Pictured: a person with blue hair holding up their custom welded prosthetic arm at the camera. They are all wearing a metal mask resembling a skull.
What is your favorite memory/ moment that brought you lots of joy? One of my favorite moments that happens in the disabled community is thankfully one that I was able to experience more than once and am delighted by the knowledge that itll happen again. I absolutely love meeting other people at the intersection of the LGBT+ spectrum and the disabled community!
What is something people generally don’t know about you? I spent most of my life not identifying with the word disability.
Who is Jewel (They/Them) Aw geez there's a lot to say here. I am a disabled, mixed race, transgender, non-binary, enigma, here to destroy harmful societal norms and discrimination. I seek to take the many perspectives I have on this world to find intersections between different groups of people so that we can all learn from each others perspectives. I want this to be a world where people are able to see things from another's point of view so that we can all address each others needs together.
What gets your fired up about the disability movement? This is a world designed for able-bodied people. For some folks they don't see the problem with this because being able-bodied is all they know. By existing in this world as a disabled person sharing the stories of other people and a story of my own I aim to challenge the idea that the world should be idealized for the people who are able-bodied because the world should be accessible to everyone. I refuse to stand by while people ignore our rights to experience the world like every one else because they think it's an inconvenience to accommodate us and our needs.
What is your advocacy platform? I take part in my local governments disability commission and frequently take part in protests to stand up for my beliefs. My art also plays a big role as I use the prosthetics I create to highlight my disability while empowering myself.
What barriers or challenges do you face in this movement? Some people's inability to be able to see things from someone else's perspective. I find that people have great difficulty being able to see why people need accommodations. It's incredibly frustrating to me to watch people ignore a problem that doesn't effect them. This is why I believe we need to fight not only to put laws in place that require people to accommodate disabled people but also to educate the community about why it is important.
What do you want those who do not identify with disability to know? That people with disabilities are very valuable and important to the world. We are a group of people in which each and every one of us has a very different and useful perspective.
What areas are you still growing/hope to grow? Personally? Professionally? I always want my desire to learn to keep growing it is what keeps me empathetic, compassionate and alive.
Who was the person/role model who inspired you to look into disability advocacy? Why/how did they inspire you? Uuuuh this is kinda awkward.... Hi Nikki how are you doing?
When people look at you/up to you, what do you hope they see? I hope that people see the opportunity to be themselves. I want people to see me and all the things I am but also all the things I struggle with.
What are your next steps? Im working to become a better advocate and I'm always using my art to empower myself and the people around me
How do we follow you?! @radicalmaxine on Instagram
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