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BuzzFeed, Dating In A Wheelchair, & Representation:  Interview with Lolo

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Screenshot of the title of the video:  “Thoughts You Have While Dating In A Wheelchair” (Buzzfeed)

Screenshot of the title of the video:  “Thoughts You Have While Dating In A Wheelchair” (BuzzFeed)

Buzzfeed is known for creating videos about diverse life experiences, and it has recently produced one that I can wholeheartedly relate to.  The video is “Thoughts You Have While Dating In A Wheelchair” that features vlogger Lolo.  Lolo’s performance spoke deeply to my spirit.  It was the first time I saw a Black disabled woman talk about dating in such a way that resonated with my own experiences.  In her role, Lolo brought the funny with her “heels or boots?” question and gushing about how her date was so strong when helping her in the Uber.  The thoughts and concerns Lolo portrayed are ones that were too realistic – I could not stop laughing at the truth gems dropped in the video.  

I reached out to Lolo because I had to know who she was, and I am grateful that she afforded me the pleasure of interviewing her for the blog.  In the following interview, Lolo shared with me about how she got the role, why doing this video was important to her, and her ambitions as a disabled vlogger.  

Without further ado, here is Lolo, in all of her Black disabled girl magic glory:

 

VT:  Tell me about yourself.

Lolo:  I am a disability lifestyle influencer and vlogger with my own Youtube channel called Sitting Pretty that is all about my life as a woman in a wheelchair.

 

VT:  How did you get selected for this video?  

Lolo:  I met the director/producer, Daysha Edewi, at an event in Los Angeles.  We clicked really well and developed an idea to work together on a sketch and that’s pretty much it.  It was all organic, which I loved; plus she’s an amazing person.

 

VT:  What insight were you able to provide about the script, which is so realistic to the thoughts I have as a Black disabled woman that dates?  

Lolo:  I wanted to provide subtle insight on a topic everyone can relate to, like dating, but share my unique experience as a person with a disability.  The “thoughts” were very specific and spoke to those things.

 

VT:  What was your experience in creating the video?  Were you proud of the finished product?  

Lolo:  The experience was PHENOMENAL!  I literally had one of the best and most fun times ever on set.  We just worked well together and had the same type of humor and spirits so we just had a great time.  Lots of laughter!!!

 

VT:  Why did this video matter to you as a Black disabled woman?  

Lolo:  It mattered to me as a black woman because black women with disabilities are never represented in media.  I made sure that whatever I did for the video, that it was going to be authentic to my personality and being a black woman is a huge part of that.

 

VT:  How do you want disabled women, particularly Black women with disabilities, to view you in this role, & the message you shared?

Lolo:  Honestly, I just want anyone who can relate, to love this video.  And anyone who thought it wasn’t possible to date and be desired, to know that you can date and you are desirable.

 

VT:  Are you hoping Buzzfeed and other outlets produce more of these videos, and do so to include disabled women from all backgrounds?

Lolo:  Yes I would love for them to.  It’s all about representation and inclusion for me.

 

VT:  Do know I am very excited to know you and am eager to support your work.  Share with us about your vlog and other projects you are a part of.

Lolo:  My vlog is on YouTube and it’s called “Sitting Pretty.”  I talk about various parts of disability lifestyle in a fun and fearless way.  I have some more stuff that I’m working on to spread awareness and promote inclusion.

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Final Thoughts

Videos like “Thoughts You Have While Dating In A Wheelchair” is definitely a prime example as to why intersected dating experiences need to be shared – we become affirmed that we are not alone in our love journey.  That video empowered me as I continue my “that’s the way love rolls” adventures and I know that others can say the same.  On Lolo’s YouTube channel, she discusses dating and life as a disabled woman, and I am a new follower to her wonderful advice.  

We need more of these videos – our stories matter and now is the time to step up and create these bodies of work so that we can be authentically represented.  

About Vilissa Thompson, LMSW

Vilissa is the Founder & CEO of Ramp Your Voice!, an organization she created to establish herself as a Disability Rights Consultant & Advocate. Ramp Your Voice! is a prime example of how macro-minded Vilissa truly is, and her determination to leave a giant "tire track mark" on the world.

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