up
  790. she actually thought that I was wearing a
  791. bluetooth device and was working.
  792. Cause she saw my hearing aids and was like
  793. "Oh, she's working hard! Continuing on
  794. with her bluetooth device."
  795. And I think to start with, thought I was
  796. a bit rude that I hadn't removed
  797. my headphones. I was like:
  798. "Umm yeah should probably tell you
  799. that I'm deaf."
  800. And so yeah she didn't know anything.
  801. But she was very blasé on our first date
  802. I didn't tell her, you know,
  803. "This is me. I have this disability.
  804. This is how it affects me."
  805. She was like, "Ok. Mmm. Do you still like
  806. to go for walks in the woods?"
  807. "I do."
  808. "Do you still like national trust properties?"
  809. "I do."
  810. And it was just like the basic things that
  811. she needed to know like, "Are you good
  812. around trees?"
  813. "I love a tree. It's wonderful."
  814. "You good around old properties?"
  815. "Love an old property."
  816. "Excellent"
  817. Basics of our marriage, that.
  818. We're country girls at heart.
  819. That is actually exactly how a first date
  820. with a disabled person should go.
  821. Word to anybody who ever goes on a date
  822. with a disabled person.
  823. That's how you know it's a good match:
  824. If you're able to be blasé and focus on
  825. the actual parts of them that are human
  826. outside of disability. Key!
  827. You will win a lot of points with us.
  828. (giggles)
  829. You mentioned something that like
  830. really hit me and maybe we can talk about
  831. it more on the video that we do on your
  832. channel cause this video is already
  833. forever long but it like almost got me
  834. like choked up because when you said it
  835. it resonated with me so hard.
  836. And that is: You look more capable than
  837. you sometimes are.
  838. Or you present more
  839. able-bodied than you are.
  840. And I think that is something
  841. that I have lived with my whole life.
  842. It is really challenging.
  843. It has its perks,
  844. It has its benefits.
  845. You know there are times when
  846. I can just like seamlessly
  847. fit into a group
  848. and not be discriminated against
  849. for a minute
  850. because nobody knows.
  851. But also, you know I remember being
  852. in middle school
  853. and actively losing most of my sight.
  854. I had another blind student at the school
  855. who was fully blind from birth.
  856. And the teacher turns to me and goes,
  857. "Molly!
  858. Help him. He's blind, he can't see it."
  859. And I was like,
  860. "No, no. I too am blind
  861. with guide dog. I don't know
  862. what you're not getting. I too cannot
  863. see the thing."
  864. And I feel like that's like the
  865. perfect example of something I faced
  866. almost daily.
  867. Is just like and I- I just recently
  868. watched your, you did an ableism
  869. video, which had me laughing
  870. out loud and again one of the ones
  871. you said, well many of the ones
  872. you said resonated
  873. but like, well at least you look good.
  874. And it's like a I get that all the time.
  875. Like, "Ugh I can't see"
  876. "Oh, at least your eyes are beautiful."
  877. And I'm like...
  878. Wonderful, thanks.
  879. Thanks.
  880. That really helps.
  881. And I- yeah
  882. It is, it can be very challenging
  883. and even withing your own
  884. disability community, I don't know
  885. if you find this you know
  886. with a part of- because you identify
  887. with so many different groups
  888. of disability, I don't know if you
  889. find this in any of your kind of subsections
  890. of the community, but
  891. if you don't do things
  892. the way a lot of them do
  893. because you're accommodating
  894. other aspects of your disability
  895. you're judged for it.
  896. And I feel like because
  897. being blind is the part of my disability that
  898. gets focused on the most,
  899. people assume I should accommodate it
  900. the way all blind people do.
  901. Or the way a lot of the community does
  902. And I'm like, "Well,
  903. there's also other layers
  904. to my disability.
  905. Like, living with PTSD
  906. and really bad generalized anxiety
  907. is disabling for me at times.
  908. And so that's a very real
  909. part of my disability that I have to
  910. accommodate separate to my blindness.
  911. Or like I'm just like very sensitive
  912. I have a very sensitive digestive system
  913. I've dealt with irritable bowel syndrome
  914. my whole life, so it's
  915. really hard for me to eat sometimes.
  916. And for me to take-
  917. I'm very sensitive to medications. Those
  918. are other parts of my human body
  919. that I need to accommodate.
  920. And I have other parts of my
  921. disability that I don't talk about on the internet
  922. or that I don't expose to the world.
  923. You know, things that I'm affected by
  924. Or you know, things that I'm affected by
  925. Niezsynchronizowane
    that I don't talk about.
  926. Niezsynchronizowane