w/ Fi Macrae, founder of the web series & community: Private Parts
This week for The Joy we spoke with Fi Macrae, whose dedication to informing people about the behind-the-scenes of chronic health issues has resulted in the creation of a supportive, informative platform to share experiences within "taboo" topics - from physical to mental health, sexuality, pronouns and more.
Fi's experience with endometriosis and other illnesses brought her to look for ways to soothe the isolation that comes from chronic issues.
Hey Fi! Tell us:
What is Private Parts, and why you love it? ❤️
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. This space removes the stigma of shaming people into silence about their struggles with sexual and mental health.
Although Private Parts’ name 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.
Creating Private Parts has given me the opportunity to connect with people who I mightn’t otherwise connect with. It feels like such a supportive and honest community and I get so much energy from the conversations we have in the PP space.
And as someone who wasn’t able to access a physical community for a long time, it’s so incredible to have such a strong sense of community online.
What are you currently working on? ✍️
Obviously due to lockdown in Melbourne interviews with different guests in the studio hasn’t been possible, but we are about to try out instagram live interviews, with a focus on pleasure, gender, sexuality, disability and ableism.
I will be (when we are allowed) going to schools to do some workshops and talks with different age groups and I really can’t wait for that. We talk about sex education (or lack thereof) a lot on PP, and there is an overwhelming sense that we were not taught enough at school, and certainly did not cover things like consent and communication. Safe to say none of my teachers would have known the word non-binary.
I’m really passionate about making sure younger people are encouraged to express what they’re going through or thinking about in a safe and judgement free space.
What're you watching at the moment? 👀
My chicken playing around in our garden, and my two year old neighbour balancing on my front fence.
What are you reading at the moment? 📚
I have just finished In The Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado for the third time. It's incredibly powerful and something I think I'll read over and over for years to come. I’ve just started to read See What You Made Me Do by Jess Hill, which is so harrowing but one of the most important books I feel I could read. And I am really looking forward to reading Clementine Ford's latest book: How We Love.
Who is inspiring you at the moment? 😍
All of the guests who do the weekly interviews. They have been so open, honest and raw with me. It is such an honour to navigate these conversations with them. The way they have been able to continue to move forward in life and act with such care to their community is just astounding.
And the creative team that helps make Private Parts possible: videographer and creative director Gina (@lilginasabrina), our designer (@zoloyo_), our photographer Jess (@dated.development) and all our writers. It’s just the most amazing team of people who work so hard to make this all happen - I am constantly inspired by all of the work they do and how they view the world.
And all the healthcare workers, they are really going through it at the moment and I am so thankful for all they are doing for our community.
What do you drink when you're not drinking? 🍷
I was recently sober for 6 months due to medication, and still only drink sporadically. So if I'm ‘not drinking’ I would go for a mocktail if I am out, or fake sparkling: Plus & Minus. I feel like soda and lime gets a little tiring after a while!
What's a food that brings you joy? 🥨
Cake, it’s always been cake.
If I’m feeling flat, if I’m celebrating, if we’re in a lockdown... Whatever the occasion. I come from a big family who are obsessed with dessert so that’s my go-to food. Oh and fresh sourdough & pickled anything.
What is something that often makes you happy? 🌞
Making new connections through Private Parts. I now have friends all over the world who have come into my life at such a special time. Especially during a pandemic, to find new connections is such a rare and wonderful thing. So I am constantly astounded by how many beautiful people I meet through this community.
What has brought you joy this week? ✨
Getting vaccinated! I have my qualms with the medical system, however to be able to have access to safe and free vaccinations is such a privilege. It’s important to remember how lucky we are to have access to these things. And as someone who comes from a community where a lot of people have compromised immune systems and many health complications, It is so important to each do our bit to protect the wider and more vulnerable parts of the community.
What's next for Private Parts? ⏭
We have some amazing guests coming up so watch this space! We are also working on a few collaborations which we are so excited to talk about.
Thanks for sharing with us!
Learn more about the community of Private Parts online and by following their instagram @private.parts.etc
Recipe of the Week 🍸
150ml Monday Mezcalita
15ml Lime Juice
10ml Agave Syrup
Optional: A dash or 2 of Tabasco (🥵)
Topped up with Mikkeller Drink'n In The Sun
Combine all ingredients except beer in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well to ensure the agave has mixed (and not clumped frozen). Pour over ice and top with Mikkeller beer!
Salt the rim of your glass (spice it up with smoked paprika powder or chilli flakes mixed in!). Sit back, sip, enjoy.
Joy Story 📖
Vine, the short-form video app introduced in 2012, died as it lived: confusing people who didn’t use it, even as evidence of its influence surrounded them.
If you're looking for a way to meditate that has nothing to do with yoga or re-learning how to breathe, I present to you: the author of arguably the best making-of videos on the internet. You'll wonder how 15 minutes just flew by, and also how is that knife even possible?