We often tag other people by the way they look. Their clothes, their haircut, their car. We all have prejudices and preconceptions of what we don’t know but think we do. Tom’s ambition is to change people’s perceptions about people with disabilities. And his way to achieve this is by simply being himself.
Tom’s creativity has helped him take his disability to a completely different level. He is a multifaceted character that will crush any preconception you might have in 5 minutes. But you’ll have to give him those 5 minutes.
The most common problem in knowing people is that we barely give 5 minutes of our attention to a stranger. If you happen to cross Tom on the street you will think that he is out of his mind. He will call you ‘love’. Well, he will shout out ‘Hi Looove!’ from across the road. He will indiscriminately come to you in a bar and place his lightwriter (a machine that talks for him) over your legs and start a conversation. He will do all sorts of extravagant things and you might look at him and see a person with a disability. Period.
However, if you are patient enough and give him those 5 minutes, you will discover a truly exceptional mind. Besides having written a book at the age of 14, Tom consults for the government about disability, writes and performs theatre, travels constantly, has zillions of friends whom he constantly interacts with on facebook, has a very active sexual life, works as a bartender, swims, drinks, and dances until the doors shut in gay clubs. He basically makes most people’s life look boring.
He lives in a unique world and I was lucky enough to get a glimpse of it. He is an exceptional person with a tireless self-determination and unstoppable will to transform the world around him. Breaking stigmas and barriers associated to those with disabilities is his goal. He is only 23, and we might well see one day that his world has actually reached the whole world.