Stella Young was a comedian and journalist who went about her day in a wheelchair—a fact that she made abundantly clear didn’t automatically turn her into a noble inspiration to all humanity.
She was born with osteogenesis imperfecta, a genetic disorder that causes bones to break easily. At the age of 14, she began a life of passionate advocacy in which she campaigned for the disabled community until her death at age 32.
Known for her wit, intelligence, and humorous talks, she was unafraid of telling it like it was and made much headway in pushing for society to treat people living disabilities with dignity and respect.
I am not here to inspire you. I am here to tell you that we have been lied to about disability. Yeah, we’ve been sold the lie that disability is a Bad Thing, capital B, capital T. It’s a bad thing, and to live with a disability makes you exceptional. It’s not a bad thing, and it doesn’t make you exceptional.
In this very funny talk, Young breaks down society’s habit of turning disabled people into “inspiration porn.”