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Jessica Kellgren-Fozard is the Ray of Positivity You Need in Life!

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Delhi South chapter.

I think it’s time that I introduce you all to my favorite YouTuber, Jessica Kellgren-Fozard. She is a deaf and disabled YouTuber who lives with her beautiful wife Claudia and their loveliest little baby Rupert. She makes all sorts of videos on disability awareness and queer community with a tinge of sassiness. When I tell you she kept me sane during the lockdown, I am not kidding. I binge watched her videos till I had seen every one of them!

Now let’s talk about her disabilities. She has two genetic disorders, HNPP and EDS. I would not be able to do justice explaining these terms, and to be honest, it would not be quite amusing to make this a biology lecture. Her genetic disorders basically make things hard for Jessica when it comes to mobility, sensations and cognition, which results in memory issues, paralysis of different body parts and debilitating migraines. Her disabilities have also rendered her deaf and blind from her right eye. If you want to know more about her interesting case watch this video where she explains her disabilities much better than I did.

I discovered her YouTube channel when I stumbled upon one of her videos on deafness and promptly got obsessed. I soon learnt that deafness is not absolute, people have different range of deafness or hearing impairments and different types of it because of different causes. In other words- it is a spectrum. So are disabilities! If you watch Jessica’s channel you will know that her disability is a physical one, which is invisible to an eye from outside. But that does not mean that she suffers any less, she in fact has to use mobility aids quite often when she is unable to walk due to chronic fatigue or any injury. That is why one must not jump on the conclusion that every single wheelchair user can not walk at all! She frequently uses crutches, wheelchair or other mobility aids. She has made videos on mobility aids as well.

This is not it though, she is also openly queer, she identifies as a lesbian and so, makes videos about queerness. She makes film reviews, videos on queer representation in films and media in general and promptly calls out any kind of false information or misrepresentation. I quite love her series of ‘ask your lesbian moms’ in which Jessica and Claudia answer questions of fellow queers and give LGBTQ advice. Being a history student, it would be a crime for me to not mention her ‘Queer History 101‘ playlist, which is as interesting as it sounds. Here she talks about everything related to queer history, historical personalities (quite clearly queer but brushed off as ‘intimate friends’), terms used in history to describe them or the secret language they came up with to communicate without alerting the authorities; it is a real history treat.

Her videos are very influential as they make people like her feel included and heard. If you read the comments in her videos, you will realize how many lives she transformed for the better through her educational and awareness videos. It is extremely important for people who belong to marginalized communities such as disabled people and queer people, to be heard; as the society has already pushed them in an isolated corner, or we can say ‘in the closet.’ Content creators such as Jessica are a fresh breath of air for such people, who make them feel they are not alone, that they are human too, that they deserve and can a better life.

If there is any kind of misrepresentation of queer and/or disabled communities, she has probably addressed it in her YouTube videos. She also has collaborated with other YouTubers such as Jamie and Shaaba, Stevie Boebi, Molly Burke and many more queer and disabled YouTubers. She also wears vintage dresses and hairstyles on a daily basis and also makes tutorials on vintage makeup and fashion!

Here are some key takeaways from her channel:

  • Don’t infantilize disabled people/people with disabilities, they are their own person and can very well communicate with you themselves and not through their caretaker or partner.
  • Do not bombard them with invasive questions regarding their disabilities, it is sometimes quite painful to recall their experiences and are only reserved for people who they are extremely close with.
  • Same goes with LGTBQ people, do not ask invasive or insensitive questions just because you are curious about it. Be polite and ask them if they are okay talking about something before jumping directly to the question.
  • Do not be afraid to seek help in case you need it, especially if you have a disability. Voice your concerns and let the people around you adapt to your needs, not the other way round.
  • Do not assume that the person is ‘faking it’ just because you can not see their disabilities, many physical disabilities are not visible from the outside.
  • Just be nice to people in general, their disability or sexual orientation/identity does not define them, treat them as people and not as just a ‘disabled’ person or a ‘queer’ person.
Anoushka Patni

Delhi South '24

Quirky and versatile artist with a passion for writing.