Today my guest is a wonderful human being, MJ Grant. She is best known for her viral video ‘Dementia Can Be Beautiful’. In the video MJ’s mother, Carmen, realizes that she’s speaking to her daughter. MJ says she would never want to embarrass or belittle her mother by telling her she’s forgotten what her daughter looks like, and lets her make the connection herself.
MJ’s parents were both Deaf (her father recently passed) and MJ grew up seeing them treated differently to other people. Neighbors once called the police because MJ’s sister was crying. The police attended, only to find that MJ’s sister was crying because she wasn’t allowed to sleep in her parents’ bed. From an early age MJ knew she wanted to be a sign language interpreter. When she asked her dad where this idea came from, he said that the first interpreter she saw was when social workers came to assess if MJ’s mom and dad were fit parents.
MJ is a proud CODA (Child of Deaf Adults). She loves connecting people, which fits really well with being an interpreter. And she loves that her videos have connected millions of people to her mother, who worked in a factory even though she has a college degree.