Barry Lee


Been working lately on some illustrations accompanied with my journal entries that I have been writing. Here’s an accumulation of these thoughts and drawings, mainly posted on my Instagram.


I’ve been vocal about my experiences with my disabilities and Queerness. With that vocalness comes those who doubt your experiences, take offense to how you stand up for yourself or people who don’t admit their own biases. There are days I don’t want to always advocate for myself. Adversity brings a sort of desire for advocacy in the way one navigates the world. If I didn’t advocate for my own needs in regards to accessibility, I wouldn’t be able to communicate and truly connect with others. At the end of the day, trusting one’s story and advice is connecting with them. I talk often about it being a privilege to hear other’s stories because it is a privilege living in a world that we can connect with others who live vastly different lives than us.


I was told the other day how “trendy” it was for me to be making work about Mental health, Queerness & disability. I think people tend to forget that sometimes in the face of adverse experiences, those moments lead folks to tell their stories or create things that reflect their experience as a means of survival vs a means of being popular or trendy. Social media is a great tool to tell stories about differences but it also can desaturate original intentions. Intentions of survival. People will still live with their lives whether or not their adversity is #trending but that shouldn’t stop them from creating work to challenge others and it shouldn’t stop you from listening.


Having the courage to communicate needs after not doing so before sparks some reactions that are resistant to you expressing those needs. “Why are you so different now?” “Why are you being rude?” “You’ve changed!!” “Stop being selfish” These can be potential reactions from others when all of a sudden communicating our needs. It’s flustering but healthy relationships should thrive off of proper communication and proper reception of those needs. Proper reception can include “I hear you” “Thank you so much for voicing these” “I can’t necessarily understand where you’re coming from but I’ll do my best to act upon those needs” Taking the time to listen to the needs of those we love can be so powerful and so expansive for both parties.

Letting Go

Grief is growth.

It Is A Privilege, Not a Human Right To Know Somebody Else’s Story

A reminder that nobody owes you an explanation for their differences, even if you’re just trying to help them. Get to know people that are different from you and they’ll reveal themselves in their own time.


Being deaf, I often have to ask for folks to repeat things. Sometimes people respond to that request with a “never mind” but when we tell folks “never mind” (deaf or not) we can unintentionally deny communication with them. Please be mindful about your communication with others.