Written by Fi Macrae – Consumer Advocate/Private Parts founder
Fi Macrae is a Consumer Advocate and founder of the fast-growing community Private Parts. Fi recently gained certificates in International Women’s Health and Human Rights (Stanford University) and Feminism and Social Justice (University of California).
Having lived in chronic pain due to suffering from Endometriosis amongst other illnesses, my experiences in the health care system gave me a unique insight into the often tricky to navigate relationship between sexual and mental health. The driving challenge of years spent in debilitating pain, trial and error therapies, multiple surgeries, hormone treatment and everything in between, was the isolation I experienced. In my efforts to access an inclusive online community where allyship and education supported each other in facilitating discussions around mental and sexual health, Private Parts was born.
Private parts is a web series and online community facilitating conversation around the ‘private parts’ of our lives and society. It is an inherently collaborative space to converse, question, share knowledge and support one another, a space that removes the stigma of shaming people into silence over topics pertaining to their sexual and mental health. Although the name Private Parts is a cheeky nod to society’s prudishness, the conversations on Private Parts are anything but. The aim is to challenge the idea that we must keep certain things to ourselves.
The idea of building Private Parts was to bring together people who not only suffered from the same illnesses, but anyone who connects with the isolation and lifestyle shift that comes with being chronically ill. Everyone involved in Private Parts has a deep understanding of practical allyship; 90% of the PP team lives with a disability, are chronically ill, are practitioners, therapists, or carers. Alongside my team and collaborators, we create content rooted in intention and participate in conversations that look through every lens of life with chronic illness. The team behind Private Parts are intimately involved with our own mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing as we believe that to heal the collective you must first heal yourself.
I don’t need to explain to someone with endo what that pain can feel like. I need people who don’t know what it’s like to feel comfortable to ask – what is endo, without feeling stupid for not knowing already. We are all just at different stages of learning, and if people are willing to listen and learn, BRING IT ON! We are not going to change the system without having people on our side. And that very much involves ‘able’ people just as much as it does the chronically ill community. We have created a platform for storytelling and questioning in the hopes of bringing to light the ‘private parts’ and invisible challenges we have been silenced out of sharing. We are building more of a community than an audience, and we engage accordingly.
The Private Parts team acknowledges that our content is filmed and created on the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We acknowledge First Nations people as the traditional custodians of this country, whose cultures are among the oldest living cultures in human history. We pay respect to the Elders of these communities, past and present, and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded and that colonisation is an ongoing process.
Do you have a story you want to share? Are you creative trying to smash taboos with your artwork/design/writing? We’d love to share your work! Email [email protected]