Revisiting #DisabledJoy Five Years Later: How a Hashtag of Pride Continues to Resonate

As a disability advocate, Andrew Farkash had long been struck by the fact that many people seem to equate disability with unhappiness. In March 2018 he launched a new hashtag on Twitter – #DisabledJoy – to show how crucial joy is to disabled people. “There’s a common misconception that you can’t be Disabled and happy,” Farkash wrote on Twitter. “That you can’t express joy, and if you do, you must not be hurting or Disabled anymore. I propose a new hashtag to empower us and show people otherwise

The Complicated Genre of Anti-MLM YouTube

We urgently need your help. DAME reports the stories that need to be told, from perspectives that aren’t heard enough. In times of crisis it is even more critical that these voices are not overlooked, but COVID-19 has impacted our ability to keep publishing. Please support our mission by joining today to help us keep reporting. With her blue kitchen in the background, YouTuber Madison Harnish, who runs the channel Cruel World Happy Mind, talks about how multi-level-marketing companies (MLMs) ta

I'm a Deaf Coachella interpreter. We don't just translate lyrics — we put on shows full of art and culture.

• Branton Stewart is a Certified Deaf Interpreter who's signing at Coachella this year. • Stewart's job isn't just to translate the lyrics — it's to communicate the culture and emotion behind the show. • This is Stewart's story, as told to writer Julia Métraux. This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Branton Stewart, a Certified Deaf Interpreter who will sign at Coachella's music festival this year. It has been edited for clarity. I'm Branton Stewart, a Certified Deaf Interprete

The Real Deaf Individuals Behind Apple TV's El Deafo

In both the show and in Bell’s own life, she initially had a complicated relationship with hearing aids, as they made her feel different. Bell coped with this by viewing her hearing aids as her “superpower” and became more confident in wearing them. Bell told HearingTracker that it is important for parents of children who are Deaf or hard of hearing to pay attention to their kids’ relationships with hearing devices, as they can be complex. “I think every Deaf person, every hard-of-hearing pers

Oakland Pride Month is going strong, with some events live and others virtual

Oakland Pride Month is celebrated through September and features myriad events. But this year, with the COVID-19 pandemic still a menace, the celebrations have been varied. Oakland Pride’s festival was initially scheduled to take place in person. But it switched to virtual around a week before because of safety concerns. But in person at Lake Merritt last Saturday, dozens of people gathered under white tents for the Oakland LGBTQ Community Center’s inaugural Pride in the Park: LGBTQ + Health &

Marissa Miller Says Being Weird Is Good

JWA sat down with writer Marissa Miller to discuss her essay collection Pretty Weird: Overcoming Impostor Syndrome and Other Oddly Empowering Lessons, published in May 2021. Miller’s debut book highlights the awkwardness of growing up, the difficulty of managing a freelance writing career, the importance of Jewish culture, and the struggle of living with disordered eating. From depicting a living situation gone wrong to experimentation with sexuality at Jewish summer camp, the book is full of pe

Millions of People are Watching Earwax Removal Videos

TikTok has been an amazingly popular social-media platform, educating its audience of 800 million on a variety of topics — for example, healthcare workers dispelling coronavirus myths. One trending topic that took off in 2020 and continues to surge may surprise you: earwax removal. Videos posted with the hashtags #earwax and #earcleaning have amassed over 1.4 billion and nearly 350 million views respectively. Why do people want to watch?

Helen Keller Conspiracy Theories Are Awash With Ableism

Even before social media became a plan to embolden conspiracy theories, people have been underestimating what disabled people are able to accomplish. I grew up with hearing loss, so my peers made fun of me because I couldn’t hear their whispers, and adults questioned whether I should take foreign language classes with my classmates because they doubted my abilities and my intelligence. As a result, I didn’t have a lot of drive in elementary school because I didn’t think I was capable of achievin

The Writers Who Want to Get Americans to Talk to Each Other Again

In these divisive times, it can be hard to build relationships with people who have different viewpoints. Narratively contributors Justine Lee and Tria Chang teamed up to try to bridge the gap between those on different sides of the political spectrum. Their method: dinner conversations. Lee and Chang talked to Narratively about their own friendship, and what led to the creation of their project, Make America Dinner Again.

My Dad, the Globetrotting Businessman, Paleographer...and Spy?

“When I came home from work, the cook told me that some men had entered the house with machine guns drawn,” my father recalled dramatically as he tucked me and my brother in to bed. At bedtime, instead of reading us stories from the pages of fairytales or books of cartoons, my dad used to tell my twin brother and me stories about his own life. This particular tale was from 1972, when he was working in the tea trade in Bangladesh. He’d been in his early 20s at the time, living in Bangladesh just six months after the country had been partitioned from Pakistan following a bloody war.

What Happens If You Run Out of Mental Health Meds During the Apocalypse?

Writer and comedian Gaby Dunn, who has bipolar disorder, went camping at a mountain with her then-girlfriend. During the trip, Dunn was asked what she would do if something bad happened. Dunn responded that her bipolar disorder symptoms would act up because she only had “a certain amount of medication” with her. This experience inspired Dunn to create the upcoming Audible Original series “Apocalypse Untreated.”

Animated DreamWorks Series for Kids Adds Disabled Character

The new season of the DreamWorks animated series “Spirit Riding Free: Riding Academy” will feature a disabled character, Eleanor, who is a wheelchair user. Voice actress Cassidy Huff, who has Conradi-Hunermann syndrome, will be voicing the role. According to Huff, her role breaks from the typical disability stereotypes and is a win for authentic disability representation. “Spirit Riding Free: Riding Academy” follows characters Lucky and her friends as they navigate their time and relationships wit

11 Canadian Jewish Celebrities, Because Why Not

Happy Canada Day! Every July 1, the United States’ neighbors — or, as they would write, “neighbours” — up north come together and celebrate the anniversary of when Canada received their independence from the United Kingdom. While I live in Massachusetts now, I am originally from Canada myself, from a city named Winnipeg in the province of Manitoba (fun fact: Winnipeg sometimes gets colder than Mars). While Canada Day is a celebration for many, the creation of Canada was and continues to be a lo

This is how your dog account can go viral on Instagram and Twitter

After the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, computer scientist and dog mom Jen Golbeck was spending a lot of time on social media, which was part of her job as a social media researcher and professor. Golbeck noticed that so many people were angry, including herself, so she decided to start a new side project. She created The Golden Ratio, where she posted photos of her four dogs as a “little happy retreat that people can go to.” More than three years later, the Golden Ratio has a dedicated fanb

The Pope Who Wrote an Erotic Novel

Aeneas Silvius Bartholomeus caught the attention of King Frederick III of Germany, the future Holy Roman Emperor, with his talent for words. King Frederick named Bartholomeus poet laureate in 1442 and commissioned him to write his own royal biography. The king may not have known that Bartholomeus had a far less regal side interest. According to Absolute Monarchs, by historian John Julius Norwich, over the next three years, while working in the royal chancery in Vienna, Bartholomeus wrote a large amount of “mildly pornographic poetry.” And then there was his magnum opus: The Tale of Two Lovers, or Historia de duobus amantibus, an erotic novel that he penned in 1444. This dalliance with erotic literature is even more surprising given that Bartholomeus later took on a much more high-profile position: In 1458, he become Pope Pius II.

Is TikTok "Bad For The Jews"

For a few months, my friends have been hounding me to download TikTok. After weeks of standing strong, last month I caved. I had been reluctant to join TikTok because the app is under a national security probe over its alleged ties to the Chinese government. Various American politicians, including Chuck Schumer and Marco Rubio, have expressed concerns that TikTok may be used to influence elections. But, the allure of the sketches and clips that my friends kept talking about was too strong, and I downloaded the app anyway.

A Chef Who Fuses Food and Performance Art to Challenge Bias

From sketchy temp positions to a climate change-fighting scientist, we have published many stories over the years about how unique jobs have impacted people’s lives. One recent story that particularly caught readers’ attention is chef Jenny Dorsey’s article “Yes, This Meal Is Supposed To Make You Comfortable.” In this article, Dorsey writes about how growing up and through culinary school, people have made her feel that her family’s Chinese cuisine was somehow backward. We chatted with Dorsey about her writing, her non-profit Studio ATAO, and the work that she does to challenge prejudiced notions about food.
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