Representations/Misrepresentations of Illness & Disability

Saturday, March 24, 12pm-2pm
Hosted by LA Spoony Collective
Max 30 participants maximum
$5 Suggested Donation

Representations/Misrepresentations of Disability,
Neurodiversity, & Chronic Illness In the Media

This event will be a decentralized dialogue centered around the representations of disability, chronic illness and neurodiversity in the media, with a particular focus on representations of femmes, women and transgender people. The event will create a space for disabled, chronically ill, and neurodiverse people to express and share their personal experiences, stories and truths.

This discussion is open to all (we highly encourage allies to attend this event), it will primarily be about centering the voices of disabled, neurodiverse, and chronically ill transgender and gender nonconforming people. We will, however, provide a brief audience lead educational grounding on major concepts, on what makes a good (and a poor) ally, and how to create positive representations of disabled, neurodiverse, and chronically ill peoples in various media. We will also provide zines with additional resources for all participants so that they can further explore these topics and experiences. We hope that allies will step back and actively listen, engage, reflect, and inquire about how to support and affirm disabled, neurodiverse, and chronically ill peoples within this vulnerable space we are hoping to create, while keeping in mind the physical and emotional labor of the audience and presenters.

The participatory structure of the conversation is vital for breaking down the hierarchies that often exist within the presenter-listener dynamic. Rather than a traditional workshop or panel where the audience’s primary role is that of the listener, we plan on presenting an event where a variety of stories, experiences, compensations, truths, identities, challenges and successes (to name just a few aspects) from both the audience and the panelists are represented, shared, heard, supported, and affirmed.

All donations will support the labor of the facilitators. No one turned away for lack of funds.

LA Spoony Collective

The Hatfield system (Nami Kitsune Raven Hatfield), is a collective of disabled transgender women. We work together to try to make the world a better place and encourage others to dream. Our interests include: Library and Archival Science, Informational activism, Zines, Japanese culture (classic literature, anime and manga, history, and doll collection), Wica, Lolita fashion, reading and writing, foxes, webcomics, fandom and tea. We are currently working as teen librarian at Old Town Newhall Public Library. We also run a blog based upon our experiences with dissociative identity disorder, disabilities, being transgender, and other topics found here: and love writing zines. In the past we have worked with the Los Angeles LGBT center leadership lab, as a member of the St.John’s Transgender Right to Health Committee and advisory board, a student activist, librarian, and leader at UCLA, and a community archivist at the June L. Mazer Archives. If you’d like to contact us about our event or other topics please feel free to do so at: [email protected]

Ducky Jones is a 36 year old Black, Latinx Intersex Queer NonBinary Trans Femme who identifies as Disabled, neurodiverse, and chronically ill, who suffers from PTSD and Borderline Personality Disorder, and a survivor. A community organizer and activist for the POC, low income, Disabled, and Transgender communities. A former board member for Gender Justice Los Angeles and board member of Equal Action, who sponsors the longest-running LGBTQIA open mic in LA, OutSpoken Sessions. Author of poetry, plays, and rap.

Lilac Vylette Maldonado is a nontraditional graduate student, community organizer, and artivist who identifies as a queer, femme, disabled/chronically ill/neurodivergent, Chicanx demigirl. Lilac uses the neutral pronouns they/them/theirs. They have been actively organizing since 2009 around many intersectional social justice issues such as racial justice, gender justice, food justice, reproductive justice, LGBTQIA issues, and body positivity. They have worked locally with various groups including serving as a Lead Volunteer and Intern for the LGBT political research organization Leadership LAB (2011-2014), a Core Collective Member and Logistics Coordinator for the eating disorder and body positivity group Trans Folx Fighting Eating Disorders (2014-2016), a Member of the Planning Committee for the LGBTQIA open mic night OUTspoken Sessions (2015-2016), and as a Board Member for the intersectional LGBTQIA organization Equal Action (2016).

Dora Xochitl Lopez Mata is MeXicana (im)migrant and the founder of Fat Xicana Feminist, a social media account that challenges social norms of body image and mental health and promotes healing. Currently, she is working with children and youth with autism. She has a master’s degree from the department of Chicana and Chicano Studies at California State University, Northridge and shes a Cal Poly Pomona Alumni from the Ethnic Women’s Studies Department. Dora is the At Large Representative for Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social (MALCS). Her research interests include testimonios, fat studies, mental health, and spirituality. More specifically, her work examines the fat brown body and its relationship to fat phobia and trauma. Dora is an Adios Barbie fellow in charge of social media and has contributed blogs to their site. She has also contributed to La Comadre an online blog. Lastly, she is the owner of Dora’s Tiendita an etsy store that celebrates Xicana/Mexican culture through jewelry.

Sade Musa is a disabled, ill, and neurodivergent mixed-Black cis queer femme. Motivated by her own experiences navigating a deeply racist and sexist medical system, and similarly problematic alternative healing spaces, she is dedicated to helping others advocate for their wellbeing. Sade founded Roots of Resistance — an educational project reclaiming healing ways disrupted by colonization, challenging narratives invisibilizing Afro-diasporic contributions to medicine, and bringing attention to health disparities and other forms of injustice. Through ROR she offers donation-based and sliding scale herbal classes and remedies, leads plant walks, and donates medicine to various wellness programs. As a member of the Los Angeles Spoony Collective, she examines how neurodivergence, disability, and chronic illness increase vulnerability of Black communities to environmental racism, gentrification, incarceration, and police violence.