An actor exempt from wearing a face mask because of his disability has decided to put one on in public because he is fed up of having to justify himself to strangers.
Adam Pearson, who appeared in the movie Under The Skin with Scarlett Johansson, was born with neurofibromatosis.
His condition exempts him from wearing face masks in public since they were made compulsory in England in July.
The 35-year-old has been challenged in public places on numerous occasions by people asking why he is not wearing the protective clothing.
He told MyLondon: “I say I have an exemption, which should be the end of the conversation, but then they go ‘why?’ and it’s like ‘oh mate, how long have you got, seriously.
“It happened about five times a week for three weeks and in the end I just thought ‘I’m done, I can’t argue with strangers in Sainsbury’s any more’.
“Eventually I started wearing one just to avoid having to justify myself to strangers.”
When asked if wearing a face masks makes it difficult to breathe Parsons said: “You get used to it, anyone can get used to anything. I’m fine wearing it now.
“I got sick of being asked to justify why I wasn’t wearing one by random strangers who feel somehow entitled to know every disabled person’s medical history.
“These are weird times for everyone so I’m not going to say that it’s a hostile act of discrimination, but it’s all just really strange.
“There may be an element of because of my condition, but in the main I just think it’s because people are on edge and no-one knows whether they’re coming or going.”
He continued: “No-one knows more about a rare condition than the person who’s living with it, so listen to them.
“It’s just tiresome, having the same conversation with people over and over.
“Listen to disabled people and be kind to each other.
“It’s a strange time and kindness costs nothing but means the world.”
Adam Pearson will be speaking at RAREfest20 on November 28 about people’s perceptions of those with rare diseases.
Adam Pearson worked in production for Channel 4’s The Undateables.
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