Stella Young - Quotes

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My disability exists not because I use a wheelchair, but because the broader environment isn't accessible.

My disability exists not because I use a wheelchair, but because the broader environment isn't accessible.

The killing of a disabled person is not 'compassionate'. It is not 'euthanasia'. It is murder.

The killing of a disabled person is not 'compassionate'. It is not 'euthanasia'. It is murder.

The thing about living with any disability is that you adapt; you do what works for you. ---->>>

Apologies are great, but they don't really change anything. You know what does? Action.

Apologies are great, but they don't really change anything. You know what does? Action.

I am not a snowflake. I am not a sweet, infantilising symbol of fragility and life. I am a strong, fierce, flawed adult woman. I plan to remain that way, in life and in death.

I am not a snowflake. I am not a sweet, infantilising symbol of fragility and life. I am a strong, fierce, flawed adult woman. I plan to remain that way, in life and in death.

Disability doesn't make you exceptional, but questioning what you think you know about it does. ---->>>

I once choked on a chip at a friend's birthday when I was seven and had to be sent home, as I'd broken my collarbone coughing. ---->>>

The problem for many people with disabilities is not that we are not able to work a certain number of hours a week. It's that no-one will let us. ---->>>

Disability simulation fails to capture the nuance and complexity of living in a disabled body. And it certainly fails to give a deep understanding of systemic discrimination and abuse faced by disabled people. ---->>>

I really love filling out forms - quite fortuitous, really, given that as one of Australia's 4 million-ish disabled people, ticking boxes and recording my life for other people is what I've spent a fair chunk of my time doing. ---->>>

It is a truth universally acknowledged that from puberty onwards, the female body is disgusting and unruly and must be tamed, trimmed and tinted to within an inch of its life before it can be allowed to roam freely in the public eye. ---->>>

The battle to find a workplace that's wheelchair accessible is a feat in itself, let alone an employer who's going to be cool about employing someone with a disability in a job you actually want to do.

The battle to find a workplace that's wheelchair accessible is a feat in itself, let alone an employer who's going to be cool about employing someone with a disability in a job you actually want to do.

The mere suggestion that not speaking for a day can give you an appreciation of the social isolation that comes with the experience of disability, particularly those whose impairments prohibit them from communicating verbally, is insensitive at best. ---->>>

Disability is often framed, in medical terms, as the ultimate disaster and certainly as a deficit. ---->>>

I do not identify as a person with a disability. I'm a disabled person. And I'll be a monkey's disabled uncle if I'm going to apologise for that. ---->>>

Too often, we fall into the trap of thinking 'equal' means 'the same' and that we achieve equality by treating everyone identically. ---->>>

I've lost count of the number of times that I've been approached by strangers wanting to tell me that they think I'm brave or inspirational, and this was long before my work had any kind of public profile. ---->>>

As disabled people, we are taught from a young age that those who are attracted to us are to be regarded with suspicion. ---->>>

By far, the most disabling thing in my life is the physical environment. It dictates what I can and can't do every day.

By far, the most disabling thing in my life is the physical environment. It dictates what I can and can't do every day.

For lots of us, disabled people are not our teachers or our doctors or our manicurists. We're not real people. We are there to inspire. ---->>>

For me, and for many other people with disabilities, our status as disabled people is one of which we are fiercely proud. ---->>>

I do sometimes painful things to my body in an effort to conform to culturally imposed beauty ideals. ---->>>

My parents didn't know what to do with me, so they just pretended I was normal, and that worked out quite well for me. ---->>>

People are uncomfortable about disability, and so interactions can become unintentionally uncomfortable. ---->>>

Personally, I like a generous side of wheelchair access with my cities. ---->>>

Self esteem and a healthy body image for people with disabilities are so often hard-fought.

Self esteem and a healthy body image for people with disabilities are so often hard-fought.

The purpose of our justice system is to reflect the values of our society and to punish those who violate our standards. ---->>>

We are a society that treats people with disabilities with condescension and pity, not dignity and respect. ---->>>

We often hear that people mean well: that so many just don't how to interact with people with disabilities. They're unsure of the 'right' reaction, so they default to condescension that makes them feel better in the face of their discomfort. ---->>>

As a wheelchair user, I am utterly obsessed with toilets, and all my friends know it. A simple invitation to the pub is consistently followed by, 'Do you know if they have an accessible toilet?' ---->>>

For me, disability is a physical experience, but it's also a cultural experience and a social experience, and for me, the word 'crip' is the one that best encapsulated all of that. ---->>>

I don't generally talk about medical terms when I discuss my position as a disabled person. I take a social rather than medical approach to disability, and so long Latin names for congenital conditions are not relevant.

I don't generally talk about medical terms when I discuss my position as a disabled person. I take a social rather than medical approach to disability, and so long Latin names for congenital conditions are not relevant.

I quickly learned that asking if an interview space was wheelchair accessible was a bad idea; it gave a potential employer an immediate bad impression. It was either a black mark against my name, or a straight up discussion of why I wouldn't be able to work there because they had no wheelchair access. ---->>>

I use the term 'disabled people' quite deliberately, because I subscribe to what's called the social model of disability, which tells us that we are more disabled by the society that we live in than by our bodies and our diagnoses. ---->>>

It became very clear to me that Yooralla was not as interested in media coverage that explored issues faced by people with disability as it was in giving a pat on the back to journalists who maintained the status quo by giving readers the warm and fuzzies over their morning paper. ---->>>

Many of us, particularly those of us with disabilities who have faced persistent discrimination throughout our lives, not least when trying to find employment in the first place, take enormous pride in our hard-fought jobs and careers. ---->>>

Most disability charity hinges on that notion - that you need to send your money in quick before all these poor, pitiful people die. Peddling pity brings in the bucks, yo. ---->>>

The magnitude of discrimination and stigma faced by people with disability in Australia cannot be underestimated. People do not understand disability, and people fear what they don't understand. ---->>>

We fill our lives with all sorts of things that make it easier for us to get along in the world: wheelchairs, crutches, grabber sticks, hearing aids, canes, guide dogs, modified vehicles, ramps, as well as other kinds of services and supports. Disability does not necessarily mean dependence on other people. ---->>>

We think we know what it's all about; we think that disability is a really simple thing, and we don't expect to see disabled people in our daily lives. ---->>>

Death is not treatment, even if it's medically facilitated. ---->>>

Doctors are not fortune tellers, and neither am I. Having lived with disability since birth does not afford me immunity from illness. ---->>>

For me, in some ways, my whole life is a bit performative and always has been - because I'm stared at and looked at everywhere I go.

For me, in some ways, my whole life is a bit performative and always has been - because I'm stared at and looked at everywhere I go.

I have a condition that is included among the 200 or so classified as Dwarfism. ---->>>

I have always felt like a loved, valued and equal member of my family. ---->>>

I tend not to think about living to some grand old age. Then again, I don't think about dying, either. ---->>>

I used to think of myself in terms of who I'd be if I didn't have this pesky old disability. ---->>>

I'm a full-time wheelchair user. And yet, given the right circumstances, I am able to work. ---->>>

If everyone's looking at me, I might as well say something interesting. ---->>>

In many ways, I'm incredibly lucky to have been born with my impairment and that it's visible. It means my path has been predictable. ---->>>

It's undeniable that what we are taught as a culture to believe about disability is at odds with traditional notions of masculinity. ---->>>

Let's not forget that the Paralympics, just like the Olympics, are built on a rich history.

Let's not forget that the Paralympics, just like the Olympics, are built on a rich history.

My mother loves to remind me that about the age of four, I made a somewhat formal announcement that I was going to be a plumber when I grew up. ---->>>

On the whole, my life is and has been wonderful.

On the whole, my life is and has been wonderful.

Paralympic sport and other disability sport can and should be celebrated in its own right. ---->>>

People with disabilities are simply part of diverse communities in the U.S. ---->>>

Physical access is one of the very first issues disability rights activists of the 1960s and '70s fought for. ---->>>

We all learn how to use the bodies we're born with, or learn to use them in an adjusted state, whether those bodies are considered disabled or not. ---->>>

When patronised, I'm unfortunately more flight than fight. Perhaps it's because I actually feel quite wounded. ---->>>

Yooralla is a people pleaser with a very powerful PR machine. ---->>>

Yooralla, like most disability service organisations, is full of good people who are passionate about the rights of people with disabilities. ---->>>

Believe me, people with disabilities are just as concerned about benefit fraud as anyone else. Money spent on those who are not in need is money that isn't being spent on vital services to support us in the community. ---->>>

Disability informs almost every part of my life. It's as important, if not more so, than my gender and sexuality. It's certainly a great deal more important to me than my religion or whether or not I caught a tram, ferry or bus to work. ---->>>

Even those among us who are lucky enough to love our jobs would have to admit that at least part of the reason we work is to earn money. In between all this work, we like to eat out at restaurants, go on trips, buy nice things, not to mention pay rent and meet the cost of living. ---->>>

From my first days in Washington D.C., where I rolled a whole four downtown blocks without seeing a single shop, cafe, bar or restaurant I could not access, to the beautifully accessible buses in New York City, I was in heaven. ---->>>

From pink water bottles for breast cancer to dumping a bucket of ice water on your head for neuromuscular conditions, it seems we're bombarded by requests to be 'aware' of one thing or another. ---->>>

From time to time, people pat me on the head. It happens on public transport, in the supermarket, in bars. It's a common enough occurrence that it very rarely takes me completely by surprise. ---->>>

I am repeatedly asked in interviews exactly 'what's wrong' with me, and I always give them the same answer; I don't identify the name of my condition in an interview unless it's relevant to the context of the story. ---->>>

I currently live independently without any funded support. I'm educated, and I'm employed. I enjoy paying my taxes and contributing to the economic life of Australia. ---->>>

I grew up in a very small country town in Victoria. I had a very normal, low-key kind of upbringing. I went to school, I hung out with my friends, I fought with my younger sisters. It was all very normal. ---->>>

I have a condition called Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), which has affected my growth and bone strength. In short, people with the kind of OI I have generally experience hundreds of fractures in their lifetime and use wheelchairs for mobility. ---->>>

I identify very proudly as a disabled woman. I identify with the crip community. I didn't invent the word 'crip'. It's a political ideology I came to in my late teens and early 20s. ---->>>

I let go of the notion of wanting someone to ignore the way I look in order to find me attractive, because really, what kind of relationship would that be? One where someone's only attracted to you because they're ignoring a fundamental part of you? No thanks. ---->>>

I went to school, I got good marks, I had a very low key after-school job, and I spent a lot of time watching 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' and 'Dawson's Creek.' ---->>>

I've got the best job in the world; I love it. I get to meet so many interesting people, and I get to make sure that other people with disabilities can tell their own stories as well. ---->>>

I, like many women, buy into patriarchal standards of beauty every day. I very rarely leave the house without make-up. I dye my hair. I wear clothes that I choose carefully for how they make me look to the outside world. ---->>>

In Australia, a deaf person attending an interview must take their own interpreter at their own expense, or ask the employer to provide one. Believe me, nothing says 'I'm the best person for this job' quite like asking an employer to pay to interview you. ---->>>

In days gone by, short-statured people were not only labelled as ugly, stupid and freakish, they were often owned by aristocrats and treated, at best, as entertainment and, at worst, as pets. ---->>>

In my own home, where I've been able to create an environment that works for me, I'm hardly disabled at all. I still have an impairment, and there are obviously some very restrictive things about that, but the impact of disability is less. ---->>>

It is nothing short of baffling to me how a city like Melbourne, where I struggle to find accessible facilities on a very regular basis, could be considered the most livable city in the world. I suppose it all depends on what makes a city 'livable' for you. ---->>>

Let me make this clear: my impairment is such that without a wheelchair, I can't do very much for myself. I can't get out of bed. I can't get myself to the toilet. I certainly can't get myself to work. ---->>>

My everyday life in which I do exactly the same things as everyone else should not inspire people, and yet I am constantly congratulated by strangers for simply existing. ---->>>

People get all up in arms when I describe myself as a crip because what they hear is the word 'cripple,' and they hear a word you're not allowed to say anymore. ---->>>

The Paralympics have for too long been considered the poor cousin of the Olympics. It's always run after the main games and rarely gets anything like the media coverage. ---->>>

The sentiment of those suggesting the Olympics and Paralympics be combined is no doubt well intentioned. But it also echoes the myth that disabled people want to be other than what we are - that we'd like nothing more than to be 'allowed in' with the able-bodied competitors. ---->>>

There are real-world, devastating consequences for disabled women marginalised by the kinds of attitudes that deny them full agency over what happens to their bodies. ---->>>

When I was seven and watched an episode of 'Beyond 2000' that featured a floating armchair, I thought we'd definitely have one of those by 15, at the latest. ---->>>

Biography

Nationality: Australian
Born: 02-24, 1982
Birthplace: Stawell, Victoria, Australia
Die: 12-06, 2014
Occupation: Comedian

Stella Jane Young (24 February 1982 – 6 December 2014) was an Australian comedian, journalist and disability rights activist.(wikipedia)