Disability Pride Month 2022: Jack



Our next feature in my Disability Pride Month project is Jack.

Here's what Jack has to say about Disability Pride:

"To me, Disability pride means externalizing the shame that ableism has often forced me to internalize in order to survive in this world.

It means holding up a mirror to each other as Disabled people, so that when you see my dignity, my worth, you realize that I am looking at you with the same admiration and affection.

Offering each other this recognition of our shared humanity.

Disability has informed every minute of every day I have lived on this planet. Pride for me is about integrating this, claiming this as part of the many things that make me who I am. And inviting you to do the same."

Jack and I talked about the importance of including mobility aids in photos, and specifically being an ambulatory mobility scooter user. So many disabled folks get accosted or are anxiously awaiting to be for standing up while using a chair or scooter. This is an unfortunate reality of so many people's lives and while we couldn't easily get a photo of someone giving Jack a dirty look, we could get a photo of them looking powerful while standing behind their scooter. Mobility aids bring freedom and access to so many, even those who can stand and walk sometimes, and can be a great source of joy and power. I hope we can crush the misconception that those who use wheelchairs or scooters have no use of their legs. There are infinite ways to be disabled and infinite ways to use mobility aids.

Something else we wanted to portray was how so many disabled people use the internet as their main source of socialization and community, especially during a pandemic when it's not safe for most of us to be in public. Jack spends a lot of their time in their hammock chair (which I'm so jealous of) communicating with their friends and community on their computer. While this can sometimes be isolating, it gives us access to something we wouldn't have otherwise.

It was such a joy meeting and collaborating with Jack. It was an honor to be able to photograph them.