Kariym and I became friends in University after we were introduced to one another by someone who knew we both shared a facial difference. I’ve come to learn so much about the community of people built around facial differences because of Kariym. He understands the stigma and the struggles of living with a disability better than most. Kariym’s endorsement is a reminder to me to commit to justice for those with disabilities. To ensure that those with disabilities, facial or otherwise, have the support and care they need to live full lives.
A facial difference is a physical condition or syndrome affecting the appearance of a person above the neck. I live with a congenital deformity called microtia. My underdeveloped left ear is completed enclosed and I cannot hear from it. I have zero peripheral hearing and struggle to hear people positioned on the wrong side of my head.