Laura “L” Tuthall (they & she) is an Autistic & Mad genderqueer disabled artist primarily working with lyric, music, improvisational dance, installation, and collaborative performance. L is also a Hypermobile disability access specialist, researcher, organizer, and educator and the co-founder of Hyp-ACCESS, a care justice organization for people on the common and neglected spectrum of Hypermobile disability.
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area and now based in NYC, their artistic work traverses Hypermobile identity, growing up in climate chaos, experiences of misdiagnosis, psychiatric survivorship, chronic suicidality, and Madness, and the generative power of Crip pride, community, and care. Their artistic work bleeds into their organizing and educating, where they focus on care access and collective liberation via abolition of the Medical Industrial Complex and the state that upholds it.
A self-taught songwriter and musician, L is also an accomplished poet, visual artist, and dancer. They dedicated their life to ballet at a young age, missing school regularly to study and perform by the age of 10. From the beginning, writing and musical composition flourished alongside dance, with over 40 original songs completed by age 13.
L finally received a Hypermobile disability diagnosis halfway through a BFA in dance from the Boston Conservatory at Berklee, explaining a lifetime of increasingly impairing chronic illness and disability - opening up a door to the multiplicity of disability identities they now live in the truth of. While processing this information and the experiences that led up to it, they shifted their focus to improvisational dance, using it as an adaptive movement strategy, and graduated summa cum laude in 2015.
Next, L moved to New York City with dual purpose: to seek new ways of living in their body that honor its fragility and to create - through artistic means or otherwise - work that changes lives. They became a certified Alexander Technique teacher while spearheading adaptive methods to apply the touch-based body education technique to people with hypermobility and other disabilities who need its symptom managing power (work they began while experiencing inaccessibility and abuse as a student and continue to develop as an ISMETA triple-registered teacher). From this foundational accessibility work, they co-created Hypermobile Accessible Proprioceptive Therapy (HAPT) with their collaborator Audre Wirtanen - a new technique for the pair's community. L views therapies like HAPT as just one important component of the care access that disability justice for Hypermobile people requires.
They are now enrolled in CUNY’s Disability Studies Masters program - a platform they leverage to research Hypermobile disability and the violent history of medical genetics. Their most recent poems and songs are letters of love and rage to their fellow Hypermobile people, or “Hyps” - including other COVID longhaulers beginning to develop Hypermobile disability related sickness.
You can read more about the care and community work L does here.