Zach Anner Quotes
Born: November 17, 1984
I feel that religion can be used as a tool to guide your life and help you connect with other people.
What I don't like about the way the media portrays religion is that they seem to weaponize it and use it as a tool to divide people.
There's always going to be some hate on the Internet.
I have a confession: I have no faith.
You can never walk a mile in someone elses shoes, but you can walk a mile in your own and be proud of it.
No Atlantis is too underwater or fictional.
You really just have to have a good attitude, challenge yourself, and you can accomplish great things,
I've come to be pretty selective about the type of advocacy that I do, because I kind of feel like it's stronger to just do my work and let it speak for itself.
I make funny shows and put a positive message out there, showing people who have body image issues that... you don't have to look a certain way.
If everything was perfect, it would always be a person-first conversation, but whenever I have the opportunity, I lead with my personality. If they're looking and seeing the disability first or the chair first, I know that I have the ability to change that.
I do a lot of conferences, and I did a campaign with the Cerebral Palsy Foundation called 'Just Say Hi.' They get celebrities to record little messages about how you start a conversation with someone who has a disability, which is to 'Just say hi.'
CP is a struggle, but it's also been quite the tool for me to find success and deliver a message. It's something about me that's unique, so it'll open a few doors as well as keep a few closed. If you have the other tools that you develop as an individual, talents, things like that, you can harness this to do positive things in the world.
The thing to do is just make sure that as part of a disability community, we're not isolating ourselves by drawing differences for the sake of progress.
I always say, once I get in a room, I can sell myself just fine. I know that not everyone who has a disability has the social skills or cognitive skills that I do, and it may be harder for them to navigate through.
I feel a lot of personal responsibility to undo the negative stereotypes. I know that it's not coming from a bad place. It's coming from an ignorant place. I can sort of be an ambassador in a subtle way to say, 'This is what I am: a comedian, a show host, a writer.' It will still always be part of the conversation and people will want to focus on it because there is a culture that is so embedded that if you have a disability, you're someone to be either admired just for living, or be pitied for having to struggle.
I think that's where it comes into play, when you are just looking at a document or whatever and you see the word 'disability.' Does that automatically trigger something in you that denies someone their personhood?
Call yourself and define your relationship to your chair the way you want to, or your disability the way you want to.
Technically I can get out of my wheelchair and crawl around and do things, but when I've traveled and they've lost my wheelchair in transit, I feel like I need to be bound to it. My functionality and autonomy are often bound to this.
I haven't spoken to Oprah herself. She had so much going on, since her network show was wrapping up at the time we were shooting. I can't fault her for that.
The most important thing is to have the conversation, and let people who do make mistakes feel comfortable enough to continue the conversation.