Letter to MY Unborn Son

Author’s Note: I am writing this in the wake of the last thing I wrote, but this time, it’s thanks to my newest blog subscriber, so follow My Ramblings on WordPress after reading this. Enjoy.

Dear Unborn Son,

I’d like to welcome you to a broken world. Like I told your potential unborn sister, I want to show you what kind of world I exist in. AS your potential mother, it is my responsibility to tell you what you’ll likely see, and try and help you become the man you want to be. Whether you’re as fierce as Boba Fet fighting off Tuscan raiders in a camp on some distant planet or you’re as rugged as Han Solo on the Millennium Falcon or you’re as upright as the Mando when he’s rescued the Grogu child, well, whatever you become I can’t wait to find out. There is one thing I want to give you a few pointers and advice on.

Please do me one favor when you exit my body and enter this violent and uncertain world. Don’t, play, with, guns. I don’t want to ever see a headline with your name on it as being a mass shooter. IF you see someone committing such horrific things, do what you must, even if it means giving your life. Hey, even Darth Vader gave his life for his son too. IF your daddy isn’t around for this heroic act, well, he just might, you will know him by then. Just remember, when your father pulls off the Darth Vader mask behind the genteel features he possesses, you will notice the man you want to become, the man you should strive to be. I imagine that sons would be more like their fathers, not obviously the opposite. Right at this moment, I’m asking questions, thinking of the kind of person you want to become. As a boy, you will want to swing on the monkey bars, pitch baseballs on a field, and don’t worry, if you have a little or bigger sister, she will be raised equally along with you, and she’ll play ball the same if she chooses. For you, it is your call whether you want to play ball with the other boys in the hood or stand out as someone who actually gives credit to wherever credit is due, and plays ball with the boys not necessarily in the hood. I can’t wait to meet you and see your personality shine through. Perhaps you’ll have your father’s wayward but beautiful locks, reddish blonde in color, his blue eyes, but I kind of wish you would look more like myself. My eyes are brown, my hair as well. My nose is a bit short, so that nose is good on you too. I’d like to think you have a fierce determination, and like Boba Fet, you are determined to get payback for what is done to you. But like Luke Skywalker, you do what is right. Even in the final act of heroism in your life, I will want to see it be that you save your daddy from a world of learned helplessness, hopelessness, gloom and doom. Like Palpatine and Darth Vader, the men I’ve dated seemed like impossible mountains to climb. I’m picking up the pieces from a fifteen years in captivity, and if you’re fighting to get down here, keep fighting, because trust me, you will want to raise your saber high when you grow to be as tall as your father. Unlike Luke Skywalker however, I don’t ever want to tell you that the father who gave you life is dead. Ben Kenobi told Luke Skywalker this in Episode 4, so when you get to be a good age for this, I’ll let you watch that, and you’ll get the point. When Darth Vader rolls into the big paternity reveal, you’ll understand that is the most iconic line in all of history in terms of Star Wars. Your sister and you will not join any such thing as the dark side, and if your father emerges from that funny Darth Vader mask of cold and distance, well, how can I best explain it. There was a time your daddy and I were cold, and I was oblivious to your presence in my body, but trust me, your daddy would probably have thought I should burn in Hell for having you, but when he sees you exit and hears you cry, whether on film or not, maybe he’ll understand that as a man, his son is his life. It’s like that with most men. Men must gage with what they have with one another.

For a time, I thought love was a cruel joke, that is until you came into my thoughts. Perhaps it is not a cruel joke. Your strength and determination to live will probably baffle both me and your dad. It’s not like you will be conceived by the miti kloriets, remember that. I have never heard of but one boy conceived without the touch of a man, and that was Jesus, son of Mary. Even so, your father will be a strong and determined man, wanting to stand on his own two feet in a world that hates every last thing in him, blindness included. I’m also blind. We may both be blind, but we’re not stupid. We know that if you arrive in this broken tattered world, you will be loved and greeted with the same pomp and circumstance as anyone else. Your sister will get the same treatment as you will, and she might be as badass as Princess Leia, and someday there will be a gentle and strong being who will ask you to be their sidekick, guide in life.

Here’s what I want you to know about me and your dad.

I think you should know about him first. For one, he’s had it rough. Forgive this guy, it’s not like he wants to break back and bend you over his knee and whip your body if you misbehave. I won’t let that happen either. Like in the prior thing I wrote, I will only spank you if it’s your birthday, and even then, only in jest. When you mature into manhood, I ask you to do a few things, not too many things, just listen as I advise you because this is going to be tough on any young man.

One, you will have plenty of opportunities to explore your options. IF you see a girl, you like the girl, ask before you embrace or kiss her, and later make love to her. Consent is what it’s all about. You’ll thank me for this pearl of advice, trust me. IF you want to be a father, and your dad in turn becomes a grandfather, don’t impose your will on minor kids and women. Respect your girlfriends’ bodily integrity. Don’t ever, ever ever use force or physical means to tell your girlfriend something, don’t ever create an environment where your girlfriend can’t speak or do things she wishes. IF she is having trouble with money, ask if she wants or needs help. You can only go so far but breaking her heart over piles of banknotes is simply raw hurt. Love her through the good times and the bad, through thick and thin, and show patience. Just as Han and Leia have had their arguments I’m pretty sure, remember that love is a piece of work, and should never be a cruel joke. You will be celebrated not for your hunky looks, your blue eyes, your blonde locks of hair floating about your head, or even your ethnic makeup. You will want to be remembered for your strength of character. I’m determined that you go get ‘em like Han Solo did in his story or like Luke Skywalker facing down his own father, Lord Darth Vader. If you do cross swords with your father, just remember that you must, like Luke did, feel the good in him. You will be determined to save him, but as Anakin says in his death throes in Return of the Jedi, “You already have, Luke.” Unlike the Skywalker saga, however, I hope you don’t have to carry your father’s, my lover’s body to a funeral pyre. I don’t want to see the ghost of him in the air too soon, but I want his dying words not to be just directed at you, like, “Now go my son.” Anakin had the best death words ever, but the saddest. I hope that you will unmask the good in the man who said it would be a cold day in Hell before he loves me again. There is good in him, I see it all the time, but it is mired by trouble from his own family. His blood has been tainted by desire for blood of the kind that is shed for no reason, and his heart is so almost like the Anakin Skywalker at nineteen, but unlike Anakin, this man truly does not need to be going around killing Jedi knights, killing anyone who stands in his way, taking a Sith title and tapping into dark forces. I feel like I’m fighting those dark forces, not necessarily him, every day. HE is a bit grounded at times, but when you cross sabers with him, don’t whatever you do strike him down. Do not surrender, not ever. Take down the guards, the storm troopers in your path, but your father will eventually tell you he wants to see you with his own face, cup your head in his hands and maybe he’ll tear up a bit seeing you like that. Blind people don’t always show affection the same way.

Whatever you become, I’m delighted to know which side you’ll be on. Another piece of advice you will need to survive in this world is to know your true enemies. You will need a lot of tools to equip you for life. Don’t ever address women as “bitch”, for example. The next time you do that, well I won’t ground you but I will give you a good scolding and you will get a lecture on the true definition of a bitch. That’s a female dog, not a malicious woman, and calling every woman a bitch is disrespectful, no matter if she is or isn’t. Respecting women is a big tool in your box you’ll need so you don’t get blacklisted for jobs and other things. When you get a supervisory position in your office as a man, please don’t advance on your employees because it’s unethical. Create a place where your underlings can talk about what they do, and without consequence, say no to a male underling’s advances. Treat every being on this planet, not only the women, with reverence and respect, even if you don’t think they deserve it. IF someone you feel causes drama, or you feel is draining to them, think about what you do to contribute to this.

MY son, there is one more … I can’t say too many more things I want to give you that will help you get here immediately. Come here for a few moments, if you are an angel, and speak gently to the man you want to become. Do not try and deceive anyone and don’t mask your feelings. It won’t help you in the long run. IF you ever need to cry, unlike conventional males, just do it. Go to your pillow, lock the door, and silently or whatever volume you want, just let it out. You will have friends one day who will listen without judging you as a crybaby. My dad did this to your uncles, your future uncles, and it was painful to watch.

IF you want to know who your father is, unlike my mother and me, you will know who your daddy is. He will have to visit you, and when you are being born and on your way to this world, I will make sure your father lets me hold his hand, bite a rope, whatever it takes to get you into this world. Unlike Padme Amidala, I promise you i’ll be here to raise you, not your father’s family, not even an ex. Unlike any mother, I promise you the moon, and if you feel this world is too much for you, please don’t leave it and your body behind. With your brilliant mind, perhaps you can build a rocket ship that travels light years away, and take the whole family on a million light year mission to explore new worlds like Captain Kirk. We would encounter the stars, many alien civilizations, hell we’d get lost in space. Your father and I will marvel at your work, and we’d fly to the moon and back with your help. I want him and I to step on Mars together, perhaps fly past Saturn and explore beyond Pluto. There has to be another system beyond Alpha Centauri we can explore, carve out a life for ourselves. We will be a great dynasty of sorts, and with your help, we will all soar above the sky. Your daddy is a rap god, and if luck has it, he’ll be releasing an album highlighting his hunger to succeed in all the things he wants to do. I wish for him and you to have a strong bond, not at my expense. REmember the thing about bad words directed at women? NEver ever disrespect your mother, not ever. I want your father to respect me not just because I’m a woman, or because I’m all together or anything else, but because I care deeply for him. IF you float along the tracks above our heads, just let your father know I love him. I care too much to let him fly off to the painted desert and mock me in front of a bunch of guys at a bar, calling me the same words I entrust you won’t. Son, you will have a name, and that name will reflect on your courage, heroism, and strength as well as your ability to fight. Your sister may have the same thing in her name, we’ll just have to see.

Son, if you truly want to make sure your daddy doesn’t mess up my and another woman’s life, all you need to do is go all Karate Kid on him too. One other piece of advice, if your daddy and you are crossing sabers and he’s mocking me, calling me names, all of that, turn the other cheek for me, and tell your father that in his heart of hearts, he must stay with me and go back to me and tell me he’s sorry. IF there ever was a rift between us, like Luke had with Anakin Skywalker, just stand your ground. IF Daddy says you will have to beat up girls, destroy women’s lives, that if they don’t bow down to your wishes, blah blah blah, just say it like Luke. “I will never join you.” Luke had and always has had determination. This all boils down to this. What would a good Jedi master do? You don’t have to do things like Yoda, being that there is nothing but do, not try. Grand Master Yoda had a lot of good tokens like these, but try to be as noble as Mace Windu, and as giving as Anakin Skywalker, but not as compulsive should we say. You will be a fine Paduan in the game of life, and I am delighted to write this in your honor.

With love,

Your future mother,

Beth

P.S. The force will be with you always.

What are the problems with my building?

Dear readers,

My building sucks, let’s be clear. I’ll tell you why. Please see the below.

  1. When you apply, the snooty office manager peoples wanna go track your progress filling out the application, which requires installing a proprietary word processor, namely Microsoft Turd, err I mean word, on a pc or mac or whatever, but Windows and I got a serious divorce, and there’s no legitimate products or children involved. The application is also a very heavily inaccessible PDF.
  2. When you become a tenant, you have to sign papers, and the lease is not ordered up on your pc or mac in an accessible format.
  3. The laundry rooms suck because they’re visual, no Braille overlay labeling, which could easily fix the single function flatty buttons and such.
  4. The mail room and locker keys and boxes are either unlabeled or not consistently labeled.
  5. Requiring people to stay fourteen days per calendar year only is a HUD bullshit rule that must be removed because of heavy homelessness in our country and gentrified places like Clayton’s old apartment. Yeah, he’s been here longer than fourteen days, we need a place to stay period. More than anyone else, and especially because I want a child to be born and raised in an appropriate location. Ah, I digress. But this whole thing sucks.
  6. This piece of crap building targeted myself, my former lover Trenton, and now my current lover Clayton for home care services or ableist rudeness. The cleaning ladies like to make it a habit of throwing wet floor signs everywhere and in every path a blind person needs to walk on even in the early morning. While I realize there is a place for wet floor signs, there is no place for the rudeness and also, lack of language skills?????? See below.
  7. The ladies who clean our building are oftentimes Hispanics who don’t speak much English, and the underlings who do maintenance are also sometimes Spanish speakers who don’t know their English. Look guys, if you’re in Italy, guess whawt you have to do? Learn Italiano, right? Yep. So if I went to Spain, Mexico or Latin countries, I’d be damned if I didn’t learn some damn Espanol, so there you have it. If you go to Sweden, feel free to juggle learning Swedish, or in Finland, it’s Finnish. Also, I have a German friend who I talk to frequently. I told her, my friend Eva is one of the coolest and she speaks great English btw, that if I wanted to work in germany, then goddamnit I’m gonna learn how to speak perfect goddamn german, because that’s their land, their spaces, their territory. Of course, Eva’s hubby is American, but he’s cool and is open to learning german. So yeah, I have internationals all over my Facebook and Twitter, and if I ever said I would refuse to learn another language, they’d laugh at me. So why are we in the U-Stated Nites of Insanity, whatever the hell this country is, bending so far backwards for every last person in the world, not that we need a national language, but English is a very good trade language to begin, even if it is a Germanic Indus and so far mixed up language. I’m proud of that language, even Sanskrit contributes some stuff to it. If you wanna be the lady in Spanglish, fine, but if you come to this country and wish to do work as anything, please learn English if vulnerable folks are involved.
  8. The vending machines and selections thereof are not labeled.
  9. I’m appalled that the building doesn’t give a fuck about blind people in the sense of privacy and security and safety either.
  10. The elevators break sometimes, and both have been down before. Ugh. Just ugh.

Those are ten things I hate about this building, and the complaints come rolling in.

Beth

The Sins of Who?: Plain Communities Under the Microscope for Sexual Misconduct By Males

Dear readers,

Has anyone heard of the Amish? Okay, has anyone even seen the Amish at work? Behind the picturesque horses and buggies, the farmers working the land, there is a deep dark pit of evil and despair lurking. What is this evil we speak of? You’ll find it in a recent Peacock original docuseries called The Sins of the Amish. Now, let me just explain what the hell I’m talking about.

The Amish may seem like a hardworking people, born of service to a church or whatever, but there is rampant male entitlement, rampant sex abuse, and rampant child abuse as well. Let me summarize. In the Sins of the Amish, we meet a group of Amish women who were discounted repeatedly for filing police reports on their brothers, husbands and fathers. Here’s another thing. Forget the why’s and ways of the Amish culturally. Think about why the plain community of such is so far behind. LEt me tell you why. Take a train or time travel trip back with me to the 1800s, and look at a sexual education book. It suggests that girls be submissive unto their husbands, sound familiar? “Wives, submit to your husbands as they do unto the Lord as Christ is the head of the Church.” This was written in the book of Ephesians, but for crying out loud, this never applied to modern marriages in my humble opinion. I only feel better about this submission thing because I do it every day, not in the sense of abuse, but in the sense of I can give myself freely to my man without his judgment of me as sickening, sexually unattractive, things like that. The Amish girl who does not listen to her father and keep her brother and father standing tall is a rebel, usually put in an institution as in the nineteenth century, treated like total trash.

If you wanna see just how behind the Plain communities, which include Amish and Mennonites are, just look at the sex ed books they use. Girls are expected to marry at nineteen, sometimes younger, otherwise, like in the old days, they are considered old maids. This is not even about the card game, folks. This is the reality of unmarried Amish women.

While my sympathies are in some way with the Amish, all they care about is work, no play, and the farming communities have also been known to sell puppies illegally bred from puppy mills. Some Amish and Mennonite farmers have been themselves puppymilling around in Pennsylvania and other states where puppy mills are born. They’re everywhere, and the Amish farmers are not helping the problem.

While I was at Amish Acres, a museum and farm in Indiana, I was forbidden from using my mobility aid, a white cane, on the stairway and my parents forced me to follow the rules. I want to say to those folks in charge of Amish sites in Indiana and other places, do not even bother opening a place if you’re gonna do a big injustice toward your blind clientele. Please cater to folks with disabilities, and include the blind in your thought and planning of any touring and such. Please tell any blind person they can use the cane on stairs, on the floor, anywhere because it is required. Blind people in your facilities must also be allowed to use a guiding or service dog of any kind. Usually, guide dogs are trained in helping the blind up and down stairs, through doors, around things, all sorts of stuff awaits a guide dog handler and the dog themselves. If you’re one of those Amish or Mennonites, chances are you’re not reading this, but if you’re on the outside of such communities, know this. I have no qualms about turning the Indiana Amish in for discrimination against me and other blind tourists.

The Amish have had many sinful things done to each other and other people. I think more than the women they mistreated, and trust me that’s important too, but the dogs and the blind tourists and the wives of some if not every Amish man should know that there is a big wide world outside that protects women from these insular practices. While Carolyn Jessop was fighting for custody of eight little lives, Merrill Jessop, her good for nothing jerkish husband with a bunch of other sex toys to play with was demanding the same. Why did Carolyn win? Because she was smart, independent, sick of the sister wives being bratty with her and the kids. All but Betty ended up staying with her. Why did Flora Jessop get out of the FLDS too? Because she knew the world would protect women and such, and she had a very supportive husband and family of her husband. The other problem here is that plain communities are stuck in the past, not willing to move forward. Stuck in the past could be an understatement, but most religious groups that are not Amish or Mennonite are now going face down in piles of sex abuse scandals. There is no way that I would ever want to join a Plain community, and perhaps Weird Al wasn’t too far in making fun of the Amish. Yes, the song itself called Amish Paradise is rather comical, but the Amish and their sins are a reflection on us, the United States. What can we do to curb all the stuf going on in insular communities?

  1. First, could we revise the First Amendment to include you can have opinions, freedom of speech and the press and assembly which is safe and peaceable? Yes, peaceful assembly at all levels is great, but when the purpose of a group of folks is to do what the Heaven’s Gate nutheads did to those victims they encouraged to kill themselves, you got a problemo.
  2. Houston, if there’s a problem with a certain religious sect, one must be able to report it to a government task force set up for this purpose. While I value freedom to have and practice religions, practicing one’s religion should also mean that hateful thoughts and actions don’t mix themselves with the teachings of a deity or Jesus or Buddha or anyone else. Religions should be about freeing, not controlling mankind.
  3. If you want to see hate groups on a map, the Southern Poverty Law Center has a whole big map full of these such groups, including Neo-Viking, NeoNazi, Neo-Vulkish, and many others. In Colorado, there are a few underground hateful groups. Unfortunately, I’m sure Malcom X is rolling in his grave because the Nation of Islam is listed in Colorado as a hate group for being and speaking Antisemetic. I can’t stand antisemitism as much as the next big black guy can’t stand racism, but shouldn’t we include the Plain communities on a certain level of a hate group registry? See next item.
  4. Let’s say you’re browsing a group database thing so you can find something to be part of, you’re a new person to this country, or you’re new to the state you live in and you’ve been American all your life. LEt’s say you got swept up in a group, and you found out the group doesn’t like your gay son or your lesbian daughter or your transgender grandchild, your blind relatives, etc etc. Things like this happen a lot. So here’s the skiny. Level 1 registered hate groups should not be allowed to receive government support and funding, should be taxed for hate, and should be told how to operate safely because people can die from such groups. These level 1 groups would include terrorist orgs like the KKK, NeoNazi groups, and a lot of your white nationalist orgs as well. I’d also classify America’s alQaeda groups as level 1 and add terrorist to the label as well. This would be classified as code red level 1. All groups in this tier would get a red bar code symbol to place next to their name. So let’s see how this would work. Level 2 groups would be all of level 1’s criteria, but no violence would be pinned on it. Such groups might include, sadly but accurately, your Neo-Vulkan groups, some of your anti LGBTQI+ churches, including the Westboro Baptist Church and some of the Pentecostal churches that preach only to include cis males and cis females, think about it. These churches would also have to be taxed, and would not receive government funding or support, and did I want to say the Word of Faith Fellowship should get a level 2 on this registry? The big bad reports of abuse would go here. There have been incidences of violence and isolation of cult members, and this is a dangerous cult status group we’re talking about, but WFF really should be a place where politicians are barred from. They should not be part of this organization if they want to govern our country. WFF has been noted as abusive and not following the word in its entirety, using scripture as a means to abuse kids, all that stuff. The ax on this church will be because they won’t be able to run in a whole county in North Carolina.
  5. Continuing from the previous item, the Amish would be a special case, level 3. Level 3 groups would be the groups that have been known to be abusive, are everything but racist. The Amish don’t like disability, don’t like gays, so they’d probably fall under this category. There will be a little orange dot next to those groups. Level 2 groups, btw, would get a yellow thing next to their names because you know what yellow would mean right?
  6. There would be a green dot to the proximity of groups that do the following.
  1. Green coded groups would welcome all people in its ranks provided the criteria for joining the club can be that you may be interested in a subject, golf for example, or you have a like mind with the club’s members, ham radio for example.
  2. The clubs in the green category don’t hate people based on protected class status, including disability, sexual identity, sexual preferences, and many otyher combinations of protected class.
  3. The group would accommodate people with disabilities. All materials should be made into formats we can read, including on the Internet.
  4. Recruitment is not aggressive or some marketing tactic.
  5. No way will I join a group that lovebombs its potential recruits. Jim Jones and his people did that.
  6. Green coded groups would exhibit the ability to bring people together, get awards, and do good acts of service that can be demonstrable in getting grants. Examples, Soar Youth and Adult choir, though I can’t be part of them anymore, has a good habit of inviting all manner of person to their choir. Foster kids and others share a meal, and it’s fun. I hope that someday I will go back to Soar. They’ve been instrumental in helping me realize my dream of maybe fostering and adoption. I’m not sure about that though given discrimination against blind folks in all countries, so if I did adopt, I bet it would be domestic.
  7. Green coded groups would encourage, not discourage talking to outside folks.
  8. The group with green on it would also not exhibit scandalous activity.

These databases and ideas are not meant to necessarily impede on freedom of speech, but I want to see more protections in place for former cult victims, victims of folks like the FLDS and the Amish and such. Thank you all for reading.

Beth

A World without SSI and Food Stamps: Don’t Breathe but Imagine It

Dear readers,

I was given a scenario to ponder, especially from a Pakistani immigrant from Karachi, family support and all. HE said the following, “I’d love to drop Beth off in a country where there is no SSI and food stamps.” Well, here’s what would happen if the U.S. had none of these safety nets and social programs for disabled and low income individuals.

  1. The patriarchal system of survival would set in. This would include the neglect and abortion of female babies, especially by poorer mothers, and it already happens in the third world. When a female baby is born blind, as in most of the third world she is considered useless. The mother is encouraged to “replace” her. Doctors would probably also encourage a midwife to do away with the baby in cases of vilicide and infanticide put together in a dreaded package of death.
  2. If the baby makes it past infanthood, and goes into girlhood or toddler stage, this baby would likely be malnourished, we’re talking a female blind baby, and that malnourishment would happen because the mother has to prioritize based on ableist and patriarchal values which child should get nurtured. Likely, in places of the third world, boys will be nursed to full adulthood and manhood, not girls. If the female is lucky enough to be part of a richer family, she might look forward to a negligent diet and neglected education standards such that she could not read or write, Braille being scarce as it is and all that. The female child who is blind could die before the age of five, barring diseases but mostly malnourishment. Prioritizing boys over girls would be so rampant that female babies would still bring about sorrow in these families. It already does in the Pashtun families, where the birth of a boy brings a guy to your window and a rifle is fired in celebration of his birth, but the girl brings misery and the family is blessed not with celebrations and gifts, but with only a domestic worker in their house. The girl is reared in subservience, but a blind female would be reared in death before age five, but here’s what could happen if she goes beyond five.
  3. The female third world blind kid could also look forward to a substandard of living incomparable to that of the first world. She could be sold as a sex slave in a place such as Thailand, Malaysia, or even China. She could be sold in marriage to an older groom to spell good food for the family, this including places like Somalia, parts of Africa, Saudi Arabia, all these other places too. If she didn’t die before, she may face death by childbirth pains, and if that doesn’t kill her first, the husband’s abuse could. Sight supremacy doesn’t just hurt those who are blind and without 20/20 vision. It also encourages superiority and malice of sighted males toward blind females, and blind females in the third world should watch out for men who are abrasive, angry and abusive toward the blind spouse. With an illiterate female, this potentially dangerous husband could say things like, “Don’t go outside the home. Cook, clean and sex when I say cook, clean and sex.” This is a problem magnified by the fact that the spouse being subservient in this case is a blind female. She can expect to stand about a foot shorter than her first world peers, can expect no help and guidance in employment, or perhaps she could end up on the streets like Eliza Dolittle, the My Fair Lady character, selling odds and ends, but not getting what she’s worth. Oh, a blind vendor should get what they are worth. Even males who are blind in the third world who don’t have the privilege of emigrating to the United States should expect the same outcomes if they hadn’t died before their prime.
  4. IF a female can make it past years of being pregnant, nursing, or both and many childbirths later, the same blind woman in the third world can look forward to getting sick repeatedly, not having attention she needs in the medical department, or worse, having an untold number of kids. Some women in polygamous third world society end up having something called “putting out to pasture” done to them when they are through and say they won’t give birth anymore. Women 35 and older are at this risk, and especially when they turn 45 or 50, but when menopause sets in, a guy can sit there and put her aside to make room for a young maiden he wants badly. This girl could be insipid, unwilling and uneducated like her cowives. This is a very serious problem and is why the first world has it right in banning polygamy in some areas for some reasons, but I do believe polyamorous relationships should be legal, recognized, and allowed here in the first world, especially in a line family as in the Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein, so read that book and you’ll understand what I’m saying. I wouldn’t mind sharing my partner with other women, only I should have the same freedom to share myself with other men, and of course, with the blessing of my partner, I would share myself with others freely and without any problem. I do think I’m open to polyamory, but the polygamous third world society brings wives and husbands together not based on a shared love of each other, but oftentimes you have marriages based on taking care of the less able or most vulnerable spouse or spouses. In any case, you might have for example, a husband with sixteen wives, one with five, some with six, but the Islamic limit is four. The four wives in an Islamic family don’t have a chance to spend a lot of time to themselves, they being repeatedly called to go have sex with a man who could be twice their age, a jerk, or someone who doesn’t know what to do about justice between wives. That’s a whole other topic I could get into, but Muslims who wish to have polygamous marriages should consider justice between wives, and this coming from Deq, my ex fiance.
  5. When a female who is blind reaches menopausal age in the third world, her health could decline significantly, and as with most elders, she could expect to die at some point. However, life expectancy in the third world could be between 45-60, depending on the age of the mother, social status and many other factors. IF the woman gets pneumonia, in the third world, she could easily have died. Without food stamps, she could be forced to beg on the streets, born blind or otherwise. HEr milk could go dry so her babies could die. There’s a whole lot of death involved in places where food safety and security programs are not present.

So if anyone wants to call me entitled for even suggesting food be safe to eat, think again. What programs should the third world have in its grasp? Let’s see for a few moments.

  1. First, a good country, third or first world, should have a good network of midwives, nurse midwives, OBGYN doctors, and many other good medical personnel who can tend to all women’s needs within their offices. For the blind female or the mother of someone who is blind, a good nurse midwife or OBGYN is a crucial first step. In the first world, we have programs like Medicaid, transportation being covered for doctor visits and other things, which I would use for prenatal visits. A doctor at the women’s clinic would give her patients prenatal vitamins because this is essential for a woman in any place in the world. Prenatal vitamins are a blessing, and they have folic acid, which can help prevent lots of childbirth complications, help the baby survive, and so much more. Just as a new mother should take prenatal vitamins no matter where, she should be able to see her doctor. There are spots in the world where that isn’t possible without UNICEF and other programs called nongovernmental organizations (NGO’s) which have mobile clinics, which can serve as educational hubs for females who need it. So let’s move on.
  2. Time for the ultrasonic images. When a female in the first world finds out her baby’s not going to make it, I know it may break some hearts, but at least she’d be able to have options. Abortion is for the most part the number one legal option, especially if the birth of some babies could kill a female right then and there. If I had a baby that was missing essential organs, that decision to abort would be between me, my partner, and doctors. It would be a heartbreaking decision to abort, but saving the mother’s life is a crucial thing to make a country good for kids and moms alike. IN the United States, we currently have a mindless debate going on about Roe V. Wade, the abortion decision, and we know the consequences of not having safe and legal abortion. There are countries that don’t have abortion because of religious policy, and it opens a big door to childbirth deaths among young women. In Ethiopia, for example, many young brides die from giving birth, some who survive having been a mom end up with fistula complications. This requires surgery, sometimes even a colostomy, which then results in the potential mother being fitted with a bag that drains out her wastes, both liquid and solid. There are places in Africa where rampant misuse of females as weapons of war is commonplace, so fistulas must be repaired more frequently. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, this is the case. There is no food stamps, SSI of any kind, or even the freedom to walk down your street safely at any time of day or night. You could have been kidnapped sometime ago in Sudan by a rebel group that wanted to break it apart, based in darfor of all things. Talk to survivors of the rwandan genocide. You’ll understand more.
  3. If a female with a disability wishes to live, that’s one thing. But a good country has good food distribution, security and safety programs. IF I have a baby within the next year, since I’m a first world citizen, I have access to food and water, I have access to opportunities. I have a good mental capacity, and it’s nothing about my blindness. My blindness might have presented buriers, but not to life itself.The buriers were to things like jobs and marriage prospects, but still these buriers need to be taken down. Sighted and able bodied people have jobs, lots of jobs and opportunities to apply for such. My partner and I being blind need the protections of a blind parent bill like this one in Colorado. Colorado families with blind parents can expect a boatload of protections, and there will be protection in my home for children. IF a child is abused by a blind parent, as the NFB pamphlet on such states, then the parent is held accountable just like with sighted parents. That’s how it should be. There are many blind people in Colorado with children, and they are amazing kids. One parent has a genetic condition that her son inherited, but still, he has learned to be a better person because of his mother. The mother is particularly proud of her son for learning empathy. Should we all be learning this at some point in our lives? In the third World, this Colorado mother would have been dead by the time her baby turned four, or her baby might have died before his first birthday due to neglect, lack of education on the part of parents, or the baby might have been removed in certain places because the parents are blind or physically disabled. The first world has it right in protecting parents with disabilities, and there are ultimately lots of resources on blindness and parenting. I’m slowly getting my confidence back in the kitchen, and it’s thanks to the strength and determination and the wisdom of my blind partner in crime. I couldn’t ask for better.
  4. If you think first world people are spoiled, I’m not in the least. I know that a good country also should have laws in place protecting females if they are trafficked, married too young, and much more. In the Third World, religion takes priority and the pleasure of deities such as Allah take first and ultimate center stage. Allah says this, so a policy is put in place to acknowledge. Examples of antifem policies in third world countries include the minimum age of marriage laws being that the girl can be as young as prepubescent age like eight or nine to be considered a bride. Thankfully, in the first world, we do have laws in place but not enough. The Ayaan Hirsi Ali Foundation, the AHA Foundation, is working on political and legislative priority to end child marriage in the first world such as here in the United States. There is a rampant issue with such because of religious priorities of families, and children who are married off before the age of eighteen do not have protections such as domestic violence shelters should the older spouse be abusing her. Imagine a blind female in the third world who learns she can’t escape her abusive marriage. Not every woman or girl is lucky. One Indian able woman said that the arranged marriages in India was “state sanctioned rape.” It is, and in India, love marriages are frowned upon. Parents think they can make decisions about their child bride’s future, but this only makes things worse for her. The cycle begins again.
  5. A good country in any world should include a stellar education system, where kids are bussed to the school for free, or there is a way to transport kids in unsafe neighborhoods, and the education of all children is considered. Afghanistan banned girls from being educated beyond sixth grade, and the Taliban will only make it worse. Pakistan could end up doing so, but moreover, blasphemy laws are in place to prevent critical thinking about Islam. Why? The education of humans should include the skill known as critical thinking, and this helped me question and eventually debunk all sorts of mythical crap about Catholicism, which I was born into. Both myself and my partner are just about Atheist, but goddesses are a special thing. For me, I know the power of fellowship, prayer and thanks to some things, but I don’t think the male god in the scripture should be allowed primacy or to exist. This god is jealous, in some areas wrathful, and in other areas quite sexist. There are portions of the biblical and Qur’anic scripture that specify what a woman does, how she dresses, what she eats and what happens during her menstrual cyclees. Inheritance laws are another challenge to overcome. There is a lot to unpack here.
  6. A good country should have compulsory domestic abuse laws. The country should have safety spots for young vulnerable and elder vulnerable people so that if an elder is abused, they can be placed in a safe place. If a child’s been sexually abused, it shouldn’t be that she’s doomed to marry her rapist. She should be allowed to put justice before the man’s desires. IF a man rapes a girl, he should be punished, and the girl should be paid up for therapy and restitution should be given to her in any amount, including millions of dollars if her resulting child is special needs/disabled. The birth could be a trauma for her because she could find that her baby is the rapist’s mirror image. In some states, rapists have custody of the kid. This should never be the case, and my partner has never done this to anyone btw. He is a loving and caring personality, and all I care about is his happiness, helping him get to a point of peaceful living, helping him be a better person and father to kids one day. HE is sweet, cuddly, and has a beautiful deep laugh. I love it all.
  7. A good country has social programs for the disabled person and has ways to protect their education, welfare, and social acceptance. Haiti thinks, for example, it is unacceptable to be blind, and the white cane … or the cane we use to navigate is seen as a beggar’s badge. In many third world countries, blind people beg. It’s through no fault of their own, it is the fault of the society for not protecting blind children’s rights to education and safe housing. In Tibet and parts of africa, if my partner or I were born as we are now, the families of both of us would have tossed us into the hills to die as in ancient Sparta in Greece, and Spartan living conditions abound in Laos. I kid you not. In India, education of disabled kids is a debatable issue. Well, I’m here to say that education is and should never be up for debate. Neither should marriage equality, the rights of transgender youth and adults, or many other things. Human rights are not up for debate. In the third world, religion is sacrosanct and central to most laws and policies about gender roles and family life. In most Latinx countries, Mexico and Chile and others, women can’t seek abortion, but that is slowly changing. In Islamic countries, women can be hanged for having a love affair. Why are these policies allowed to exist? Because religion is so central it is sacred to those who write and craft such policy. Examples of religious zealots may include a Jordanian who was quoted in one of Hirsi Ali’s books, and he said something to the effect of, “Whether we like it or not, women are not equal to men in Islam.” I’m here to call bullshit to all political ploys to put women out of office.

Any good country should be run by people who get it. I could go into other ways countries can change, but the third world is an absolute mess when it comes to who lives and who dies, particularly when it comes to gender selection and able bodied versus disab disabled folks. Pleas stay tuned.

Beth

Why a Waiting List for Disabled Young Adults is Sabotaging Our Human Right to Shelter

Dear readers,

I know this sounds wrong, I know this might come off to some of you as entitlement, but imagine yourself a senior 62 years or older. How many places and things do you qualify for? Now, go blind and be in your young years, like 18-60, just below the senior line. How many places do you qualify for? You’re at the bottom for consideration for marriage, social status, jobs and transportation and that’s not acceptable. I was recently attacked on Facebook for begging in some people’s minds. I was literally beyond furious with a law firm that refused to represent me, and it led to one woman calling me a narcissist. First and foremost, what is narcissism? That’s for another post for another day, but the takeaway I got from most of these vehement critics is that I was “entitled” to “special treatment.” That’s not the case, not at all.

On April 19, thereabouts, my beloved Clayton Jacobs applied to be a resident here at this building, the one on West Ninth, but was met with barriers along the way. He was met with much opposition from the staff, which included but was not limited to a print or PDF image application he could not read or even render with his Voiceover or NVDA (nonvisual desktop access) screen reader. Most of my Facebook cohorts suggested a risky venture to get that done, divulge personal information to strangers. Clayton does not like to do this, and does not trust anyone to fill out papers for him which is understandable because of his upbringing, which on no uncertain terms, nobody is familiar with. LEt me give a brief backstory, and use one sentence to describe Clayton’s upbringing. It’s only one thing: toxicity but also violence. People have done violent and toxic stuff to him in the past, same with me, so we’re demanding that the building change things so we don’t have to put ourselves at risk and divulge personal information. In an age where a credit card can be compromised on the dark web, we should be prioritizing blind people’s identities and interests, including making all housing applications usable and accessible online through PDF’s that are tagged for being filled accessibly, meaning all the form fields can be rendered so you fill them out easily with a screen reader. I saw such forms for Denver’s court system when applying for a restraining order against an online frenemy. I was scared that this frenemy was gonna put me in danger by being present in Denver, spreading rumors, threatening me and my then boyfriend and congratulating him for hurting and abusing his power as a man to be insecure, impose religious sexual restrictions, and many other things. Men who do this type of thing don’t appeal to me, and that’s a whole post for a different week.

For all I’ve been through, I want to explain the reason we’re seeking front of the line preferential treatment as it were from this building.

  1. Trenton and I split amicably, and I want to ensure that both my cell is paid off, Trenton gets a pad and the mother doesn’t make him block or report my contact information.
  2. I do not see this as any less of a case, but Clayton was gentrified out of Arizona because of high housing prices, high rent from an apartment building which is fair market no assistance, and of course he’s also blind.
  3. There is a special risk for blind females, LGBTQ males and females with disabilities, and so many other groups of people who are homeless. Homelessness is not fun, and I’m not going to allow myself to be pregnant with someone’s kid other than Clayton’s, which means anyone who tries to rape, rob, steal or mug me is going to have to head for the high jump because I’m not interested in anyone else. A women’s shelter and men’s shelters are not safe places for Clayton, myself and Trenton. Clayton’s experiences as a homeless man in California have taught him a lot, and Trenton does not even deserve to be left in the dark. I may be an ex lover of his, but for you who say I’m selfish and narcissistic, go fly somewhere else because I care about Trenton’s risk of being shot, mugged or raped. Clayton has seen it all, practically, but I don’t want him to see anything detrimental to both of us. All I see in our cards is victory, and if this building case is any example of how persecuted we are as a people who are young and blind, I don’t know what else to say. This building does not administer a waiting list properly, and it prioritizes Hispanic seniors over younger blind American adults. They Bombshelled Clayton with the 3.5 year wait list, and I won’t allow them to do this because of the print and the inaccessible parts of the common areas we discovered.

Here are the highlights:

  1. We saw inaccessible buttons in the laundry room on the washers and dryers, and a very visually based machine that tells you how much you have on your laundry card. The machine pretty much is visual, not adaptable for blind people, so if a building says they’re for seniors/disabled, they must accommodate blind people. End of story. Laundry rooms like this one require the so called assistance of a sighted caregiver, and even that is not good. Only two washers work at a time, and there are many more, but the residents seem to enjoy breaking and defiling the washers and dryers. That makes it hard for people like my caregiver April to do her job. People need to respect all property on the premises.
  2. We discovered inconsistent locker labeling, some keys weren’t also labeled, and there are a lot of things about the mailboxes I could say that wouldn’t look too good in print. They’re not labeled to put it mildly.
  3. The vending machine things aren’t labeled, and they need to be because let’s face it. Blind people see the vending machine, or they hear it if you want to be so politically correct, and the machines just have blank buttons on them, plus sometimes you don’t know if a product is sold out or the thing is empty. Shame on the building for doing this.
  4. Pertinent information such as lease agreements, papers related to important news about building stuff and the calendar must be made accessible. They aren’t. The building’s excuse? “We have to print the stuff in nine languages.” I call bullshit. I call serious bullshit because bullshit is as bullshit does, and there is technology that can enable you to change languages and scripts so easily, plus Braille is though a loud thing to print out, it is still doable with the writing programs and transcribing things like Duxbury for example. There are tons of transcription softwares available for Braille and yet nobody cares. Well, blind people need to learn Braille anyway, and deafblind people need access too. The blind and the deaf/blind need to be able to have independent lives, and the community unfortunately is responsible for this. Why? Because the sighted and able community has set up a world that doesn’t like or care about blindness or deafness or both in combination.

How do we expect to do things? Well, here’s what we are doing now.

I’m fixing to apply for more creative writing jobs, but music lessons require a Bachelor’s, which for me has been a barrier because of blindness and people’s misunderstanding of such. Blindness is a sensory disability, and let me tell you it’s been a rough road for nearly 36 years. Blindness in the skills terms is the use of nonvisual techniques to achieve the same thing as a sighted person, but the kicker is that society is sight supremacist. How is it, you ask? LEt’s take a look.

First, the minute you’re born. When Clayton and I were each born in places like Iowa and Florida, the docs told our mothers differing things, but I clearly remember my mother telling me what her OBGYN said, or was it her obstetrician? He said clearly, “She will not get a driver’s license.” That was the beginning of my mother’s furious wrath about me being blind. Clayton’s mother might have heard a similar thing, but what doctors do in the pattern of dissing disability is simple. They tell you to put the kid away in a box and forget the child, have another to replace them. This happens to a variety of kids, including blind and intellectually disabled people. 80% of Down’s Syndrome babies are aborted through the use of prenatal testing every year, and people get the wrong impressoin of disabled infants and childcare for those people. Down’s babies and children need special consideration for all kinds of aspects, but blindness being the most biblically feared makes doctors do a double take. Both mine and Clayton’s blindness conditions were from birth, but both of us got blind in different ways. My mother had Rubella syndrome, but Clayton once said something about genetics, but what are the chances of us having blind kids? We could keep going but it would lead down a strange path.

The minute you enter school, there are barriers everywhere. Clayton’s and my lives were very different, but still almost similar. My mother didn’t know how to bring up a blind female child, and she abused me because she didn’t want an illegitimate child out of wedlock. Clayton’s mom and dad had two more kids, a boy and later a girl. I had two brothers to contend with. While we both had issues with siblings, mostly because they got all the gold and attention, we had far different experiences when it came to violence and how each family unit dealt with it. While my parents kept on rewarding my brothers for hurting me, only to stop when I kept telling them it was unfair what they did for them versus me, Clayton’s parental units rewarded violence and anger out of his brother, as if to say, “Okay, go ahead and kill your brother.” It was as if the violence in his own family was a game to get rid of the most vulnerable person in the house, and for a variety of reasons, the brother went on to become a criminal in a prison system. Clayton lives now with all the anger and hurt inside, and it comes out sometimes, but it’s not necessarily his fault. I try to be there, but it’s tough sometimes. I love him so much, and I see good in him a lot, that good being the tender way he embraces me, kisses, and whatever else he does. I won’t go into it here.

AS for both our educations, they were hampered by teachers. My teacher of the visually impaired, while I had a long relationship with her, was stupid enough to tell strangers about my love life. Clayton had a variety of personalities and TVI’s to work with. There is a TVI shortage, so if anyone wants to be one, just learn Braille and cane skills too, and close your eyes and try to live as we do every day. I had good cane instructors, but I was experiencing a lot of emotional abuse at home. Clayton’s abuse might have looked a bit or a lot worse, but abuse is abuse no matter what the cause. Most disabled children experience one or more forms of abuse, especially female children around the world. Disabled females seem to be undesired all over the globe, especially in the third world, but it doesn’t get much better in the United States and first world countries. For instance, the Braille literacy rate among blind people is now 7%, according to some new study Clayton pulled out. Not shocking, it was 10% in my youth. 7 is unacceptable, only 3 out of 10 blind children are taught Braille by a properly certified TVI, teacher of the visually impaired. Clayton and I are the lucky few blind adults who read Braille, which was invented by a twelve-year-old French boy in a blindness school, but was vehemently opposed by his French school directors for the reason that the directors wanted the students at that school to be so heavily dependent on them. Sight supremacy at its finest occurred in this school back in the day. We would visit French monuments, including the blind school in France, where Braille was invented, but what I want to really do is visit Notre Dame, listen to the sounds of a pipe organ, hear the bells peeling the vespers and evening mass or something, but that doesn’t mean I’m discounting blind schools. They might have restrictions on visitors. Foreign visitors might be intimidating, but if I spoke French, I might have the ability to persuade the heads up that I can visit the spot and learn about the history of braille. Louis Braille invented this writing system, yet only 7% of the blind read it all the time.

When you leave school, you get seriously destroyed in college. Both Clayton and myself are college dropouts, neither of us has a Bachelor’s, but I have an Associates of Arts degree, which Clayton said was more than he could get. That AA is going to serve me in some areas, but Bachelor’s degrees are required for so many things. I can’t get the Bachelor’s however because of general education requirements that may have visual things to fix. In Clayton’s case, community college and universities refused him, didn’t accommodate, or flat out violated his right to get the degree of choice, and left him with so much debt. I won’t go into detail here, but for me, that debt was there nonetheless, but debt collectors met me on the phone and said to me to pay up, but I said, I don’t have any resources and won’t enrich those who threaten or harass other people for a living. I ended blocking university style debt collections agencies instead of answering the phone anymore. Clayton was still required to pay back his debt, which is hampering him from doing other things he wants to do with his life, things like provide for his partners or buy a home for himself and anyone else who cares to say they love and appreciate him. I do, of course. I have possibly got a credit freeze, and this is because of my parents or someone hiding information about me from credit bureaus. I don’t know if this is sert in stone but that’s one possible reason I can’t use credit apps and such, can’t get a credit score in Braille because I have zero. At least I don’t use credit careds, but I need to be able to build credit. Most disabled teenagers and adults don’t even know the first thing about finance or credit, and most apartments are requiring credit checks and so on. This makes it an affront to blind and disabled young adults. We need shelter, and without credit checks, we’d be better off.

Now, when you marry, you lose benefits. Blind people should not lose anything for loving another, and to love another is the greatest feeling in the world. Clayton’s marriages ended but the takeaway is that divorces are not pretty, benefits and SSI is cut, and the women he married expected him to get a job, any job. For me, the man has to do honest work, legitimate work at home jobs included. Clayton has had some work experience, has an excellent work ethic, and gets stuff done. He recently laid out a beat for a song he composed, and he’s bound to get an album full of songs done under his stage name, esoteric Quality. I love his music, and some of you may say nay to his stuff, but his stuff speaks truths no rapper dares venture into. NOt even Dr. Dre or Snoop Dogg gets into things like blindness and the struggles of a disabled or blind man. I do want to confess his latest track, Conniving Mastermind, is a gem. When thousands of years pass, and both clay and myself are dead and buried, I want that track to be considered a classic alongside Tupak and Biggie and all the other rappers who are either dead or gone in a time gone by. Rap and hip hop is one way Clayton has found helps with his coping skills, and I’m proud of him for writing the lyrics he does, but here’s the kicker. Both of us have similar experiences with psych wards and psychological care. What some people don’t understand is that rap and hip hop artists are not psychologically unstable people. Tupak was a great rapper, so was DMX, so was the Notorious B.I.G. Esoteric Quality will go down in history as someone who’s trying to wake up the world with his music, and I love what he’s doing because having your independence or writing rap lyrics are no justification to put someone in psychological confinement, and that’s what happened to each of us. I want to say the therapists at Wuesthoff Hospital in Melbourne, Florida should have taken a closer look at the guardianship and realized my parents were abusing me with it. Clayton got his wish from what I can see about his rap lyrics, but not without a school reprimand which was unreasonable and so on. I also wasn’t allowed to socialize with my class on a Disney or Universal Studios theme park trip. Clayton got no walk across the stage at high school graduation. It always saddens me when I try to think of what our children’s future will be, Clayton having to tell this part of the story. Some disabled people don’t even get to walk because they are on special diploma and have bad grades. Exceptional education students oftentimes have to stay till they turn 21, colleges refusing to accept them.

Some kids get married out of high school, and others college. When a blind person tries to start life out, housing is difficult to find, wait lists abound, and we have no choice but to live with Mommy and Daddy, but in our case, we fully refuse to do so because of abuses. Clayton’s and my parental units do not deserve access to their grandchildren from us, which we agreed on, and my parents don’t deserve a daughter if they can’t treat my rights and my finances and yes, my person, with respect. They did none of that. Allowing a violent sibling to rape, rob and abuse the blind person is not being nice and not contributing positively to that person’s upbringing. Moving on.

While seniors can apply for untold numbers of services, blind adults are left isolated and alone, some committing serious suicide, some crimes. It has become apparent that the National Federation of the Blind is untrustworthy because of sexual abuse scandals that rocked the organization’s training centers. It is not safe for anyone to attend Ruston, Littleton’s or Minneapolis’s training centers because the staff and students need to relearn boundaries and proper relating to each other. End of story.

As for the entitlement, we’ve fought all our lives for existence. I have to fight for existence that is more peaceful, including the right to vote, marry and love the man or woman I deserve and the right to be respected. I have a right to being included in all decisions pertaining to myself, including about where I live, in whom I should trust and with whom I have intimacy. End of discussion. My rights are mine, not up for debate. Entitlement is a dangerous thing to think about disabled people. With the rampant abuse of disabled males and females, there are other people to consider.

First off, I want to consider what happens in disaster circumstances like the pandemic. Clayton and I need to be given material that helps us foster our independence, not forces us out of activities and isolates us. I was forced out of DWC and Soar because of rides and illegitimacy of any request for such. Soar wanted $5 of my wallet, but that ain’t happening. It’s not contributive to my survival at this point, and it’s not contributing to my self care. I’ll do a post on self care and what that means later.

For jobs, I want to tell you I applied for two jobs, and I’m applying for more, but they’re in creative writing. I might be a ghost writer for some random company. I don’t quite know, but it’s a romance sample they want, and that’s what they’ll get.

However, the process by which most applications work is sickening to say it mildly. Clayton can’t readily apply to just any job because it has to match skills and requirements, some including that you need a driver’s license. Even if the job doesn’t need driving, this piece is designed to wipe out disabled applicants for such. This must stop.

If no one is willing to hire blind people, that is why the so called entitlement should exist, and should be considered more than that of seniors and sighted supremacists. In fact, a white supremacist who shot up a supermarket was glorified by not only the fact that someone liked his manifesto, but that someone had the guts to say he was mentally ill, but I’ll give Jason Black credit for saying he knew what he was doing. He’s right. Sight supremacy is dangerous, and this housing crisis spells out why.

So we filed complaints with HUD and the CCRD, Colorado Civil Rights Division, and we got almost a slow as sugar molasses response from different people, but we’re chugging along.

Thank you guys for reading, and please feel free to engage in the comments.

Beth

Reenabling comments with conditions

Dear readers,

As much of this blog from a period of time has had zero in the way of engagement, I reenabled comments, but I have conditions on doing so. One, no trolling. Two, no pro guardianship or anti blind ableist comments allowed. Three, anything sexual other than that posed by my partner is not allowed. Not unless you wanna play around, and you can get here by airplane.

I’d like to say I really can’t delete my facebook page because of the presence I have on a podcast space on Twitter. It’s complicated, but I’d like to point to one problem. People have called me entitled and bratty for all the wrong reasons. You guys really need to look in the mirror and see where you went wrong. I’m talking to the thousands of blind folks on Facebook who flat out troll and sit there and blast me for being entitled, incapable, bratty, etc. This will stop, and in comments here, I won’t accept it. So here are the rules for writing comments in the blog and these are not only the rules, but they are mandatory.

  1. absolutely no person shall write ableist commentary on here. You can’t write things about someone who is disabled and that offends the disabled community.
  2. No trolling comments are allowed.
  3. Anyone who reportedly says that I should be under someone else’s ownership, which is what guardianship is, will be blacklisted.
  4. Anyone who says I’m incapable and can’t do things will also be blacklisted.
  5. Any prior blacklisting folks will not be unblacklisted.
  6. No person shall write racist comments or those supporting one religion over others, including but not limited to Christianity.
  7. No person shall quote scripture to perform an act of spiritual abuse on my blog. Such comments, and likewise the commentator, will be blacklisted.
  8. No person shall threaten someone else in the comments, and the comments will only be here to engage in a dialogue about the subject matter in which the blog post is written about. Whatever.

IF anyone has any questions or comments, please feel free to write them here, but follow the rules. I’m going to follow these rules to the tee because my safety and the safety of my fans is the number one priority.

Beth

Why I Will be Leaving Facebook

Dear readers,

Many of you have subscribed to my blog on Facebook, and for this I thank you all. I’d like to talk about what’s going on in my world as of late.

One, Clayton Jacobs deleted his Facebook page because nobody cared one way or another about his requests for help, and all requests for help went unanswered. Recently, an ID went missing of his, and he needed it, but the trouble is that Arizona will take its sweet old time mailing him an ID. Not good. Also, we’re running into problems with people calling me out as a poor pity blind bitch, and that has to stop right now. First off, when I ask for money, I expect no criminal mischief record on my papers. A woman in my chorus I tried to ask about this with told me not to ask for money, suggested my boyfriend was a troll, using me to solve his problems, blah blah blah. Can I get a Hell no to the Denver Women’s Chorus for being elitist and hogging the wealth that I as a severely impoverished person have to deal with every single day and every hour? What’s it like to live on SSI and have to deal with wait lists, and we’re not dealing with wait lists for housing.

There’s one reason I’m deleting my Facebook and that’s three letters: N, F, B. Clayton is the only reason I would have kept it but he’s with me now, and I’m sick of all the unsupportive dramatic issues with family, and I’m also changing bank accounts because I do not want my Dad on my bank account, no representative payee for me. Anyone who suggests that should take their attitude and check it at the door. I expect expectations, sure, but sometimes you’re just too uppity, if you are a blind person with a family who loves and supports you. Guess what? My family is semi white supremacist, and I’ve got evidence of such.

So here’s the thing about me and Facebook. The big problem with Facebook is the toxicity and sensitivity of the communities at large, and people are going to expect Clay’s wedding pics to come up, but no, they won’t. My beloved Clayton will have all his share of love and devotion, trust me, I’m loyal to Clayton, and the people who are not loyal need to understand why we are deleting our Facebook pages. Here’s my side of why I’m deleting mine.

  1. Jason Owens was a monstrosity and attacked some of my friends, if not most of those believed to be weak and further permanently disabled. Jason might have met me on Skype, but he’s one damn person I don’t want to be around.
  2. Death threats because of this blog, Facebook posts, and other things. I had a friend for eleven years orchestrate a death threat via some Karen from Avilar, and she threatened me with pain, death, all that. I do not want people such as her chasing me down.
  3. I’m deleting Facebook because why bother posting anything if people are going to criminalize asking for money, reaching out for help, fundraising for a wedding or honeymoon, and many other things? Why Why bother? If you read this blog, I had many wonderful opportunities and ideas, but trust me, it’s going to be harder without Facebook, but it will be easier as time goes.
  4. There are people who have accused me of asking for pity pittances. Well, as punishment, I’d like to charge an exorbitant fee for any obvious abuses, i.e. “Stop being the poor pitiful blind person.” That is not my intent, and I’m done with this. Poor pity blind people are those who are elitist, white supremacist, and above all, dependent on family for support and so on. Humans being social creatures isn’t enough of a reason to keep Facebook. Blind community members are toxic, very very toxic and stupid. Most of them are, and I’ve had my share blocked. Let’s look at some.
  5. Two words about me were spoken by a guy in Grand Junction, no, three words. “You are incompetent.” “You are incapable.” This bastard probably committed domestic violence on his ex, the one he had the kids with, all that and I should have seen the red flags altogether. Clayton owns up to his wrongs and does the sentences prescribed, but he does not abuse me. I’m too valuable a person for him to throw aside, and he wouldn’t do that. Not even if I was a piece of trash, and I mean white trash.
  6. Here’s a reason I will delete Facebook summed up in a few sentences, but here’s a simple one. Too many people support guardianship, too many blind people support little old Beth Taurasi being under guardianship, and Clayton knows this. You all are about two steps away from seeing an empty slot where I once stood on Facebook.
  7. Another reason I want to delete Facebook? The criminalization of my asking for help, companionship, and company. I’m gonna call out a few different folks, and please note, it has nothing to do whatsoever with being any member of a minority protected class. Even minorities in protected groups i.e. LGBTQIA+ and Jewish folks and others are putting the blind people at the very very bottom of the barrel because we’re blind. Karen, a woman in the Denver Women’s Chorus, is not someone I would recommend asking for any favors, even those that are nonmonetary. I can’t even ask a favor of anyone in that whole group. Christine, while a loving grandmother, has called me out for being “entitled.” If she wants to read this blog, fine with me. But she needs to understand that blind people are at the super bottom of the pot as far as consideration for jobs, housing, and marriage and social things. People such as this girl called Chantal spread things about me that should have been between me and her.
  8. People think I am unstable, crazy, and other stigmatizing words having to do with mental illness. Well, to those who want to keep saying I’m crazy, stop it. Try going to a mental health institute or mental health treatment center, try going to a homeless shelter, try all of these things and you’ll see what I mean.
  9. There are too. many posts dealing with God and Jesus, religious bullshit that doesn’t apply to me anymore. I’d be damned if anyone even tells me being with Clayton is a sin. Guess what? Your calling me out as a whorish slut is a grave violation of my personal boundaries. So there you have it.
  10. Two words: Joey Hagemeier. HE could follow you around anywhere, and I have nothing against Korean adoption, blind people, etc. But I do have something against the three week dating period Joey and I had. He is bad news, doesn’t get it, and won’t be allowed back on a new FB page.

IF anyone has any objections to me leaving FB, please email me at denverqueen@gmx.com and do the right thing. Tell me about something that doesn’t have any connotations about winning or losing. Haters, you all will burn in Hell for how you treat Clayton and I. You haters will all have to pay a price for telling me I can’t reach out for help. Pay the piper or the piper pays nobody. Do you remember the story of the Pied Piper in Hamlin? Remember the rats? IF you want someone to clean up the rats and infestations of any kind of rodent, insect, or bird from your people’s property, you fucking pay the piper. I mean it, three words: Pay, The, Piper. IF you do not pay the piper, you will lose things most dear to you. I don’t care if you lose kids, dogs, your favorite book. Pay the piper.

Beth

Tribute to Ray Khan

Author’s Note: The following contains some references to drugs and rehab, mental health issues, sometimes even guardianship abuse. Reader discretion is advised. Also, this is a sort of tributary note to Raymond Khan, a young man I knew from way back in 2006, both of us were jailed, sort of, in rehab. LaAmistad should be ashamed of itself for its ableist and controlling approach to rehabilitating substance and non substance use peoples with mental illness. You put up a big fight with me about relationships, and I need to be able to forge connections, not forget them. I want to say a few words I should’ve said to Ray, and I want him to know that things are going good, but without further adieu, here it is.

Dear Ray,

Things have been crazy since you last saw me. I think about you sometimes, although the times I thought of you were very hard ones. When I thought of how you almost lost yourself to crystal meth, how you almost killed yourself a few times, maybe more, my heart went and stopped in the middle of everything. Ray, you really are someone I cared about in 2006, and yet a piece of you stays with me every day. I have at least a few things on my mind I wanted to straighten up with you.

First, I should have never been forced to end relationships and not forge a connection with you. I loved you, and what any nurse or doctor should know is that forging connections helps and stabilizes an individual’s treatment by a long shot. Undoing all the person’s health and well being by disconnecting them from everybody in the world doesn’t help. Ray, I loved you dearly, but I tell you, I have a partner and a good life ahead of me. The guardianship’s been discharged, and you can tell everybody that you and I could have been freed from this had Florida not fucked up and gotten me in trouble at seventeen, and nobody believed that my mother was capable of slapping me in the face. I would love to charge my mom with assault if she ever pulls shit like this again, but no, I won’t. Why? Because there’s. more stuff she did that I could tell you and you wouldn’t believe me anyway.

The guardianship was abusive, I had to stay in loveless or unromantic relationships because of the possibility of being abused at home. Orien, a young man I knew in high school and who’s grown now, will not have anything to do with me. Trust me, not that way. We’re friends again on FB, but trust me on this, my parents deserve a lawsuit and jailtime for committing probate fraud. I didn’t even know what the fuck probate was, and trust me, you would think I was nuts if I told you. Guardianship is evil, it destroys families, it tears apart lives. It did so to me, and did you hear about Britney Spears? She’s out of Conservatorship.

Ray, I hope you are there somewhere in the ashes of my existence, dancing on a cloud, or perhaps you’re alive on Earth somewhere far beyond. Canada? Maybe. But have you watched what’s going on in America lately? Please tell me you’re not cooped up in some prison cell lamenting on drugs, being on drugs, etc. I wanted you to be strong and try and be someone that you can be, the best version of yourself. I cried today thinking of the stuff I should have said to you, but it got worse. When we were in the so called catapult ceremony, the one where we pass the coin and say our goodbyes to the people leaving the treatment center, I was a wreck. You remember right? I told you I’d be the lead actress in your movies, whatever they were to be. Ray, I tell you, I felt the whole time that I was not the lead actress in my own story, not until recently. Ray, if I could only tell you that Clayton Jacobs, the man I call my boyfriend, is the best supporting actor in my story. HE gets the Oscar nod and perhaps he wins Best Supporting Actor in. my personal story. Why? Because Clayton heard your name and your story from my lips, and he understands greatly. Clayton has held me while I cried, kissed me when I was sad or happy, and has made love to me through all kinds of stuff. We’d always had each other’s backs, even through some rough stuff we both had to deal with. Ray, we’re coming up on some currents in our lives, Clayton and myself, and trust me, I am always the lead actress in my personal story now. I changed my bank account, I changed my direct deposit amounts and info on it, and my dad will soon have to close the account. I’m not going to have him sit there and say he can have his name on my account, which he will no longer do. My mother and dad think they can tell me who to be with, but because the guardianship was abusive, I had it discharged. My parents woke up only halfway. They won’t define the guardianship as abusive, wrong, and fraudulent. Probate fraud should and will always be one day against the law, but I want guardianship to be a federal goddamn crime. Why? Because it tears apart families, rips people’s lives to shreds, and for disabled women, sometimes we have to sterilize because in the minds of the government, we are less than, inferior. Ray, I’m sorry to say you weren’t the love of my life, and I didn’t exactly get the chance to give you the flower of my virginity. I don’t care. What virginity?

It started with a Dallas, Texas convention I was coerced into attending by the center in Littleton, Colorado Center for the Blind, and they required everybody to fly to Texas for this stupid conference while you had National Federation of the Blind (NFB) people sitting there praising the god of their own, Kenneth Jernigan. It was a motley crew of idolatry, sexual misconduct, and more. I lost my virginity to Deq Ahmed and Mosamil Yahya or someone like that, but we’ve had to mull over such things. Clayton would never have cared, at least, that I had to break it off with Deq Ahmed because his clan and family didn’t approve of him marrying a blind American woman. I would have argued that the clan had no right to Deq because of blindness and because such honor is antique. No, the word here is antiquated. I would suggest at a clan meeting that we move forward and modernize and recognize the right to choose one’s own mate. Period, point blank, end of story!

Ray, when I was with a man named Jason, the whole time things just didn’t work. Jason was abusive, and he was pro on the case of my guardianship, he wanted to say I needed it. What a very inglorious bastard. He liked the reactions of folks when he said, “You’ve signed your death warrant for being friends with Beth Taurasi.” I call bullshit. Death warrants are for murderers, Aileen Wuornos included, or perhaps Ted Bundy. But not me, I didn’t kill anyone, I didn’t do it, and if I did, it was an accident. I have no capacity to see where I’m aiming that stupid gun, and where I’m going to aim it is anyone’s guess. Jason had almost killed my friend Trenton’s current girlfriend, and furthermore, Jason wishes all his exes dead. Oh wait, Jennifer died. I can’t believe she did, and that bastard wants me to forgive him? I can’t forgive myself for even loving the guy. But thinking back, Jason was a big turning point into why I hate almost 80% of guys, not all guys, but I kinda don’t like a lot of them. IF a guy suggests that a woman’s place is beneath him, where she submits, etc, he isn’t for me.

When I dated Blake, things got hairy. His mom said I was “psycho” and should not date Blake. Blake lost his brother to gun violence, of course, but I’m not a fan of the woman who did it, although in some ways gun control might have stopped the murderer from ending the brother’s life, and the mother blames me? She didn’t have to blame me, she didn’t have to justify Clara Deitz dating Blake for the short time she did, and the impression was fake. All of it, fake. Clara should not have broken Blake’s heart in front of the world, and she did. Blake I wish as punishment should “take a wife of whoredom” as in the Bible, Gomer was a whore who went with Hosea, her husband, even when she was being bargained for and such. Hosea brought her back, but they had two kids together, I forget the names. But if Blake wants to try and mess my life up he can’t. Our friendship is rocky because of his mother’s prejudice against psychological diagnostics, and she doesn’t realize I have PTSD. Not quite as bad as a guy Blake knows, but not as bad as my cousin, Robert Zemcik, a veteran in the army who’s survived many many occasions I can’t go into. Zemcik’s experiences in the army should not be forgotten, and neither should those of other vets, Afghanistan and Iraq war vets included. I donated money to the wounded Warrior Project years after Blake’s breakup, but alas, I don’t know where it all went.

Trenton is my current latest ex, after Joey who was a bad boy. Joey tried to mess with me, tried to egg me on, and a troll tried to fuck with me while I was just getting started with Trenton. I was frequently accused of whoring around, told to get a proper marriage, all that. But now, Clayton is probably the only man I could say is doing it right. I can’t believe he would know me for five years, would let me into his life, would hold me the way he did, and would make love to me the way he did. Ray, if you only saw my face when I found Clay at the airport, I was overjoyed. He was sitting there waiting for me, and I ran forward to give him a big giant hug. I wanted to love him right there. We got back to his place, and lo and behold, his hips got close to mine, and his face. Oh, his beautiful face. Ray, Clayton can’t see as I don’t, but trust me on this, he is a good man. Clayton treats me like a beautiful queen, honors me the way men should honor the women in their lives, and in turn, I want to do nothing more than honor him. Like in Gladiator, I will honor Clayton, and because he’s honored me, I will do what is right. I’m behind him 100% of the time, and trust me, he is for me as well. Ray, if you only knew.

IF you only knew the way things were back in the day. I still can’t get a job, can’t do things without verification, oh so they wanna believe I’m not who I say I am? Bullshit. I am Beth, the girl you once knew, and I hope you will always remember me. I hope you will remember me, and it is because I remember you that I can’t forget. I can’t forget the time we were walking around, and we kissed somewhere outside of staff eyes. All this and other bullshit, I just wanted to kiss you again. YOu really do have a lot to offer someone, and I hope you found a beautiful pair of lips to kiss, arms that will hold you, and a pair of eyes to stare into. My eyes, god forsake me, are blind. You never understood. You never wanted these eyes. These eyes cried for you, and my heart beats every day regretfully for all the times you had to stay ten feet away. I’m done, I’m done trying to cry over this spilled milk. I love you dearly. I don’t know what to say. But Clayton is my true love, not you, because you don’t seem to get it. Ray, my pain is great, but my heart soldiered on for years knowing you were out there somewhere.

Ray, if there’s one thing I should have said to you, it was this. Clayton is the right man for this undertaking of loving me because he’s blind, has the same eye condition, and we’re on the run with all the love we have in our hearts. We love one another with such passion it isn’t funny. Ray, contact me if you dare. If you read this, you will be rewarded for your trouble. The water of time may stand between us, but for Clayton, he has ferried himself over the waters of space to me, and has offered me his heart. Ray, this truly isn’t goodbye, not forever. It is a new beginning. Perhaps you will understand if you see this blog and understand what kind of person I am.

Sincerely,

Beth Taurasi

My Fight for Housing Fairness, Denver

Dear readers,m

Imagine you’re in danger of being evicted, all because your former boyfriend is living with you and you can’t just move out. My former boyfriend could steal and or take my place away from me. This is unfair housing, and furthermore, the management at my building refuses to accommodate a blind applicant, so we’re going to have them cut him away and in front of everybody else because they violated in gross negligence the Fair Housing Act and they did it willfully and knowingly, so we’re going to mediate if possible with the courts involved in any case if that’s what it has to be. The building refused to convert documents my boyfriend, Clayton, needed and dropped a bombshell on him about a 3.5 year waiting list that is unfairly administered, and we’re hoping that we’ve got company here. We’re going to make sure that the snitches and bad residents get evicted first, if anything. I can’t be evicted from my apartment because, for one I’m female, blind, and at risk of rape and pregnancy by rape especially if it’s a bad person who wants to put their stuff in me and not my boyfriend, Clayton, who wishes to have his family with me. I don’t want anyone else’s kids, or someone to go, “Oh, I wanna meet my son/daughter,” and then go as far as ask for custody. Some damn sadistic men are like that, and I don’t want any sadistic assholes touching me. I know Clayton would protect me at all costs, but I can’t go back to Florida at any rate because of white supremacist culture, white supremacist and antigay legislation, the attacks on Disney and such, and all other things wrong with the state. Anyone who suggests I let my own family coddle and or make decisions for me should go hike off a cliff because my family is white supremacist, whether they like it or not. The attacks on Disney are clearly a sign that my family and other white folks like it that way. Disney is woke, and the family and other people in my life don’t respect that. Disney is also within their rights not to support a governor who is gangly and dangerous, who is nonwoke and not able to discern the anger coming from the gay community. LGBTQIA+ individuals should not be running scared, and Clayton himself knows this all too well. He’s strong in advocating for black folks’ interests, and even after Trenton, so am I. I’m going to continue the work, even if it makes me sick to have to tell my family they aren’t my family anymore. I have to cut them off because Clayton and I don’t want them messing around with our kids, our grandkids, etc etc. I can’t have people who have the audacity to create and orchestrate an abusive guardianship and keep it for years having anything to do with kids of the same person they victimized. It is disgusting to me that fair housing doesn’t wanna investigate our claim. We need the fair housing complaint to be investigated soon as possible, and the mediation needs to happen soon. For one, I’m not going to risk being evicted, and not have a stable address. For two, this building’s 3.5 year wait list is a testament to the level of discrimination it is having for seniors and blind and disabled adults alike. Clayton and I want to be able to forge a life together, and if anyone says we should not or can’t, just shut up. You don’t know what you’re talking about, doing, etc.

For those who do not support myself and Clayton, here’s a hint when saying anything. Don’t. We can’t have anything to hide, but we also have a serious risk of eviction. It’s not fair to me that I can’t just swap roommates and they have to prioritize Trenton and give him an independent place to live, and no they will not make Clayton wait 3.5 years to live with me. That is the problem, he can’t fill out the application independently of help from sighted folks, which is a boon to him. He can’t be forced to take that option, a PDF file being image based. The file should be tagged for accessibility, fillable by accessible means, but no, this management says they won’t convert this. I’m going to have them sit down with us and discuss the issues going forward, and for Trenton, he needs an independent place to live regardless of whether one is available for a senior or a mobility impaired person, in fact prioritize Trenton over everybody else because you violated his rights by making him rely on someone who could be less trustworthy, not that our caregiver is or isn’t, but the risk is there. She’d have taken Trenton’s sensitive and personal information and squandered it or misused it. There are people who will tell you I can’t help blind people fill out paperwork, and that’s a direct quote from a former aid. Unfortunately, this building has targeted me for being blind, depressed, and under a parental guardianship or the victim of guardianship abuse and I survived it. I am no longer spiritually committed to Trenton, and can’t. I can’t commit to someone who isn’t romantically attracted to me, and that’s the fact. Trenton is in bed right now, but he’s threatening to leave, go to Mother, Downing, or a shelter. This is unsafe all around for him, and a lawyer should be there to make sure the building does the right thing by him, and I want him to have a one bedroom or studio so that Trenton can have what he wants, have a good life, and have a roof over his head like everybody else. He can’t earn money, won’t get a job, and I need a stable address to get a job period. IF I raise my money and get and earn enough, I want a houser. Houses are the only place Clay will raise a family, and we’re serious. This apartment building and others will be in deep trouble for violating Fair Housing standards, and this building needs to start caring about who lives here, including Trenton, Clayton, and myself. My good friend art is concerned of course, but everybody is, and the snitches should stop while they’re behind. Police and people responsible for legal eviction should stop and realize what they will be doing if they legally evict a blind person and couple. They will be dealing with homelessness, and nobody will help a blind young couple who’s homeless, they will only toss Clayton in Rescue Mission and me in some women’s shelter, I will not take it. So if you wish to see us evicted, just go. Go yourself. Take a trip to those homeless shelters, look at men who can’t see themselves doing things. I was friends with a homeless man named Eldon, and he was great. He was serious about getting an office job, and he was in an office job prep program with me. The big problem with Eldon was that he didn’t have much to do at the shelter, and had to stay there. He didn’t have a house or apartment, didn’t have stable housing. I didn’t know this, but Eldon was resourceful and able to attain resources. That isn’t always true of homeless people. Trenton is blind and has mild CP, which could make him a liability in some companies’ eyes. It will take more than Clayton’s 3000 applications a year to find a job, especially because Trenton has comorbid disabilities. No charity or church is set up to handle this complicated web of stuff. The only ones who are set up to handle this are creedal churches who wish to make you convert. This is religious suicide. I am a Unitarian Universalist, and there’s seemingly nothing for me as I will be homeless soon. IF this building does not cooperate with us as blind people, we will make sure they pay up monetary damages and do the things we ask, including properly give a one bedroom to Trenton and one to Jay, our neighbor, who is trying to get one but says they rent to people he doesn’t know.

The facts of the case are attached to a complaint that was filed, and the complaint states that the laundry facilities are inaccessible except through visual interpretive services, but Clayton doesn’t follow that philosophy, and furthermore, the locker keys are unlabeled. Some of the keys have Braille labels missing, while the boxes in locker rows are Brailled, but not everything is Brailled. There’s also a plaque missing on Floor number 3, and it should have the print and braile floor number there, but it doesn’t. There are problem areas, all of which deal with blindness, but the discrimination is heavy and needs to stop there while the management is behind. The property manager and assistant manager are about to get something. Something will hit them, and there’s no solution. IF they want their rules, they need to bend the rules because we have a situation with Clayton being independent minded as he is, and he could potentially save the residents. He could save those blind people a lot of trouble, and I am tempted to call the CCB so that they will do what is right and help.

To Clayton, I love you dearly, and keep up the fighting, and we will fight and we will rise. IF these people think they can just toss you in a shelter, fuck Trenton over and all of this, they’ve got another thing coming. I will forever be your warrior queen. Just keep your head up and we’ll stop this mess while it’s creeping around.

With love,

Beth

Down to the Last Day

Dear readers,

I’m writing you all to inform you that I did not exactly go to any bar last night. I couldn’t. Trenton, my beloved man of seven years straight, is sensitive to loud noises and crowds, so we opted out. It was a bummer, but I couldn’t have done service tasks with all that music. Oh well. My buddy was on bass, and he played with a country band, but I’ll still be supportive of this band and all its endeavors. I hope they chart and do successful stuff.

In other news, it is Autism Acceptance month. Why not awareness, you ask? For the same reason I want to be accepted, loved, and adored, autistics deserve the same things. Humanity is a fickle bitch, it does not like to accept problems or quirks about people and such. There are many fickle bitches in humanity, but the ficklest bitch in humanity is the unacceptable behaviors of its members. One of those things is called ableism, and it permeates every aspect of society.

Here are some examples of ableism, and how I’ve dealt with those. Believe me, it ain’t easy.

  1. I have been accused at a Walmart in Lakewood, Colorado, of harassing customers when the management couldn’t get help for me. Nobody cared. Nobody looked my way. I ended up calling a buddy of mine, one who lives in the Golden/Jefferson County area, and 20 minutes later, she arrived at the store to help me shop. Since then, I don’t go to that Walmart or even bother calling because the last time I called, nobody picked up. This Walmart has a long way to go to accepting blind customers, especially those on EBT food stamps. Making us get a subscription is not gonna solve the problem of ableism and unacceptable people in the store calling me out for harassment.
  2. There are places and establishments where broken accessibility things exist. When it comes to restaurant menus, for example, my beloved Trenton and I have been to places where the menus look like shit. Well, okay, the binding is falling apart, the Braille itself has been riddled with oopses, like errors in the Braille exist too many times to count, and here’s this former Braille proofist saying this. I have had to tell my former boss that there are so many weird format inconsistencies, point them out, and so on. I could write a novel in which all the menus I’ve seen had this problem or that problem, but I digress.
  3. Another thing I notice is that kiosks are not usable by blind and visually impaired people. Blind folks, especially Clayton and myself, have encountered places and casual eating establishments other than the McDonald’s somewhere or other, that have these awful kiosk thingies, and they aren’t usable. I’m this close to saying that we should ban all inaccessible tech including these kiosks, especially when it pertains to blindness. Blindness ought not to be a barrier to inclusion in society.
  4. Now, besides blindness, let’s get to ableist assumptions about autism. First off, cars drive too fast. Some autistics bolt, and they run off. That’s good if the place they go to is not the highway. So my late friend would put her daughter in a large carriage so she didn’t have to walk around not feeling safe. The mother needed peace of mind. I get it. Some autistics just get damn overwhelmed by the sensory overload that some places have. Now, here’s something that could help with this. Quiet rooms do help a bit, but there needs to be more of those.
  5. Autistics are said not to have “good” social skills. Who cares. Autistics have special subjects they enjoy. They have quirky by nature behaviors, but what are we doing? We are enabling killers to fix them by making them nonexistent. Case in point, the Disability Day of Mourning put on by a lot of people across the country. People hold vigils in honor of autistics who die of what’s called vilicide, and my buddy Arielle Silverman, author and blogger on Disability Wisdom, has covered this subject a lot. Dr. Silverman says that vilicide often gets different sympathetic responses but all for the killer, not the autistic victim. This is dangerous and lethal ableism. My friends with autism can understand.
  6. Ableism enables abuse. Every form of ableism here, trust me, will enable abuse. Abuses range from isolation from friends and family, isolation from the outside world in general, and limits on what you can wear, what you can do, and be. Imagine though if you were LGBTQIA+ and autistic. In specific categories, like transgender folks with autism, there are limits on healthcare now based on hateful assumptions and perverted thoughts about these people, but autistics with preferences other than the heteronormative ones are deemed unacceptable, and therefore abused, go back to the prior entry for talk of vilicide. In any case, if one is transgender, of color, and disabled, society doesn’t like that. Who cares.
  7. Ableism can also have a huge impact on education. Let’s take the learning of Braille for instance. Braille is literacy, I’m not gonna lie. IF not for Braille, I wouldn’t have won 13th in my county for spelling bees, don’e super well in spelling, grammar, and other things. My mother even relied on me to help her compose essays in e-prime methodology, where you don’t write the verbs and conjugal words for the words “to be”, the state of being is out so yeah. My mother was proud of me for having composed essays, and I compose regularly here on this blog. However, Braille enabled me to also understand paragraphs, sentence structure, and many other things. Braille is also a helpful labeling tool, organizing my CD catalogue being a good example. I had all kinds of labels on CD’s and my CD’s were labeled and alphabetized according to genre, artist, or group. Holy moly, I had thousands perhaps that amount of CD’s was a bit much, but you’re talking to a musical guru here.
  8. Ableism and education part 2. So if you don’t know Braille as a blind person, you can’t function as well. I’ve also wanted to point out that too many schools think Braille is inferior. Like what the hell is inferior about Braille? Nothing. Louis Braille, a French born blind schoolboy, invented this dot writing system so we blind folks wouldn’t have to depend so heavily on sighted assistance, but we still have a long way to go. Clayton and I have experienced countless forms of discrimination and nobody knows what to do with us because we say, well, as a good example, where is the Braille signage for bathrooms? Clayton and I don’t want to find each other in a woman’s restroom, but if we don’t have a way to read a sign that says “women” or “men”, someone will look Clayton in the face and say, “Get the hell out. This is the girls/women’s bathroom.” But I could give you a whole list of other uses of Braille people aren’t looking at. Example, Braille cards. If a group of blind people want to play, you get a bunch of Braille playing cards, right? Wrongo. It’s harder to do than you think. Uno is fun, but I haven’t played in a long while, but I do know how to do it. But I want to be able to participate in things. So the best thing a retailer can do is sell Braille playing cards. Imagine I had a poker night at my house. Clayton and Trenton join me at the table. Let’s imagine I said, “Let’s play five card stud.” I do that right away, and the cards tell you if it’s a queen of clubs, for example. Maybe if I had two more or no more than four, I’d play hearts. Someone has to play the two of clubs first, then you just do strategy based on the cards you have. IF you have to break hearts, hearts are broken when you put a 2 of hearts on the pile. The deck for this game is split in to four sections. See? Braille has lots of uses. But people aren’t getting that. While TVI’s and professional aids who work with blind students are getting less and less cool, let’s also do something I’ll highlight below.
  9. Blind people should be teaching each other. Ableism has allowed sighted supremacy to pervade the career market for teachers of visually impaired and special education. This is a dire thing, and dire needs are being known forever. For special education teachers, we need folks who are disabled themselves teaching others. Blind people have specific needs, including a Braille teacher, someone to show them tech, someone to teach them proper and good ways to cook and manage a place of their own, and much more, and I did get all that at a place that does hire blind folks. Colorado Center for the Blind, while under investigation for banning people for reporting perverts, is however bad it may seem, a good place to begin. I want to see empowerment on all sides for blind folks, especially in tech. See below.
  10. Blind people need a society that doesn’t put barriers in front of which technology they use because one piece of tech isn’t an option because it doesn’t talk. Examples, Android versus iPhone. I could go on and on and on. Android has come a long way, but when I first saw it, cheap it may have been, but accessible to the point it is now? No it wasn’t. I also have to worry about cooking appliances, healthcare devices, and other things not being usable for me, and some brands are simply better than others. IF I had diabetes, I would need an insulin pump as an option, but guess what? The only way I can ingest insulin now is with a needle, ewww. I don’t like needles, and they can hurt people if placed in the garbage. Insulin pumps, however, are inaccessible, and sighted assistance is often required to make the pump change doses and such. I do know of one thing called the freestyle Dexcon, which can sit on your arm and the app is fully usable, but that just tests your glucose, and that’s fine but no needles and pricking for me. Management of other healthcare needs can be a challenge for us too. My buddy Ray uses a feed tube to keep herself alive and sane. Her feed pump just beeps, and she frequently needs help with that and formula for her feeds needs to be placed in the right area. Every time I get a new piece of technology, I have to ask myself, how the fuck do I use it? Since manuals are written in print, not often Braille, I do the smart thing and look those things up online. I have to place my faith in humanity that the damn websites and manuals for peripherals and tech are readable by Voiceover which is my screen reading software of choice.
  11. Ableism messes with people who can’t walk or stand. Let’s picture if someone wanted to use the bathroom. What happens often is there’s just one damn handicapped/accessible bathroom suite. It’s huge, which works not only for wheelchair folks, but claustrophobic people. Universal accessibility of bathrooms isn’t the only thing. Housing and such has no idea how expensive it is to put a bar on a wall of a bathroom. Suppose someone got paralyzed by birth or in an accident, and required special care. If there were less barriers in housing, ableism being the top reason for this, caregivers wouldn’t necessarily be a need. Take my friends Patrick and Jessica. They’re wheelchair users, one with MD, muscular dystrophy and another with limbs that won’t straighten. Patrick Henry Hughes needs a big house with bars on the walls, and should be given the architecture and supports to do the stuff he loves. Same with his now beloved wife Jessica, who has the same if not differing needs. The two of them could choose a barrier free housing place, but that is expensive. Luckily, Patrick got support from a TV show, supportive family, and so much more. That doesn’t always happen for people with MD and CP and other conditions that require or sometimes necessitate the use of a chair. The chair can mean any number of conditions, but the main thing is architecture of buildings must meet disability friendly guidelines, and there is a pocket of society that doesn’t accept. How can we do better? First and foremost, well, we need to build access into everything from the ground up.

I’d like to dedicate this post to all my disabled buddies and congratulate the people who get married in my community. However, ableism has another awful sinister undertone. Marriage equality with benefits attached does not extend to disabled people. If Clayton marries me, he loses about half of what he earns in SSI benefits, may lose medicaid and many other things. I might get jacked as well. Clayton knows the system better than I do. IF a spouse makes more than a partner with a disability, all bets are off that the disabled people married here are so out of luck. Their check is cut, and they have no choice but to starve, dress in rags, or worse, fight the system and lose. I want ableism to go away in that regard because we shouldn’t have to choose love and lose money.

Thank you so much for reading, all. I will be flying out tomorrow and I can’t wait. I cannot wait so much, and Clayton is really excited too. HE’s a very excited and happy camper, and I can’t wait to join him on some adventurous travels. I guess it’s bon voyage to me.

Beth

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