Rachael Elder

A badass queer survivor with a side of managing physical and mental disability


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The ordinariness of Rachael’s experiences, is what terrifies her the most. She has had the privilege of knowing what life was like without mental and physical disability, before managing those disabilities became part of her everyday. Rachael has been repeatedly silenced, fighting battles that have felt invisible. She has been excluded from opportunities, both professionally and socially, and has the blessing (and curse) of passing as an able-bodied, heterosexual cis-female who doesn’t suffer from severe PTSD, depression and anxiety.

Rachael excels at pretending she’s OK and works hard at celebrating the strength in her own vulnerability; a strength that she so highly values in others. She feels honoured to help support next-level amazing rangatahi (that are SO BRAVE in their vulnerabilities) through her role as Business Development Manager at Inspiring Stories.

Everyday role modelling, peer accountability, and the power of storytelling are threads weaved throughout Rachael’s life and career. Bored of systems and individuals that talk big and take little action, Rachael works to create spaces for difficult kōrero.

After refinding her own voice in NYC, she is now ready to speak up. Accessibility of language and story is extremely important to Rachael. She unwillingly took part in a narrative that is experienced by so many, but shared with so few. Rachael is determined to help change the environment to disable rape culture for future generations to come.