In tremendously sad news for Australia’s creative community, the ABC is reporting that noted writer, comedian, and fierce disability advocate Stella Young passed away on Saturday in Melbourne at the age of 32.
Young formerly served as the editor for the ABC’s disability news and opinion website, Ramp Up, and was significantly active as a journalist and writer. She was an extraordinarily strong and dedicated activist for the rights and treatment of people with disabilities, totally and proudly owning the term “crip” – even whilst acknowledging the objections of others – and railing against the notion that having a disability made her “brave” or “special.”
She also was forging a career as a comedian, having won the Best Newcomer Award at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival for her solo show “Tales from the Crip.“
Stella Young was born with osteogenesis imperfecta. Her heartbroken family released a short statement which read in part, “With great sadness we acknowledge the passing of Stella Young, our much-loved and irreplaceable daughter and sister. Stella passed away on Saturday evening, unexpectedly, but in no pain. A private funeral will take place soon, followed by a public event in Melbourne, with more details to come.“
Vale, Stella. Way, way, way too young.
Photo via Melbourne International Comedy Festival.