Vale Stella Young

Stella Young and her awesome shoes of power.

Stella Young and her awesome shoes of power.

Today’s blog is filled with grief, as I learned today that Stella Young died over the weekend, aged 32.

Stella was hands-down, no-BS awesome. And NOT because of her disability. And not IN SPITE of her disability. She was just an awesome, funny, quirky, intelligent person who happened to also have a disability.

She will be greatly missed. Here is a TED Talk she gave earlier this year, maybe you will be able to see what I’m talking about. It’s called: “I’m not your inspiration, thank you very much”

I first met her many years ago, when she worked at the Public Program at Museum Victoria (where my husband works) one of the annual events the Museum used to hold was a “scientists versus comedians” night, where the scientists would talk about a particular scientific aspect, theory etc and the comedians would work out if it was true or not. I went to the night, very proud of my husband who was one of the scientists, and thought he was funny and entertaining. Then Stella came up to do her bit and blew me away. She had me at Cloaca. I’m serious, a cloaca. Yep, a ducks’ bum, then she moved on to the penis of a duck ( the Argentine Lake Duck). I was in tears of laughter. Her argument was that this particular duck had a penis that was 42.5cm long, while the bird itself was only 20, and that the female had dozens of cloacas so she could choose which male duck got the correct opening, so to speak, to fertilise her eggs. The comedians guessed it was untrue. Nope, true. And her final comment – “I thought it was appropriate for me to be the one to comment on this particular duck as it’s penis being 42.5 cm long is EXACTLY my sitting height!” LOL

After she left the Museum, I followed her career as a disability advocate closely, cheering from the sidelines.

“Being a disability advocate, I suppose, just means being stroppy about stuff that is not

Stella Young stirred the pot, put herself out there and never held back her opinions. Thought-proking, and funny.

Stella Young stirred the pot, put herself out there and never held back her opinions. thought-provoking, and funny, she will be missed.

fair, and raising and discussing issues that affect people with disabilities I guess.”
she told MammaMia. She enjoyed her job, as well as her work (up until last year) as Editor on ABC’s website Ramp Up, stirring the pot, making people think and giving us a laugh at the same time. Then, finally, this year (after years of me telling her she should do stand up – not that I think that had much influence over her decision lol!)) I saw her show in the Melbourne Comedy Festival “Tales From the Crip“. She, quite rightly, won “Best Newcomers Award” and nominated for a “Golden GIbbo“. She once again had me in stitches of laughter. She made us question our attitudes to disability, and about the attitudes about the way people look, a topic close to my Belly Dance Lessons Online heart.

Not many people can say they made the world a better place, she did. Her promise to herself?: “I promise to grab every opportunity with both hands, to say yes as often as I can, to take risks, to scare myself stupid, and to have a shitload of fun.”

I’d say she did that, and it is a promise we could all make.
For an interview on more that she did go to:
http://www.mamamia.com.au/social/tea-with-mamamia-stellayoung/#GIx1VptZQ1elFk1h.99
Plus a list of the Best of Stella’s Comedy and Public Speaking engagements:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-12-08/best-of-stella-youngs-comedy-and-public-speaking-engagements/5950766

 

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