Hello, and Welcome to East Coast Cripple! My name is Stephanie MacFarlane, and I’m the author behind the blog here at ECC. I’m 22 years young, Nova Scotia born and raised, and currently studying Social Work at Dalhousie University in Halifax. I’m also a Ford-driving, snapback-wearing, poetry-writing, guitar-playing nerd with a passion for making people laugh. You’ll learn quickly that I’m fluent in sarcasm, an expert at funny face-making, and a professional dog cuddling selfie-taker.
When I started this blog, it was supposed to be a place for me to talk about my life as a (dis)Abled and mentally ill woman living on the East coast. I had planned to use my experiences as a launching pad to delve into the larger world of accessibility and (dis)Ability politics. Now, though, it has become so much more than that. East Coast Cripple is my safe haven; it’s a place for me to tell my story, share my journey, and grow with all of you. It has given me a voice.
In sharing my voice, though, I feel like there are some key details that y’all deserve to know about me:
- Ability: (Dis)Abled & Mentally Ill
- Age: 22 years old
- Class: Middle Class
- Education: University-Educated
- Gender: Cisgender Female
- Race: White
- Religion: Christian
All of these things shape who I am, and where I fit in society. Some aspects of my identity give me privilege, while others result in my facing oppression. All are important, and all are relevant to this blog.
You may be asking yourself, though: Okay… so why are you here? What’s the point?
Here’s the point:
I grew up as somewhat of a ‘medical mystery’, until the age of 22, when I was finally diagnosed with a rare genetic condition called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (Hypermobility Type). Since then, I’ve embarked on what can only be described as a tumultuous journey into the world of disability politics – one that continues to influence my identity on a daily basis.
Here, I’ll share my journey as I seek to embrace vulnerability, find empowerment, foster resilience, and build relationships with all of you.
Let’s do it.
– Stephanie, ECC