July is Disability Pride Month, a time to shine a light on and share the experiences of the disabled community.
In this week's TikTok Creator Spotlight series, we're profiling @EllaEllaW, a self-described Queer creator with autism who is on a mission to educate and inspire others on TikTok by talking about life as a disabled LGBTQIA+ person.
Ella posts light-hearted and educational videos that raise awareness and challenge stigmas on a range of topics, such as Disability Pride Month.
From sharing her views on Masking to issues that commonly affect people with autism like Misophonia, Ella always has wisdom to impart and advice to share, helping her followers to learn to accept themselves and embrace their own identities.
Through her videos, Ella has helped to create a safe space for the Queer and disabled communities on TikTok to come together and share their experiences. Whether it's explaining pronouns or the encounters she typically has when telling people she's autistic, Ella helps to normalise these moments through humour and has had a huge positive impact on the platform.
We sat down with Ella to understand more about what inspires her...
What does Disability Pride Month mean to you?
Disability Pride Month is a way of creating space for Queer Disabled folk that have previously been silenced, underappreciated or made to feel like no safe space exists. It means uplifting voices and directly showing the faces and people that make up such an amazing community. For me, it’s a time to really focus on education for myself and for others. I am always looking for new creators to follow.
What do you love most about TikTok?
The validation I get from discussing similar issues and topics with like-minded people. When I first started making videos I was so insecure in my experiences and self evaluation, but the discussions and friends I have made through explaining my brain online has been so healthy and needed for me- this may sound dramatic but I actually think it’s helped me find myself. I feel more like myself now than I ever have.
Why is TikTok right for educational content?
TikTok is so accessible to real life people. If you are an educator on this app you are most likely talking about your lived experiences and this resonates with people so much. There is such a vast sea of amazing people out there and I feel like this app, more than any other, has allowed people to connect with movements and people in such a direct way.
What is your favourite recent challenge or trend on TikTok?
The Dua Lipa 'Levitating' trend. That song worked for so many relatable videos and the variations of the song that came out allowed me to make so many different forms of content. From explaining the impact of not supporting Disabled folk to talking about sensory issues. It adds a little humour and rhythm to the educational aspects of my videos!
What else or who else is on your TikTok For You feed?!
My FYP is mainly Queer people, animals and other educational creators! Emphasis on Queer people! I learn a lot from TikTok and I have actually made some really lovely friends who I want to support and watch grow alongside me. A lot of my followers send me duck related content (my special interest) which I always appreciate. My FYP is very wholesome.
What is your favourite TikTok you have made to date and why?
I started a trend called “Things I don’t understand- Autistic Edition” and it did really really well! It was in the style of a powerpoint presentation and I discussed all the small and weird things that I struggle to comprehend such as how to speak to children and why sand exists. They really make me laugh and I get such a good response when I do them.