Writer. Disability advocate. Editor in chief. Media disruptor. And (possibly) a political agitator, depending on who you ask. These are my job descriptions at twenty-two, fresh out of uni, and at the moment they all intersect in this brilliantly chaotic life I am working to build every day. As cliché as it might sound, the core tenet of everything I do is ‘trying to make the world better than I found it’.
As a disability advocate, that means being loud about the fact that our representation in media and if we’re being honest, across all of society needs to be better. More nuanced. Bigger than the narratives of Paralympic excellence only seen every four years which are spun on the exhausting idea of ‘overcoming your disability’ or the tragedy of coming into disability through an accident, brought on by a careless split-second choice from someone on the road. In those scenarios, that person sees their life as over. How do we reconcile that narrative being digested by children whose lives are only just beginning, who deserve to imagine a rich and vibrant world for themselves. Beyond that, disabled people need to be allowed and to feel comfortable in rooms where decisions get made and money and power are at stake. That can’t happen if all the powerful people look the same.
That particular need for diversifying power and creating space for the inclusion and validation of lived experience also informs my work with Missing Perspectives. I’m the Editor in Chief at Missing Perspectives, a feminist, grass-roots youth-led newsroom that has a mission to publish the stories other media won’t touch. The ones that can be hard to look at from around the world but need to be read. It’s an honour to be trusted with those stories and to be trusted as someone who isn’t going to stop making noise until so many more people are given a seat at the table.