Nina G. Comedian tears up TEDx and with captions

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Nina G. recently came out with a TEDx talk called “Being an Everyday Ally.” This is so good and so needed! I know people who shy away from allyship with marginalized groups because they fear they’ll do it wrong, say the wrong thing, or generally misunderstand what work is needed. Nina spells it out for you in this TEDx talk with some basic allyship principles for the disability community (though the principles apply anywhere). She also literally spells it out because she got the video Closed Captioned herself and had the TEDx folks post those captions.

Side note: I don’t know why the TED talks are captioned, but TED doesn’t seem to offer funding to any TEDx sites to have their videos captioned. Tsk, tsk, I say. Side side note: The response of “Captioning is too expensive” puts a price tag on only some people’s access to knowledge and information. It sends the message that if you need captions, you’re not valued enough to motivate me to invite you to watch. We need to step away from the economics argument of ignoring captioning and step toward an equity argument. Back to Nina!

If you’ve watched Nina G.’s stand up, you’ll recognize some of the stories and jokes in this speech, but this version is safe for work. That said, I would encourage you to visit Nina G.’s YouTube Channel and check out a lot of really delightful work. The other thing she does here is give real-world suggestions and ideas for actions people can take and mindsets people can have. It’s not about raising awareness or finding the right terminology likely anger the fewest people. The speech “Being An Everyday Ally” lets you know how you can view disabled people as whole, complete people. We’re not defined by a constant need to be helped and assisted. But we’re not defined by being ultra-independent superheroes who can achieve more than you’ll ever hope to. We’re people. And we’re part of a marginalized group. The Americans with Disabilities Act states that, and anyone who’s ever faced discrimination because of their disability (or because someone thinks they have a disability) can tell you that too.

Because discrimination and microaggressions are such an everyday occurrence for so many disabled people, I highly encourage you to invest 15 minutes in this talk. Even in safe for work mode, Nina is hilarious and biting. Her suggestions for inter-dependence and allyship are spot on. Here’s the link again, in case you missed it at the top! “Being An Everyday Ally” by Nina G. Comedian. You can also access a typed transcript on her website.

Follow her at on Twitter, and While you’re there, book her to do a stand-up show, give an interactive lecture in grade school through university classes, discuss her book about classroom accommodations, and basically just rock the house on my podcast a while back. I’ll leave you with this, an image and line from her TEDx talk:

Nina G. Comedian gives a speech. Text on the image says, "As wonderful as microaggressions are to my stand up comedy, they are not so great for my psychological and my emotional well-being." [Image description: Nina G. Comedian gives a speech. Text on the image says, “As wonderful as microaggressions are to my stand up comedy, they are not so great for my psychological and my emotional well-being.”]