Dessa

About Dessa

Originally a Southerner, Dessa loves the charm and hospitality of Detroit. Dessa is a proud Little Person, using her disability to challenge, endear, and cut lines at amusement parks. Training community organizers by day and earning her Masters of Social Justice after hours, Dessa loves shifting paradigms, breaking glass ceilings, and honoring the Feminine Divine. Click here to read more about Dessa
Author Archive | Dessa

How to Take Charge of Those Uncomfortable Moments When You’re Compared to a Porn Star

‘Noooooo!’ I mentally yelled in slow-motion. I imagined my arms stretched out in front of me, palms outward, pushing against the air … pushing him away. This young man was finishing one of the oddest comments a stranger had laid on me in a long time. “…I’ve watched Bridget the Midget porn. You know, out […]

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“Accessible” Wedding Plans: Wheelchairs and All

This week, my partner, Ryan, and I are celebrating our first wedding anniversary.   After a year, I am happy to report that: a) I love being married and b) I’m glad I never have to go through the process of planning a wedding again! As with all big projects, planning our wedding was quite […]

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Warning: Learning to Flip Grown Men Can be Good For Your Health

I never imagined that I’d get into martial arts. In fact, as a teen, the thought of martial arts made me feel weird and angsty. I think it was a combination of having seen bad kung fu movies and having no concept of how martial arts could relate to my life whatsoever. I had no […]

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A Tailor-Made Mother for a Child with a Disability

When I was young, other kids occasionally made fun of me for being short or walking differently or using a wheelchair. My mom helped me emotionally and intellectually understand a world that could be unfair and discriminatory. She always took the time to talk to me about how this made me feel, letting me cry, […]

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How to Be on the Ground Floor of Taking a Stand (Even When it Sucks)

I winced – even though I saw the question coming. I recently got a text from a colleague in New York asking if we could have a phone call because she had a quick question about our upcoming work retreat for our organization. I knew that she’d been searching for a place to have the […]

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The Push-Pull of Those Prickly, Yucky, Sucky Family Moments

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t have the best relationship with my step-monster. Um, I mean step-mother. We are very different women who have been sharing a singular important man in our lives for over 15 years now. I hate living the stereotypical step-daughter/step-mother dynamic. But for us it’s been mostly drama, […]

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Do I Look Like I Should Be in a Nursing Home?

A couple of months ago, I got a call from an organizer friend of mine. Like any good organizer, she gave me a brief explanation of the campaign she was working on and then set-up a one on one to talk further about how I could support her efforts. The morning our coffee date rolled […]

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“Look Mommy, a LITTLE Mommy!”

Even though I no longer have summers off, my life still changes when school’s out. My life changes because there are more small children everywhere I go and this means I’m busy explaining my ‘little person’ self to them when I venture to the coffee shop or the post office or the grocery store. Standing […]

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Rudeness Trumped by Showing the LOVE

My mom happened to be visiting when my Zumba piece was first published on the site. She sat at my dining room table to read it -and a couple of others she’d missed along the way. I re-read it too. There’s something about seeing one of my pieces for real on the site (and not […]

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The Zen of Being Graceful in the Face of Raw Rudeness

“I don’t think you should do it.” A beautiful woman was walking toward me. As she approached, she said it again. “I don’t think you should do it.” I knew what was going on, but I forced myself not to be reactionary. “Hi, I’m Dessa.” I stuck out my hand to shake hers – and […]

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