Jake Hytken

Jake Hytken

Caucasian male wheelchair user wearing brown sneakers, pants, shirt and vest smiles in front of an outdoor scene of green hills.

“I can never be with a disabled person because I live an active lifestyle.”

This quote is the reason I am often told of why someone won’t go on a date with me. Disabled people live in a society that makes assumptions about our identities, without ever making an attempt to get to know us first.

My rhetoric is honest: I am open about my queer sexuality which is often overlooked, my opportunities to develop professionally passed up for someone abled, but also my commitment to the pursuit of happiness.

30 years ago I was too young to understand the impacts of ADA, but today I have a gratitude and fire to see it continue to evolve. The ADA was the foundation to say ‘WE EXIST!” – With policymakers now on board that there should be no discussions about us without us it’s time to use social media as the new push. We need the people to welcome us into their private institutions.

I kindly ask for your consideration to be a part of ADA30s Leadon celebrations to discuss how I challenge misconceptions of living disabled. I am not a meme to inspire someone, nor am I the same as other disabled folks. I live an authentic experience where I put my adventures into art and media, probing what it means to live an active disabled life. All of which are worthy of life, love, and liberty.

Social media handles: @Irolleduplikethis (Instagram), https://www.linkedin.com/in/jakobhytken/

Twitter: @JakeOutLoud