Deaf YouTuber and her wife go viral for sharing their remarkable family journey

YouTubers Jessica and Claudia Kellgren-Fozard have gone viral after talking about life as queer, disabled mothers in a loving interracial marriage. 

The couple share the journey of raising their son Rupert with more than one million followers on YouTube, on their channel @jessicaoutofthecloset.

Jessica is deaf and also has a number of chronic illnesses, including hereditary neuropathy with liability to pressure palsies – which can cause numbness, tingling and muscle weakness in the limbs – and mixed connective tissue disorder, which is a rare autoimmune condition.

She has been open about health struggles on social media and previously used Instagram to reflect on missing out on her “teenage milestones because I was either in hospital or lying in the dark. I was too ill to open my eyes, to sit up or eat”. 

Speaking to PinkNews, Jessica, who joined YouTube in 2011, said: “Having a disability myself is sometimes a bonus, my story of having to cope with physical disabilities can make parenting sometimes easier.” 

Claudia added: “From what we’ve learned, every situation is unique.” 

Speaking to sex educator Hannah Witton on her Doing It podcast in 2022, Jessica said: “I make videos about disability, chronic illness and LGBTQ+ issues, often joined by my wonderful wife, Claudia.” 

Speaking about being a parent, she added: “There are so many things I’ve brought to the situation because of my disabilities that have been massive bonuses. 

“For instance, I’m deaf and I use sign language. I also rely on my hearing aids and on lip reading a lot.

“So, we’ve taught Rupert sign language and he now communicates with us [using it].”