For Disability Pride Month we're highlighting some incredible creators who will be sharing what this month means to them and amplifying their voices to share important moments in their TikTok journey. So for this week, we are spotlighting @lifeofrylie_. Rylie is our resident gamer, dancer and make-up artist who shares fun and educational content with her 150.2k strong community.
Rylie is a wheelchair user and member of the LGBTQIA+ community who uses their page to embrace and celebrate her identity, and encourage others to do the same.
Creativity is at the heart of Rylie's content, from their makeup looks and their equally amazing wigs to their product hacks. When they're not sharing their incredible make-up masterclasses, they can be found flexing their dance moves which are equally impressive.
If that wasn't enough, Rylie's educational videos are a firm hit with the community too. Rylie uses their platform to encourage their followers to look beyond their biases and educate themselves about the language they use when speaking to and about people with disabilities.
We chatted to Rylie to better understand what Disability Pride Month means to them and why raising awareness matters.
What does Disability Pride Month mean to you?
Disability pride means a lot to me. Disability pride occurs the month after LGBTQ+ pride, in which companies change their logos in support of gay pride. Once the month is over, and disability pride begins, companies are silent. There is no news coverage, no disabled creators being hired, nothing. It is the month we fight for visibility, and education. Being an LGBTQ+ AND a disabled creator, watching disability pride being ignored and overlooked is extremely difficult, but our community comes together to fight for visibility.
Why do you think raising awareness about disabilities matters?
Disability awareness is extremely important. 15-20% of the world's population are disabled, and YOUR health is not guaranteed. Accidents happen, as well as old age, which can make you disabled at any point. Disability representation and advocation should be important to everyone.
What first inspired you to create on TikTok?
TikTok was that new app that everyone was obsessed with. Everyone I knew was making videos on TikTok. I started making dance videos here and there to the latest trends, and it helped me when I first became an active wheelchair user. Soon I started growing a good following, making dance, makeup and jewellery videos.
What role do you think TikTok can play in challenging representation?
TikTok is the most used social media platform of the younger generation. The generation that is challenging harmful and deeply imbedded societal issues. I have learnt how to unlearn some of the same issues that were deeply embedded into my upbringing, from “society”. TikTok is the best platform to share, engage, educate and allow people to understand the importance of representation.
What is your goal on TikTok?
My main goal is to show everyone that disabled adults are adults like every other. I want the world to know more about disabilities.
What other creators (with a disability) are on your For You feed?
What do you love most about the TikTok community?
The TikTok community can be some of the most supportive people. I had so many generous and helpful people when I needed to fundraise for a wheelchair.
What is your favourite TikTok you have made to date and why?
My favourite TikToks are my dancing ones. I love dancing in my chair and adapting dances to be wheelchair friendly. It’s my favourite form of exercise and fun.