About Juan


Juan Luis Garrido is above all, a learner. He aspires to always learn more about his identity, his communities, society, and how to better serve all of those.

After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2012, he began volunteering with the MS Society of Canada, and now works in the National office as the Manager, Brand Marketing and Communications.

He completed his Bilingual Honours Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Drama Studies at the Glendon Campus of York University. He plans to continue his academic learning through graduate studies - his academic interests include community development, leadership theory, higher education, and the lived experiences of marginalized communities.

Juan enjoys consuming media of all kinds, especially when it brings clarity, light, or understanding to:

  • his understanding of moving through the world as a racialized queer man living with a disability;

  • learning how to be a better ally and how to apply an intersectional and feminist lens to world issues;

  • living a full, whole, happy, and healthy lifestyle. This includes physical, mental, and spiritual lifestyle choices;

  • Expanding what it means to be an member of society, engaged citizen, and engaged global citizen.

About the blog

This blog is an excercise in radical empathy and active hopefulness through storytelling. It is a way for me to work out my thoughts, feelings, and understandings of myself, the world, and the way we all move through it. It will allow me to critically reflect and share those reflections with you, the readers, in the hopes of sparking conversation, bringing further light or clarity to you or I, and finding ways to live in a radically empathetic and actively hopeful way. 

What do I mean by radical empathy and active hopefulness?

On radical empathy:

Radical Empathy is actively striving to better understand and share the feelings of others. To fundamentally change our perspectives from judgmental to accepting, in an attempt to more authentically connect with ourselves and others.
— Jack Schott

On active hopefulness:

One kind of hope is the expectation that tomorrow will be better than today. It’s the kind of hope that has us yearning for sunnier weather, or a smoother path ahead. It comes without the burden of responsibility. The onus is on the universe to make things better. Grit depends on a different kind of hope. It rests on the expectation that our own efforts can improve our future. “I have a feeling tomorrow will be better” is different from “I resolve to make tomorrow better.” The hope that gritty people have has nothing to do with luck and everything to do with getting up again.
— Angela Lee Duckworth, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance:

On popular culture:

Pop culture shapes our ideas of what is normal and what our dreams can be and what our roles are. Politics, of course, decides how the power and the money in the country is distributed. Both are equally important, and each affects the other.
— Gloria Steinem