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  • Writer's picturePeta

Conserve Your Spoons, A Snapshot Of Disability Pride

If you don't have the spoons, here is a quick snapshot featuring Larissa McFarlane and Isabella Fantasia's heartfelt insights on embracing disability pride in just seven minutes.

Click here to access the full interviews:

Thank you to The City of Melbourne for supporting this episode.

Practising our Pride, Remembering our Ancestors Mural by Larissa MacFarlane: Located in Royal Lane on the south side of Bourke Street between Russell and Swanston Streets. Melbourne, Australia.

Connect with Larissa:

Connect With Isabella:

Connect with Peta:

Instagram: @petahooke


Episode transcript:

Peta [00:00:00] I would like to respectfully acknowledge the Wurundjeri and Bunurong people of the Kulin Nation, of which I record the podcast today. And I pay my respects to both elders past and present, along with and especially to those in the First Nations communities who are disabled themselves.

Peta [00:00:27] Hello and welcome to The I Can't Stand podcast. The podcast answering our questions about what life is like when you have a disability. My name's Peta. I have cerebral palsy and I'm your host, as it is International Day for People with Disabilities. Today I have published two very special episodes. This episode is a short episode exploring disability pride. If you would prefer to listen to the full conversations that I had with the amazing artist Larissa Macfarlane and the very insightful Isabella Fantasia, please scroll back in your feed. Both these episodes that I have created and produced have been supported by the City of Melbourne with additional support by Women with Disabilities Victoria. So without any further ado, let's get into it.

Larissa [00:01:32] My name is Larissa Macfarlane, also known as Lara, and I am a proud, disabled person. I'm also an artist activist. I live on Bunurong lands in Nam in Melbourne. I became an artist through having a brain injury, but also chronic illness, including lots of chronic pain and fatigue. And I have a genetic connective tissue disorder called Daniel syndrome. And I also live with post-traumatic stress. All these experiences very much inform my work as an artist and an activist.

Peta [00:02:11] Talk to me about your relationship with Disability Pride. Why is it important to you?

Larissa [00:02:18] I truly believe that disability pride is our best tool for resisting idealism and for resisting discrimination. For being able to advocate not just for ourselves but for other people, for making the world a better place for disabled people. If we don't have disability pride, then doing that work is really, really hard. So I think the disability pride, as well as being, you know, promoting and cherishing the social model of disability. It also enables us to connect with community, with other disabled people. And it enables us to see our lives as part of a bigger culture. And also it connects us to our history. I suddenly had a realisation that Frida Kahlo was one of us. And I'm an artist. I'm a visual artist. I mean, Frida Kahlo is the most famous female artist in the world. So I know her work. I knew that she lived with chronic pain. She had an accident. She painted lying in her bed. But I had never heard her described as a disabled person. And so I had never realised that she was. And I mean, this is a moot point, but it was really a breakthrough moment for me to go, Oh my God, she's one of me. She is part of our culture. And how come this has been invisible for me for so long? I often I have this thing where I channel people proud, disabled people. I channel them and I, I when I'm feeling lost and confused and scared, I think to myself, what would what would Lesley hold it right now? What would Stella Young do?

Isabella [00:04:06] My name is Isabella or Bell, and I usually have pronouns. I'm proudly and comfortably a neurodivergent Greek wear asexual empath with a binge eating disorder and psychosocial and learning disabilities. For me, disability pride is really important because it gives me confidence in my own identity. It gives me confidence to be able to access supports, for example, with getting support workers or accessing government government supports like the disability support pension. It also just personally for me, disability pride just makes me so much more compassionate for myself. When I found my own disability pride, it came hand in hand with having a lot of empathy and compassion for what I've been through prior to getting a diagnosis around autism and ADHD. Disability Pride doesn't happen all the time. You don't feel it all the time because there are very much days where you're just really wishing that you didn't have a disability because it's just really tough. The things that you feel, the fatigue that you get, the flares that you might get if you have a chronic illness, the pain, it's just a lot. And there are days where you just feel really beaten down. Then you don't really feel proud to have a disability and you're kind of wishing that you did it at the same time. And that's one side of disability pride. The other is obviously being really happy and proud of your disabilities, being able to show up, show off the amazing things that you can do with your disabilities. To me, disability pride went hand in hand with being an advocate and a leader in the space and being able to learn about the disability community, about our history and being able to, you know, find connection and wanting to make our world more accessible and inclusive and to pretty much eliminate ableism.

Peta [00:06:04] Thank you for listening to the short, sharp and important episode on Disability Pride. Don't forget, you can always listen to the full episode that is dedicated to Larissa McFarlane's beautiful mural in Royal Lane in Melbourne. Please rate and review this episode on Wherever you're listening. Let me know what you thought of the episode by email or find my Instagram. My handle is @petahooke splet Peta Hooke. Thank you so much for listening and Happy International Day for People with disability.

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