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Home » Undressing Disability: Emily Yates at TEDxYouth@StPeterPort (Transcript)

Undressing Disability: Emily Yates at TEDxYouth@StPeterPort (Transcript)

Emily Yates

Emily Yates – TRANSCRIPT

Good evening, everyone. Thank you very much for having me.

I want you to think of the word “disability”. What springs to mind? Is it limitation? Is it challenge? I can almost guarantee that the word “can’t” will be in the sentence that you’ve conjured up. What I hope to do today is change perceptions. I’d like the words “can” and “opportunity” to be there when you think of disability. But I also want to talk about what some consider a very uncomfortable, but also empowering, subject.

The subject of disability, sex and relationships. But I’d like my friends at Enhance the UK to introduce it for you.

(Video clip) [Sophie’s story] Until I got MS at 27 years old, I had a very active life. At school I had regular boyfriends, and at sixteen, I happily lost my virginity. I then did A levels at college and met a chap in a club and travelled around Australia with him.

It was a very physical time. We climbed Ayers Rock and completed a diving course. We split when we got home to England, as I wanted to be single when I started university. I had a few short-term relationships and then met a doctor whilst I was working as a physio. I moved in with him.

The relationship broke down when I was diagnosed with MS. My life changed drastically. This is Sophie’s life. These are Sophie’s words, but she’s borrowing my voice.

[Through an eye gaze board, Sophie asked her sister Paula to voice her thoughts]

I’ve always had a good sex drive. When I was working, it was easy to meet people with similar interests. I’ve found it increasingly frustrating. I want friends, relationships and sex. But I can’t wear and walk in clothes that are sexy.

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