Hephy’s Den is an artist and gospel singer from Florida. She is currently working as a wall décor artist and children’s illustrator (but is also welcome to other projects), and singing in churches or open mic events. Growing up with two siblings, she took much of the family responsibility on her shoulders, and continues to push herself to be a good role model to her young sisters. She wishes to perform next to the greats someday and get to know Atlantic Records or Interscope, her two biggest inspirations. If you wish to contact her for her portfolio and/or music, you may email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Art website: hephysden.com.
While I hope for the pandemic to end and for less lives to be put in danger, I also hope that the experience of quarantine, which has forcibly and suddenly shrunken our individual and collective freedoms and capacities, can be an opportunity for able-bodied folks to think about how this is, has always been, and will always be the “normal” that people with disabilities must live with.
During this global pandemic, we’ve all had to bear overwhelming stress and devastating losses while also being cut off from the people, activities, and places that bring us joy and help us cope with distress in the day to day.
I grew up with youth pastors preaching about how we should not say “jeez!” or “gosh!” because we were really saying “Jesus Christ!” and “God!” and thereby implicitly taking the Lord’s name in vain. As much as I wanted to honor God, that just seemed frivolous.
I was playing basketball in seventh grade when someone yelled out, “Look, it’s Yao Ming!” At first, I didn’t know if this was a compliment or if the person was ignorant. I then realized they were making fun of the color of my skin.
My parents’ marriage ended along the same timeline as the fall of the Berlin Wall: cracking apart in 1989, formally dismantling around 1990, and all but gone by 1991. While East and West Berliners were celebrating their reunification, my mother and my father mourned their divorce.
Our kitchen is filled with all manner of children’s supplies. Sippy cups, plastic cutlery, and a half dozen small, white plastic bowls with blue or pink rims. We fill them up with cereal and pretzels, fruit and popcorn; basically, anything edible.