I used to hide under my hair. I wanted to stay unseen. In the past few years, that has completely changed.
In 2019, I stepped out of my comfort zone to take part in AboutFace’s Beyond My Face awareness video. More recently, I went a step further as the first speaker in their children and youth speaker series. I want to encourage others to own their own narrative because, for me, doing so has had untold benefits.
The world around us often wants to focus on the hardships of life with a facial difference. Of course, growing up with a difference (in my case, Goldenhar Syndrome) has presented many challenges. It has also provided me with unique gifts of empathy, awareness, and insight.
It’s cliché to say, but there is a lot more to me than my difference. I love fashion and the performing arts, and I have a wicked sense of humour. And I not only navigate this world as someone with a facial difference, I navigate it as someone who is queer. It’s important that all facets of myself are acknowledged.
I believe it’s time for the multitude of unique personalities, talents, and voices of the facial difference community to be seen and heard. I’m grateful to AboutFace for helping me share my own.