Pure Love — or is it?

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Crippled by Culture: Being a Vocalist w/ Durand Bernarr

Sean Gold says: "Welcome to an episode of Crippled by Culture, where we talk about everything in life and relate it to the disabled and chronically ill community. Today I would like to thank Josh Rettig for being my voice in this episode. In this episode, we are talking about the intersections of disability and being a vocalist."

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July 2024: A Note from Hope Katz Gibbs, creator, Inkandescent PR + Publishing Co. Brandon had a secret.

Once revealed to his parents, they began to treat him with cruelty, disdain, and hatred.

Yet, Shane, his best friend since 9th grade, accepted him and didn’t let his sexuality come between their friendship. Choosing to be roommates in college seemed to be an answer to Brandon’s problems.

Getting away from home and living with the man he secretly coveted would be safer, more exciting, and perhaps adventurous. Brandon got one of them right: adventure. The night the tides turned brought hurt, betrayal, and danger.

What happens when deception, intrusion, and violence fall on our young hero?

We learn all about it in Pure Love — or is it? This powerful work of fiction is by Sean Gold, who describes himself as a young, black, gay man with a disability who lives and thrives in St. Louis, Missouri.

He is an advocate for people with disabilities, an author, and, since 16, a public speaker. He is president of the disability-owned nonprofit organization Coalition in Truth and Independence, the Media Director of FestAbility in St. Louis, and a board member of the St. Louis Publishers Association.

In May 2022, Sean graduated with a degree in English at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, and was the first student speaker for staff development day in St. Louis Community College’s 60 years. Read more about his commencement speech here.

Today, Sean hosts a YouTube podcast series, Crippled by Culture, in which he interviews disabled and nondisabled guests on topics that interest them. He has his “voice” to speak out about everything he types up in a document beforehand and any comments or questions he has during the interview.

Sean’s faith, family, and friends are the most important things in his life. His disability is cerebral palsy, and he has had a tracheostomy breathing tube since he was one and a half years old. Sean is nonverbal, but, as you can tell, it doesn’t get in the way of his love of creative writing and storytelling.

Don’t miss Sean’s TEDx talk, The Obstacles of Disabilities (posted above).

Be sure to follow this rising star on LinkedIn.

Click here to buy Sean’s book.