Jeanette (38), born in The Hague, her parents are from Surinam. She has 3 siblings. 35, 23 en 19. Work as editor and am a political disability rights activist, speaker and model. Actively part of BIJ1. Proud bisexual disabled Muslima of color.
What kind of upbringing did you have? There is also a term: “Tiger parents or Tiger mom”. Did you have a similar upbringing?
A very open upbringing. But no emotional support. So very lonely, confused, stressed and scared
Are there any taboos or things that you can’t discuss with your parents?
Sex and sexuality. The toxic hierarchy in the family . My disability.
Do you feel close with your Asian roots or not?
Yes I do. It makes me proud and I see the worth of it in my life. But also sad because I have never felt part of my community.
Did you ever feel ashamed of you being Asian?
When I was younger. I believe that in the Netherlands you are brought up to be ashamed of your cultural background and disability. Internalized racism, sexism and ableism. Until I did media studies and then it hit me one day. All the shame I have been unlearning since then. And since I’ve been very angry of white people and whiteness
Did you ever have a role model when you grew up?
Not really. It is very lonely as a disabled Muslima of color. Then in 2019 I saw this South Asian woman with the same disability. And I cried.
What do you think of the Asian representation in The Netherlands?
It sucks. We are totally invisible. Disabled people are even non-existent.
Do you feel like you’re the ‘The Asian Model Minority Myth’?
No, I have never felt part of our community. And also not perceived by others.
What made you who you are now?
The work I put in my own healing. I believe in myself and the disability communities I found where I can finally be myself. They lift me up and support me with every part of my identity.
Have people also made comments about you being Chinese? How did you react to this, what did you feel?
I am not Chinese.
What are stereotype Asians in your opinion and where does that come from? Do you see other Asians like those stereotypes?
Shy, humble, feisty, dramatic, dienstbaar (at your service). Tbh idk where that comes from exactly. I see a lot of Asians not aware of the implications. I don’t know if they like them
What stereotypes and comments have you heard about your appearance? Do you identify with that too? How do you see yourself compared to how others see you? What do you feel and how do you feel when people make such comments?
The comments made about me are mostly related to my disability. Being disabled, being short. Pretty for a disabled person. I,ve been pitied a lot. Hate it. Sometimes children are scared of me. That hurts
What racist remarks and discrimination have you experienced? Have you experienced it before? Where, when, how? Which experience do you remember most? So has it gotten worse with the Coronavirus? What do you feel and how do you feel when people make such comments?
You speak such good Dutch, tbh I don’t exactly remember them atm. My disability was always on the forefront and I wasn’t always very aware of the racial implications or other intersections. Since a few years I’ve been more aware of racist and sexist microaggressions
What is a funny trait or tell something that not everyone knows about you
I am an Asian who’s a sucker for basic/plain Dutch AGV :’). I love hutspot. My stomach gets upset by spicy food. Or food with different flavors to it
In Asian culture, it is normal as a woman to get married as soon as possible, have children, and become a housewife. Because when you have a husband, you have children, you have “made” it in life. How do you see it?
I have strived for it for the most part of my life but was always aware that I was not a very good party to be married with because of my disability. People often pitied me. Now I don’t even believe in monogamy. So I am exploring that more now. Also my sexuality through photography.
Where do you stand now and what are your plans for the future?
I am working on my political career. And I am exploring that. I am expanding my activism at the same time. I don’t want to be a ‘politician’ or activist. I feel like this society is forcing me to do it. Because if I don’t. The next generation will be stuck with the same oppression. My plans for the future: You can hire me as speaker on the subjects diversity , inclusion,/disability, the intersection of disability abd race, sex and sexuality, VN Verdrag Handicap, the different models on disability (social, medical, charity, etc.)(disability rights), I love the stage, I love doing photoshoots, video’s, dressing up, representing my culture at the same time. I am discovering the different sides of myself through photography. You can support my work via my OnlyFans account. but also voorzichtig trying to get more in touch with Hindostanen. But I am scared of it because of past trauma.
What do you want to give to the readers?
I want them to care and act more on disability rights. And see us as equals. Hire us, support us, be an ally.
Where can we follow you:
Insta, twitter: @jeanettechedda Facebook: iamchedda.
Support my photography on OnlyFans: @jeanettechedda