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Yep, I’m disabled ♿️

disability life Dec 07, 2023
Screenshot of Renée from a youtube video

Monday, December 3rd was International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPWD) and it made me realize that since I’ve been talking about trans voice so much for the past several years, that few of my followers are aware that in addition to identifying as trans, I also identify as disabled.

I have chronic sacroiliac joint dysfunction which causes chronic pain, and affects my ability to walk, stand, or even sit and lie down for extended periods (which affects my sleep).

I’ve used mobility aids like a cane and a rollator since 2011, and have experienced complications as a result. I’ve had chronic tendinitis and bursitis in my shoulder, and, in 2017, I had an “upper extremity deep vein thrombosis” (a blood clot in my arm) caused by thoracic outlet syndrome brought on my years of assisted mobility (and a genetic predisposition).

I even made a video about it back then!

Because of my arm and shoulder injuries, I don’t use my mobility aids much anymore, but that doesn’t make me any less disabled.

My disability affects every choice I make in my life and work. My experiences of advocating for the accommodations I need to function are what have driven me to make my courses as accessible as possible.

I know what it feels like to be forgotten, or never considered in the first place, and it’s a feeling I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

I made a video on disability and the onus of advocacy after just such an experience happened to me during my jazz degree.

My disability also significantly impacts my gender expression! Many people were surprised when I got top surgery because I wasn’t often wearing a binder in my daily life, but I wasn’t really able to because of how a binder exacerbated my pack pain.

I often wonder how I would express gender differently using hair, clothes, and makeup, if it weren’t for chronic pain…

My health has improved significantly in the past few years, likely as a result of working from home and being able to prioritize my rest and recovery as needed, but every so often I get a pain flare that reminds me why I have never stopped identifying as a disabled person.

That’s all for now! Before I sign off, I’d be honoured to hear how disability has impacted your life. Feel free to reply to this email and let me know.

Thanks for reading,

Renée ✨

Hi, I'm Renée! (they/them)

I'm a queer, nonbinary, and disabled singer, songwriter and gender-affirming voice teacher. 

I've been a voice teacher for over twelve years, I have four full-length albums out, and I have degrees in physics, jazz, and songwriting.

I love creating, I love figuring things out, but most of all, I love helping people.

Learn more about me

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Lessons I've learned after 10+ years with chronic pain.

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