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

MY New Life

Dear readers,

I’d like to come forth and tell you all that Trenton, while we’ve split amicably, is still my friend and perhaps he could be a great roommate. Clayton, on the other hand, wants to be my partner, so yeah, I am letting him do this. I will be Clayton’s lover, partner, friend, and loyal supporter. Clayton Jacobs has done something else as well, he’s confessed he loved me, wants to stand by and let me be me. HE looks and acts like the stuff of dreams: he’s sweet, funny, brave, strong, true, loyal, fun to be around, and some aspects of him require a good sense of humor. Clayton is also a very handsome guy, some of my fans here have noticed that Clayton is a handsome guy. Five feet ten inches, very sleek, reddish blonde hair thicker than normal for a typical white guy but that’s great actually, beautiful blue eyes, a big smile every time I notice him and I did so at the airport. His face is beautiful, I’ve even touched it, it’s just pretty awesome looking. His nose is bigger and more prominent than mine, but oh well. Mine is a bit short, but he has this long narrow nose and he has a lovely sense of who he is, and he’s very grounded with what he wants to do.

For those of you wondering, no, I’m not kicking Trenton to the curb the way others do. I’m advocating for Trenton and I to continue being friends, continue being roommates if possible here, but here’s the kicker: Clayton and I want to continue being partnered with each other and stay for life. I just hope this doesn’t break, and moreover, I want Clayton to be my protector, lover, and friend for life. We both want the same things, we both have the mindset to get this done, and he is sweeter than candy. I’ll never forget the night I came home with him from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport to the town or city of Mesa, Arizona, and we noticed each other. Should I say? Well, his hips are very strong, his whole body close to mine was like being placed in a rocket ship, about to launch into outer space, or deep space perhaps. When we first kissed, held each other, made love with one another, we were soaring high above what was possible for me, especially me, at this time. His life is my life, we are the reflections of each other, but for me, he is the strength I need to get going in life. MY parents certainly don’t need to know what is going on between myself and Clayton, and we’re going to rock this life together like nobody else.

The one thing I want us both to do is heal from whatever traumas but especially for Clayton, I want him to know that there is nothing more awesome than the good things about him. HE has had a toxic and rather violent upbringing, which could have translated to something worse for both of us, I won’t go into details. Most kids from violent homes become violent adults, but not this guy. HE at least has the determination to heal and become someone worth the time of others, to become a strong and best version of himself. I’m proud of him and I’m also proud to say he’s moving to Denver, will obtain a counselor for solo therapy, and eventually we’ll do couples counseling so that we can navigate each other’s particular lives together, heal together, and become stronger and better and break this cycle. I do not under any circumstances want a father, I said, I wanted a guy who would treat me with love and kindness. Clayton is kind, sweet, intelligent, smart, a bit sassy or should I say rebellious? He’s a rebel in all senses of the word, but the best thing about him is he’s willing to admit his faults, and together, we will rise. You know what I mean when I say we will rise? We will, indeed and forever, rise.

I want to let you guys know how we all got started. I can vaguely remember five years ago and I’ve told this story before, but if you haven’t checked out his Twitter space, you don’t know the story. First, I wrote something on Facebook about girls being labeled bossy and boys being labeled leaders, etc etc. Clay supported me all the way, and even if we had fights and differences, he always seemed to come right back around and touch my heart. Five years later, well, it all began with a breakup on his end. He broke up with a prior partner, and this partner wasn’t very close to him in the end because the guy was apathetic toward him. I won’t write down this guy’s name out of respect, but Clayton carried on. I said to him one day I’d give him a lot of affection, love, and all the stuff and what have you he wanted. On Clayton’s twitter space last night, he was all, “I saw her and it was like Bam, she’s the one.” Clayton and I are excited to begin this long and eventually prosperous journey, and I’m excited too because now, I get to kiss the love of my life at New Year’s Eve parties, I get to make love to a guy who has never tried to throw me out, and he understands how the abuse has affected me as well. NOt his, but my own. I have had unhealed relationship traumas because of past boyfriends who were just plain stupid, either they were stupid or unwilling to give themselves to me the way Clayton has done so lovingly. HE has the love in his heart to do things, and he has taken steps to make sure we can have a life together. Clayton and I are very close to being together at last, forever perhaps. I don’t know if there is such thing as till death do we part though, because marriage is fleeting so much so in my opinion, Trenton and I at least did not have a full legal wedding. I was never Mrs. Trenton Matthews, so to be honored with a name like Mrs. Clayton Jacobs, this is a big huge step. I don’t want to jump the gun on Clayton, but he did say he’d marry me, and it was only a matter of when. I’m excited but I’m not gonna reveal any more detail about any such things, not yet.

What I do know is that taking his name would be a big honor, and it would be a bigger honor to carry the little lives that he and I create. It does take two to tango. Furthermore, Clayton has the best personality that matches mine. I am a bit scared of posting this because I don’t know what he’ll think when he sees this. I’ve had people tell me that I shouldn’t be with Clayton, or should be exclusive to Trenton. I was tempted to close the door too, after a young lady from Georgia suggested that mine and Clayton’s relationship should fail. Well, she’s gone from my pages, gone from my phone, I can’t stand this woman anymore.

As for the unhealed relationship trauma, Clayton is one who wants to help me overcome and conquer all the traumatic stuff from Jason, Blake, and Joey. Unlike Jason, Blake and Joey, Trenton is not leaving my side yet. He’s never going to, even when I give birth to child number 1 or 2. Who knows. I don’t want to have more than 2 unless I have money to handle it all. Clayton wants to invest and work and all of that. I can’t wait to start my life with Clayton, and he can’t wait to do this either. We’re going to be a great team, and Clayton is going to be the best teammate and lover and friend I could ever ask for. HE is though wilder than the roses on the prairie in Iowa, he has the gentlest aura and most awesome way of saying I love you in so many different ways. We’re not exactly lost on the Southwest United States and the best cuisine is here in Arizona or colorado. I am sitting in my apartment in Colorado, and Clayton has the best outlook on moving to Denver, he’s going to hang with me and we’ll just have so much fun together. He’s been a tower of strength, an anchor even when Trenton and I were having arguments, fights, and the like. I didn’t want to reveal things because Trenton and I truthfully have a good friendship. We will not stop being friends, but Mom doesn’t think we should even have anything to do with each other. What does she know, however? Guardianizing Trenton was definitely not smart, and he is not a guardianized man, he’s free to make decisions, and Mom should realize that. I have a few things to say now.

Clayton, my beloved one, you are the best thing that’s ever happened, and I wasn’t expecting you to be so up front with me. You’ve been the best I’ve ever seen, heard, tasted, all of that. IF I had written a juicy romance novel earlier, I would have made you my main character. Perhaps I could, but I’m not a reader of romance. However, you are the sower of my plants, the tender of my garden, and many wild roses shall I bring forth to you, many more I will plant too. You and I will blossom into something special, beautiful, and truie. I love you.

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

My Blog on the Magic Keyboard for Mackintosh

Dear readers,

I’m using a wireless keyboard to type on my Mac today. I unplugged the windows keyboard, but yeah, I’ve got my whole mac and all the peripherals out here in this the fair living room of the Denver Queen. I’m sitting in my rolling chair, but if I were to do hands on teaching, piano that is, I probably would not be able to teach such because no piano bench proper. We could of course get the bench to my house or apartment when I get back from Arizona. Yes, you heard right. Going to Arizona to visit my dearly beloved Clayton, and my feelings are just running crazy. We have such deep conversations my brain goes ballistic, and my thinking is turned on, supercharged. I can’t imagine what kind of weirdness awaits me there in Arizona, but I hope it’s nothing serious. Clayton is a sweet and gentle person with a big golden heart who’s been through too damn much. Perhaps I deserved it after much fallout with guys like Jason, Joey, and Blake. It’s much deserved after all the homies there in Arizona and Georgia failed me so bad it wasn’t funny.

About the Arizona trip, though, I’m having fun figuring out what the hell to pack and what not to check in my suitcase. Damn, Southwest doesn’t allow self defense sprays in anything. Ugh. Like how are women supposed to protect themselves? Women are supposed to be able to protect and defend themselves from rape, but that’s a battle I can’t fight right now. What I’m seriously worried about is meeting Clayton for the first time in my whole life and I hope it goes the way he and I both need it to go. I hope he’s happy with me, happy as hell. He’s going to be super happy to see me, and maybe we’ll have a ball, maybe it’ll crumble like beef in a pot. But I don’t know, I will never know for sure but when it comes down to it, Clayton and Trenton both love me to death, and they both need something special to happen. Clay lived because he fought to live, and Trenton thinks he doesn’t deserve me, but I said, love doesn’t deserve anyone, but I’ve always known that love doesn’t care where you live, it finds you and pulls you to a person or people. I think I found my crew, both of them, and I have a really good connection with someone who’s happy to show me stuff. I want to one day make a mountain of cupcakes and such, arrange my home in a big way, and have some parties and such. Trenton and I want a house, but this baby right now is not a real baby human being. I’m here to also say I have a full piano once again, and I hope things go good between me and the piano. I want to lay out some tracks and such, and I’ll even go so far as to email or cloud space those things if there’s a collaborator on it. I want to record something, and maybe Clayton would do a feature on one of my own tracks. I do want to be able to connect my midi stuff to the Mac, do things on it, all that stuff. Now it’s possible because my new piano has midi capability, and it’s awesome. Just plain awesome. Everybody’s happy that I have this, and one of my good friends who’s helping me get this good job says that now I have new toys to play with. Ha ha, I say. Toys? I don’t quite know about that, but toys? Nothing in my apartment so far is a toy, but you wanna see real toys? Check out a Barbie collection of some girl, and you get real toys. What about Hot Wheels for you males and those who identify as the type who likes action and such? What about plushies for those who really like to cuddle and such? Those are good toys, and there’s the wild and weird kind, like dildos and such. I’m not saying I would never have toys, but I might play with one if that means total stimulation. Yeah, I’m a wild child, but I don’t care.

I’m very happy to say that this blog is going to be updated almost every day in Arizona, almost. I want to journal about this trip, and you all will hear different things about this trip. I hope it goes super well, and we click like we do online. Clayton has never indicated he intended to turn his back on me, not once. He knows I’ve been more loyal and fiercely protective of him because I care that much, we’ve both been through shit, we know what it is like. We know what it is to have nobody at your back, nobody having your support and nobody caring a bit about you. I’m serious. I have a big problem with people if they don’t realize that Clayton’s sweet and funny and smart and intelligent, if they continually violate his rights and responsibly tell him they aren’t interested in seeing his rights are acknowledged. His dealings with bad people are just as you’d expect from any human being. The big thing is that people need to quit threatening this guy, making his life hard, and violating his rights. They need to quit. Period. HE deserves freedom from being in the so called sighted world, and I’m ready to embrace anything to make sure my life is full and happy and that my kids’ lives are full and happy. Did I mention kids?

I want to start a family, and that in and of itself isn’t just an act of rebellion, it’s a damn act of revolution in my opinion. Kids with a blind mother and father is a total act of rebellion against years of abuse, neglect, isolation, threats, and other problems. My parents will never know their grandkids by me, but even Trenton’s mom is better than most for the role of grandmother, and she’d make an excellent black elder woman figure in my kids’ lives. She has a few things going, a good job, a good life, two fluffy kitty cats, and a good son. What else could she want? Kids? Grandkids? I figured this would happen, but because I’m helping Clay get the house he wants, I’m helping him with his tracks and albums, I’m helping him with stuff, maybe the whole relationship between us is not suspicious. It’s good, trust me, and Trenton is a good man, and he’ll have the opportunity provided he doesn’t snore too loudly and I think I activated the Snoring Loudly Beta too many times to count.

For those who wonder, Clayton is experienced and wise, strong and true and a loyal friend. What else could I ask for? With him and Trenton on my team, I couldn’t ask for better. Then there’s all my other goofball friends. I have friends who call me funny names, one calls me a goofball and laughs weird. But I’ll intro you guys to him with his consent. Well, okay, you heard him on the Throne Room with Beth Taurasi when he played the harmonica. My buddy Joseph played the harmonica because that’s what he does. He loves playing that instrument, and I’d have him play it for me sometime if he could please get a full on harmonica and not just one of them tiny bars.

Then there’s all my other friends who are just plain weird. I have friends who have terrible senses of humor. Well, not terrible, but dark and dry and wild. Take my buddy Jessie. He’s got this crazy sick sense of humor, and Trenton and Jessie put together in a room would be fatal. I mean fatal. They’d be in the room talking, and Jessie might utter a messy ass sexy joke or two, and Trenton would echo the same joke, and laugh his ass off. That’s how bad Jessie’s humor is, but it’s irresistible. Writing this blog couldn’t be more fun without Jessie to light things up.

So what am I grateful for today? Well, here are five things I am grateful for today:

  1. I’m grateful for the weather. As much as I despise talk of weather related subjects, the weather today was actually a lucky strike. Yes, not a cigarette, but a lucky strike in that the sun was shining and the air was cool and comfortable, and it felt awesome.
  2. I am grateful for my beloved guys. Both are funny, intelligent, and sweet, and present a good balance of strength and gentleness I cannot imagine life without.
  3. I’m also grateful for music, and the ability to play a weighted hammer piano. It’s amazing, and I can’t wait to record my whole life story on this thing.
  4. I’m grateful that I have been given the gift of life but moreover, this grateful thought is about the gift of song. And the gift of empathy. I’m grateful for the ability to see the things people need and to be able to meet those needs. Example, Clayton wants to lay down some tracks and have some serious fun. I hope we can eventually use Garage Band to do such.
  5. As much as I want to say I’m grateful for books, that’s what I’m grateful for. Books. I love books, and books give me joy and knowledge beyond what can be given elsewhere.

That’s all for now, folks. And if you want to, follow me on Instagram, Twitter, and other places. @throneroomdq on the metaverse, Twitter, and more, and soon you will hear the Throne Room talkspace on Saturdays, so join in.

Beth

Things I Wish I Could Say to Misty Dawn

Author’s Note: The following is the result of much processing of an argument I witnessed, a blatant attack on my friend Clayton on Twitter. This isn’t the first, nor will it be the last time, someone tries to target Clayton as a “provocateur” or “troublemaker” and tries to accuse me of automatically taking his side, and losing respect for me. This entire letter is something I should have probably written at the moment, but spur of the moment things aren’t always good.

Dear Misty Dawn,

First and foremost, you don’t know who you’re messing with with regard to Clayton. I did not like the blatant violation of Clayton’s right to be in a disability rights space, nor did I care for the blatant disrespect of mine and Clayton’s relationship. Relationship, you may ask? Well, I’m not revealing much except that Clayton is much stronger than any man I’ve been with, and if you understood my history with men, you’d know why Clayton attracts women like me over women with blatant agendas to attack and reproach guys like him. For one, I’ve been ill used, misunderstood, and abused by what we call the patriarchy. I do not date certain kinds of guys because of some stuff I’m going to cover later, but please, you need to get with the program and get with the times. The patriarchal party is over, and I’m not being used by Clayton. He’s not one to do that to me, and before I get any further, nobody belongs to anyone else, contrary to the Brave New World’s Hypnopaedic proverb. Thank you. On to the meat and potatoes, shall we?

My history with men begins with Jason. No, not the Jason I’ve covered here in the blog, but a prior guy who accused me of sexual harassment. First off, try being the girl who was sheltered in a private school, taught that sex was for having babies only, for marriage, all that and then you get guardianshipped at 17 in 2004 after you learned much in high school, except for dating. You could not date, and could have received in school suspension from the Malicoat lady, I forget the woman’s name, but she almost did it, it was however due to lateness and guys making up stories about sexual harassment. Yes, there are women who commit such acts, but it wasn’t me. Jason Lawrence, a young man who went to school with me, threatened a restraining order, but do you know how much that would have cost? I tried to do the same thing with a Mabelin Ramirez, and got nowhere because when I saw prior cases needing such, there were truly domestically abused victims in the room, and there were women there who had broken jaws and teeth, broken arms, bruises, etc. I can’t imagine what those women went through. Calling Clayton names like “provocateur” and “troublemaker” doesn’t add up and he did not, btw, commit domestic violence or want to use me. I never did that to Jason Lawrence either. Yet Jason had every right to get that stupid order, however it would have badly damaged my musical career, and my stupid ass guidance counselor, whoever she was, wanted me to take an exceptional skills class or social skills class that purposely conflicted with my band and chorus stuf. My parents were almost gleeful at that prospect, oh our daughter will have to leave the men alone, but you know what? Men like Jason Lawrence and later Orien Henry had to have been the worst choices anyway because of what you will call antiblind ableism. There was ableism at Titusville High School, ableism everywhere. I bet you that Jason asked the same questions about me that you asked about Clayton or me. Jason asked questions like, “Will she be able to bear children? Are blind women sexy?” God, I would have given my entire teenage years to have one damn sexual encounter but with Catholicism and family strictures on me, I couldn’t. Even if I did, I’d have used protection, I didn’t really want to get pregnant. But men like Jason Lawrence are not fit to be with blind women because of how he treated me in high school, and I’m also sorry but I think the Lawrence family should take note, Jason is a good and intelligent and strong man, but still, his weakness like most men’s weaknesses is disabled women.

Orien Henry was nice enough, but because my parents were in all respects an Italian household, I feel my dad was pretty hostile to Orien and sided moreover with. his mother. The mother thought I was crazy and “psychotic.” This again isn’t true. I was emotionally abused by my parents and wanted a way out. I was close enough to marrying Orien if anything to get me away from a life of guardianship, having my radio and music constantly unplugged and taken away, and having anything and everything not owned by me personally. Even my cell phone was subjected to being stolen, and I say stolen even if the property wasn’t mine because this leads to another one of the guardianship evils.

Guardians are known to isolate theier wards, and it helped my dad that he was hostile to me dating Michael Bonhomme from Haiti, yes, Haiti. I have a thing for black men, as you can tell. My dad made up a sob story about Michael being sexually experienced.” Who cared, not me. Michael had a great voice, great kind of musical talent, and I was looking for a guy with the same kind of talent. Well, I am now living in Colorado not only because of Michael’s inability to be with me, but because I am dead done with my parents approving or disapproving of men I bring into their fold, which is nonexistent to me. I had a few crushes on blind men when I left Florida, when I graduated Titusville, and I discovered that the power dynamic was so much better. It may not be so with sighted guys like Jason and Orien, mainly because Jason and Orien are sighted and not equipped or empowered to help and support me, recently diagnosed with PTSD and being blind also. Who wants a blind woman who’s had to have spent 16 years in guardianship hell? Nobody except for my current partner, Trenton, and when you attacked Clayton, well, it made me wanna fight harder. The thing is it could have taken a bigger toll on my PTSD symptomology. I can’t read your tweets, you’ve been blocked. Comments on this blog have been disabled so that trolls don’t write a damn thing. IF you wish to say anything, and I’d be careful, email is the only way and it will come to me privately.

When I first met Clayton, I was scared. I was a scared and yes, straightlaced mono woman in some empty hollow tower, but you know what? Contrary to what you believe about this dude, he set me free. HE lit my fire and I burned down the tower altogether. Unlike Jason, Orien, and the other guys I’ve dealt with, Clayton and my current partner love and respect me and realize that people like you and my parents are emotionally off so far as I’m concerned. You tried to tell Trenton that I needed to be “put in check”, but guess what? I’m gonna be perfectly honest, I’m more capable than you think. I’m a strong ass woman, PTSD or not, and this is what I get for trying to fight for others’ rights? I realize Clayton said something important regarding the revolutionary way. He said that you have to make others mad, you have to stir the pot, not that he said those words, but you do indeed have to stir the brew. As Bob Marley’s song says, “Stir it up. Little darlin’, stir it up.” I’m gonna stir it up so bad it spills over. One of the things I’m going to do with my life is end the use of guardianships on disabled people, and ironically, I’m going to work with sighted folks who’ve had guardians in their lives. There’s this guy Rick Black, this gal LuAnne Fleming, and all the members of FaceUs, or Families Against Court Embezzlement Unethical Standards, a group in Colorado that calls folks out for being bad and such. Judges and lawyers have been salacious and scandalous and wrong in their rulings because of the guardianship industry. I read LuAnne’s posts a lot, and Rick Black is the man. I won’t say much more.

The big thing about my work is that I’ve received even death threats from folks who think I should suffer. Well, it’s not gonna go down like that. You say I’m entitled and lazy? Take a look in the mirror. I have a few people who say that, but jobs are out because of workplace safety concerns. These range from sexual exploitation at work to men treating me like possibly Mike Pence did and then there’s no life affirmation for LGBTQI+ folks in some areas. I am a staunch ally of this community despite dumping the gay chorus in my area. I cannot do the gala choruses festival now because DWC won’t invest their time in me, and it’s not my fault. They wanted more from me than I could give. All these orgs for any kind are greedy, donate this and donate that, and here I am sacrificing goddamn gold and money for Clayton and others who actually give a damn. Call me entitled, but school being free is a good thing. Blind people not having jobs is indeed a bad thing, but I’ve got comorbid stuff going on and it does not help. It doesn’t help that I was ill treated by patriarchal standards set forth by an Italian father, a Catholic mother, and so much more. I will not, for instance, send any child of mine to a Roman Catholic establishment, they’re being dedicated to the UU church. Also, if you hadn’t noticed, I’ve seen too much ableism in the disabled community. Ableism is a word I gained from, well, you can only guess. I learned the meaning of love from the disabled men I encountered. People try to push hypergamy on me, but Clayton is the embodiment of a warrior king, and I the embodiment of a warrior queen. Try to stop us, but you won’t be able to track down my phone number, or anything else. You need to think before you do anything to stoke the fires of ableism in the community.

Regarding why I protect Clayton from your blatant attacks on his character, you’ve not realized I did this because Clay’s character is not worth attacking. His approach of playing nice with bigots doesn’t work is so real, it is not even funny and his approach is not to play nice with those folks, and it works. Here’s an incident that illustrates why bigotry is wrong. I walk to the Walmart to do my shopping, and the first thing I ask is “Do you have a courtesy someone who can help?” Something like this is asked, and the answer is no. We have nobody, we have nobody, we don’t offer this service. I call bullshit. I cried for what seemed like a half hour in the hall, not only because of the no courtesy clerk service, but I was blatantly accused of harassment of customers. The manager at that location made me feel so uncomfortable and I was like, well, two secs away from calling the cops. Clayton would have been more supportive that way. People at stores have to help blind people because it is a public place with public goods, and no, sighted folks are not going to take over shopping tasks for us. Bullshit on those who wish us dead. NOt only was the shopping incident a bad rap on me, but I was ill treated by a manager whose job it was to serve the blind. If we can’t use visual interpretive services like Aira, which costs money, we can’t go shopping without a sighted assistant willing to communicate and do the stupid job. We are entitled to top notch service because we bust our butts on public transport or nonmedical cabs to do things. We bust our wallets out with paratransit, and yet do you care how little we get? We’re angry, yes, but we’re not playing nice with people who accuse us of harassment when clearly, we ask for help. I spoke to Jen at Walmart Corporate offices at West Colfax, and she swore she’d give the manager better training. She’d train it out, but do I trust that she did?

This incidence and others illustrate the need to shout, scream, and let the whole thing hang out. This is, by the way, a paraphrase of a Britney and Will I Am song. I changed it up for effect, but still.

The thing I wish I could tell you is this: I look at Clayton and I see myself. I see the male version of me in the mirror staring back at me. It’s a scary but lovely prospect. I won’t tell you much more because you’ve judged Clayton and me as bad. You don’t get it. I live on on my own, pay my own goddamn bills, and I’m planning my own vacations and dates with people. I don’t need a blind or disabled person who doesn’t live on their own to dictate what my life will look like. I will also tell you that blind men with family hovering over them disapprove of me so much. I’ll tell you at least that my ex in Arizona, his mom disapproves because of my PTSD and mental health concerns. This woman should be blacklisted for any work dealing with mental health rehabilitation because she lost a son to a woman who wasn’t even getting treatment for drugs etc. This lady took all her frustrations out on me, all the anger went into separating me from Blake, my beloved ex who is still friends with me and still btw calls me up on Christmas and birthdays and such. Blake, who cares so deeply about me, but he doesn’t realize I have my own life to live. My mission is not complete, but Blake’s mission is different, and I respect that. But Blake is not my lover as of seven years back, but still, he has his good points. AS my buddy Kristen from the private school said, “We all have our good and bad points.” She’s right. I will admit I have disagreements even with Clayton, but unlike someone else here, I table those disagreements and we don’t fight like kids. I hope your life gets better, and you realize that what you did wrong will not be forgotten, though your name is gone on Twitter and other things. Come when you are ready to be able to approach Clayton like an adult, not like a child.

Sincerely,

Beth Taurasi

Britney’s Freedom is My Freedom

Dear Britney spears,

I feel so much for you it isn’t funny. When you revealed you had an IUD put in to prevent you from getting pregnant, I almost died inside. While my birth control pills are a choice, there is a problematic thing about doing IUD or Nexplanon, and this is what it boils down to. Putting things in your body that are implanted is rather invasive, and an IUD can break and you could die. I’m scared for you because of Amy winehouse, the gal behind Rehab, and I love that song. truth is that she committed suicide by alcohol because her stupid father had a conservatorship similar in scope to your own. Britney, I hope you will hear me out.

I was seventeen when my parents declared me unfit to manage my own affairs, got guardianship, and put me away when I tried to have relationships. There’s a girl in Orlando going through the same thing. guardianship and conservatorship is sexist, ableist, and so much bullshit I know what you want when I hear you say it’s abusive. It is, believe me, you don’t want to know what my parents think of me now that I forced them to discharge the guardianship. I had threatened in emails to have them in a restraining order so they couldn’t contact me because guardianships like theirs are cruel and unusual, and the ones who think guardianship is good for. me are usually stupid evil white men. I received a rather trolling comment, hence why you don’t see a comment field in this blog, from a Wes Derby who ultimately said, “Florida was correct in giving your parents guardianship.” I felt so insulted I had to black out all comments, and it wasn’t just Wes’s, it was everybody. He ruined the comment thing for everybody. And it’s not that I don’t want you to comment, Britney, but you can always email me and we can talk. Britney, I know you have a fortune you can’t access, but you have me. I’m against all forms of adult guardianship for all people, and it’s because the system is set up to benefit the bad guys, the parents and professionals, the people who think it’s rather funny when I don’t succeed in life itself. Britney, you have a lot of blessings amid this. You have your sons, you have a fortune worth millions of dollars I’ll never obtain. And because I was called a moron by so many people, I had to shut down the comment discussion here on this blog. If you really want to, write me on FB or Twitter. I’m on Instagram, but I don’t usually put pics up. Britney, you don’t have to worry about suing your family for violating your civil rights. I do. Because I want to have a little Beth or a little Trenton and I will not have any other kids. Siblings will force me to favor one child or another child, so I will not have siblings. My own siblings were favored, my brother that is. And they made very rude comments about me when I was in mental health rehab. I had no drugs, no substance use history, so you know what? There should have been no damn excuse for parents like my own to have a sexist ableist cruel and unusual hold on my whole damn life. They should have let go, and they didn’t for fifteen years. They are ableist, cruel and racist. When. I mention critical race theory, my dad says, oh it won’t affect you. Wrong, it will affect his granddaughter or grandson. I will of course have to keep an eye on my parents, we will have to reconcile somehow, but I can’t do a full reconciliation because that would put my kid in danger. IF it is a female child, I will have to carefully pick who she hangs out with while she’s between one and six, but beyond age six, she needs to have a moral compass. Britney, I will parent my own child better than my mom did. I will not leave her unattended, in a cradle crying, or in a dark room because she did something or other. Britney, I will not let my child be traumatized in the first six years of her life, for those years are the foundation on which she will grow. For another thing, I will teach my kid to be respectful around law enforcement, maybe even connect with law enforcement so they will know my family. My future child will likely be biracial, which means critical race theory does indeed affect her. IF she doesn’t learn about slavery and discrimination and sexism, she will be ignorant and unable to decipher how to make the world a better place.

Let’s just say that the way things are, blind people will not show up at a baby shower for me. So britney, let me promise you this. IF you have a third kid, do send me an invite to your baby shower. We could do a virtual one, and I could buy you something nice, maybe I’d buy you a cradle for that baby. But moreover, I’ll sing you one of those lullabies you forgot over the years. Hush-a-by baby, don’t say a word. Remember that one? the one where you say you’ll buy that kid a mockingbird? I’ll definitely have that in my repertoire. then there’s Bye Baby Bunting, daddy’s gone a-hunting. Just anything you could think of, lullabies are everywhere and you must sing them to that little boy or girl when it arrives. Why? Because babies love it. Yeah, and when baby gets sick, you’ll at least know how to detect fevers in your baby. Doesn’t every mom touch baby’s face? Duh, and I being blind need to do a serious checkup and get me a talking ear thermometer. My partner Trenton and I are always debating what will come down and what won’t. We have to upgrade tech first, but I said to him I insist on having a baby before I turn forty. Forty!!!!!! So yeah.

Britney, I can’t wait to see the baby pics when you have a new baby with Sam, and I want you to, so get that stupid IUD out of your uterus and get going. Like what the hell are you waiting for? And you can bet your bottom dollar that when I have my own baby, I will show you a pic of her, all new and slimy or all new and smelling like roses. Haha. Babies don’t usually smell like roses anyway.

Good luck ending your conservatorship.

Beth

I know it’s a bit early. TW mentions of bullying.

Dear Santa,

I know it’s a bit early. But if I was only a child, I’d be on your knee right now, talking to you about stupid stuff like toys, etc. But guess what? I’m 35, no kids, no real house with a chimney, fireplace, and all theh fixings of a Christmas house. Santa, I believed in you for years, and I’ve seen a pattern of stuff going on in kids these days. While somem are saying, oh my god, kids are so spoiled, you know what I also see? Stupid, evil, abusive men. I see men who hit and beat up their wives and children, and the children write you letters saying, I want Mommy to have a ggood husband who does not beat her, won’t beat me up, etc. There are “elves” so to speak here in the real world who read your letters, and their hearts break. I don’t know if my letter will ever be seen by the elves here, but I know what I want for Christmas this year. Please tell me I’m not spoiled for asking this. I didn’t want to ask for anything but a modest clean house with a good walkable neighborhood, friends and a family and community that would support me in raising a child who will believe in you. I have always wanted a child, but that child needs more than I can give, but I would never want my own flesh and blood in the hands of someone who doesn’t get it. Let me begin at the beginning.

It all started with creepy crawly bugs in my apartment, maybe a neighbor has them, I don’t quite know. My longterm care provider, who is excellent and tops in all the things she does, basically had to stop showing up through no fault of her or her supervisor’s. I’m totally blind, and this building sucks. I have been stuck here for ten years in HUD public housing in Denver, Colorado, and I’ve seen my share of heartbreak. My partner and I don’t want to raise a child here in this run down … well, what I like to call a bug infested chateaux sometimes or a run down chateaux. The reindeer couldn’t get on the thirteen story roof and no way do you wanna go down thirteen stories to give presents to all these people who have either forgotten or don’t think you should be here. Some have kids and grandkids, but the grandkids visit on periodic times. I am only 35 years old, have never felt the pains of childbirth, and I have never forgotten you. You have many names, St. Nicholas among them, and if I were Catholic, I’d be asking you to bring me a child, whether through the foster system or by my own body. But alas, a job would have to be procured, but honestly, I don’t think it’s safe for me to have a job. I just want to change the world so that people can be here safely, not kill each other with guns and stuff, not call each other bad names or get unnecessarily bent out of shape just because I did something I had to do.

So the story is that I posted something about a house, an apartment, I just want a safer roof over my head, and families and such. While I have been blind my whole life, I know how this world treats us, but it is also a division of have and have nots. I have a really cool partner who I’d love to know what his child would look like, and all the good things that come with having a child. I’d raise that child to just let their imagination run wild, and every Christmas Day, I want for that child to wake up in a modest house, and I didn’t even post that I wanted a designer mansion in Beverly Hills for God’s sakes, but that’s how two people on my Facebook page perceived it. I don’t want a guide dog, I said, just a small spaniel puppy and nothing too special. I didn’t say I wanted a big yard, so I said I would get a dog with no requirement of a big yard. And the nasty comments came in. “You’re a spoiled brat. How can you afford this and you can’t even feed yourself?” what insults. Santa, I want those people to get rocks and … no, coal is too humane. How about environmentally friendly reminders of how mean they were?

Santa, the girl who also said I wasn’t living reality should get a hallucination from somewhere beyond, and then she’ll start talking to it, and then she’ll ask, is this real? Well, I don’t and have never had hallucinations so … what the hell she was doing was wrong. I’d give her a shrunken brain for Christmas with the words engraved like as follows:

Santa says you’ve been naughty, so here’s the scoop. All you get for Christmas is this … your shrunken brain. There you know what I mean?

My ex boyfriend, I’ve mentioned him here before, I don’t want him to get but anything for Christmas. He claims he has the best life, all those stupid friends of his who don’t even know my name, and frankly, I don’t know who he is anymore. I said in a live feed that he wouldn’t let me have a vibrator and all this and that, but truth is I liberated myself from this stupid prison called this is a sin and that is a sin. Santa, women want freedom and love and that’s it. Children have imaginations, and trust me, it was a child’s imagination and later an adult’s frustration that led to many inventions and concepts. For Christmas, I wish you’d just leave my ex’s stocking empty, and a note that says, you’ve been naughty, so here’s the thing: come Christmas you shall not be able to sing. My exes don’t need to be involved in my search for an apartment.

Do me a big favor, though, please give my caregiver more tools for her profession. Give her a vacuum cleaner that works. Brooms are cool. Please give her more money in her pay pack, and don’t let anyone give her migraine headaches. If she needs days off, please assure I won’t let her go. For her daughter, who is autistic, give her a long and happy life, and she will one day have kids who beelieve in you. But all I want is a modest rental or owned house with three beds and two baths, a kitchen, a living room, a family room, maybe a small porch, a small yard, a flat roof or rectangular roof. I don’t want to be without running water or electricity because hell, this is the U.S. and if the girl who is mentally ill behaves, please if you could just give her back her electricity, and let her glimpse her family members, and let her pee in a toilet instead of a bucket, okay? Fix her house, her plumbing, and all that. She doesn’t understand how awful it is to ask for something as reasonable as a house and get this badly beaten up. I am not asking for a mansion, but if you insist I live in a nursing home, I won’t write you again.

Please, Mr. Claus, I know you only do kids and toys, or maybe you don’t, but if I don’t bear a child, that’s one less person to believe your story. You brought stuff to kids who had nothing at all, but my ex, who’s. probably as immature as a boy and in his twenties, and this other gal he was talking to on the phone with me, look, I have empathy for the girl. But if she misbehaves I’m not gonna say a word. I want her to have the plumbing and heating she needs, and that tornado? I didn’t even know it was over her house. Please, give her a few Colorado peaches.

But all I ask is for a modest living situation, and Santa i’ll be glad to give you everything: my food, my check, some place for the deer to graze, what the hell else should I give you in return/ For my ex, I want him to have a virtuous and very good person in his life who can marry him and call him husband, and I want him to stop being entitled to sexual things with her. He needs to quit flirting with other girls, but she will also be the one to say, “I’m not your slave.” Give my ex the ability to cook for himsef, his wife, and future kids. And when the time comes, Santa, go to his and his wife’s room and I would hope you give them Christmas presents for the whole family.

What breaks my heart is that I’m being questioned about my abilities. I have a special wish for my disabled community members. Do not give us sight. Give us books we can read, ones in Braille and such, and please, santa, keep reading the letters of blind children. Make the parents get them out of bed and get them writing and reading Braille again. Santa, would you fly your sled over to D.C. and tell the lawmakers and old Mr. Joe over there that there are transgender kids who need a ride in your sled to places where they will have life affirming care and stuff like that/ There are many kids who could use my house, and if I get the house or modest rental, please let the kids come and I’ll find foster homes that are life affirming for them. There’s a girl in Texas who has received death threats, and you being the magical one, you know her name. She was born male, but she really is female, pronouns she/her/hers. Please give her lots of dresses, and money so her parents can get the hell out of Texas. Cut the lines of those who are bothering her, and tell the lawmakers in Texas they’ll be getting coal and rocks and useless crap in their stockings, nothing at all, or perhaps a summons letter to report to jail for threatening this little girl. Tell the girl’s mother that I wish her all the best, but that I’d give the shirt off my back for her because she needs it more. Look, if I. had a modest multibed place with no creepy crawlies, I’d be glad to share it with her. My husband and I would give our whole career and lives helping kids like that one. And please send my friends at the Initiative more tools so some more women and children with disabilities can be helped on my behalf. Santa, I know it’s a bit early. But for Christmas, I want to change the world, I want a modest house, and don’t make me copy Amy Grant’s famous Christmas song. Because her list is my list.

I have to see who messaged me, but I’ll see you and all your entourage at Christmas, and I hope that my wishes and the wishes of others come true. I’m sorry to write this early, but you have six months to prep. That’s plenty of time.

Beth

Shut Down Christian private schools? Let’s Take A Look, And a Life Affirmation for One Student

Dear readers,

I’ve been hashing this issue out for a while, but schools that purport to be Christian private schools should never get the chance to put bisexual and homosexual kids down. Chloe Shelton was kicked out of a school in the second grade because she supposedly had a crush on a girl. There was another teen that was kicked out of a school for having a rainbow cake for her birthday. Sexual immorality my ass! The kicking out of Chloe Shelton was pure and inadmissible bigotry and hatred. This is not what Jesus would say if he came back here. What would Jesus do? If a child has homosexual tendencies, that is no grounds for dismissal for any reason. St. Teresa’s School is a perfect example of a school that bans LGBTQI+ individuals because of their so called Catholic teachings. I’d like to affirm Chloe’s decision, and I want Chloe to know a few things.

1. God loves everybody. Jesus loves everybody, he loved people who were considered outcasts, so why this school kicked her out is anyone’s guess. Bigotry and hatred have no place in this school, or any school at all.

2. You can’t fix stupid. I’m sorry, but fixing stupid isn’t the way to end the practice of expelling students from school for being gay or transgender or anything. the Unitarian churches I see don’t put up with things like this.

3. Every child is precious in the eyes of the Lord and the universe, and I believe that if Jesus truly understood what humanity did or said about Chloe’s actions, he’d be all, no, that’s not life affirming. This school should burn in Hell for what they did to Chloe, and there’s no excuse for any Christian school to be operating under the banner of bigotry and gender conformity.

I showed you readers the dress code from STS and wanted to let you all know that it screams rape culture, gender conformity, and a hatred for those who don’t marry before having sex. Teenage pregnancy is not the girl’s fault, and especially if she’s been raped. I hope the Christian schools today will analyze their Christianity, and understand that the way they practice will get them burned up by the lightning that God will supposedly rain down on these schools. They don’t practice love, only hatred and bigotry. Private schools are also expensive, so expensive that I would never send my own future children to STS and schools like it. Chloe, if you want to know what I feel about this, you are welcome to read my blog and understand that life affirming care is the way to go for you. If it becomes evident that you are bisexual or have a crush on a female, don’t be afraid. Come out and play with your friends. I hope you can find peace in knowing that one day, all the bigots and those who hate you for who you love and who you are will not get God’s blessing, not ever. Jesus never said that gay people were evil or wicked, and all this crap about sexual immorality makes me sick. To tell the truth, Chloe, I threw the Bible back in the preachers’ faces because of this whole bullcrap about sexual immorality and marriage or living with a man outside legal tying the knot. I’m a disabled girl with a disabled partner, and if we legally wedded, we’d be losing healthcare, protections from SSA, social security administration, and our future would be bleak for the kids. Imagine my children getting nothing but hand me downs, going to schools where they are treated like garbage, bullied, whatever. I don’t want that for you or for anyone’s kids. Chloe, you don’t even have to believe in the God of the Bible, you can do the things you want with whichever practice you want, and that’s the beauty of America. The United States of America clearly states that in the first amendment that Congress shall make no laws, “establishing the free exercise of religion, and of the right to peaceable assembly and of the press.” The First Amendment also can be interpreted to say that you have the right to an opinion, but you don’t have to kneel on the floor and pray to Allah or get your head cut off. Most Muslim places have repressive regimes and laws that say that you have to be Muslim and marry a man and all that crap. Just remember, you are in a blessed country, a place where you can be you. Just do your thing, and in your new school, I hope you will find new friends who actually like you, and a teacher who believes in you.

With love,

Beth

Letter to All Guardians Out There in Florida, You’re On Notice

Dear readers,

The following piece is dedicated to all those considering or currently holding guardianship in the state of Florida, for those who have guardianship over a young adult with a disability. Please read carefully.

Katy, age 26, can’t even have a boyfriend without her mother knowing it. She doesn’t have a bank account in her name, can’t spend her own money, is micromanaged on the daily. Because of privacy concerns, I’ve changed this girl’s name. Katy is blind, and she does everything she wants, but her mother believes that because of a small problem like blindness, she can’t live on her own. I have a message to all those Katy’s Moms out there.

First and foremost, Katy’s mom could isolate her from talking to me, could easily have swiped away her cell phone, could have taken away all the rights she is owed by the Constitution, could have died early and her ashes stored in an office by a professional guardian. Here’s what you need to know about guardianship.

1. It is supposed to be a relationship that allows a guardian to take care of someone, but guess what it really does? It allows the following items to occur concurrently, or all at once. And the ward has no rights, and it’s akin to human trafficking and slavery. Katy knows what she needs, and her therapist is there to help, but let’s tell everybody what it really does.

2. It allows an evil person, an abuser, a toxic fiend, to isolate the ward. Katy can’t have boyfriends, friends, whatever. Katy can not even marry. This is also very detrimental to Katy as she might end up my age, no kids, no job.

3. Guardianship allows rehab services for the blind to choose your career over what you want. I wanted to be a choral director, but no, can’t do because of flunking class, university costs, and my parents can’t tell me to go back home and sit there, a shell of my former self. I left the state of Florida because of this flunky attitude that the university had toward my accommodations. That was why I do not currently have employment, I was wasting my time in hiding, and even when I used rehab services for the blind in Colorado, the same issues popped up. They decided to scale back my career choices, send me to a bigot for psychological evaluation, and then they said I was unemployable, so rehab services are useless. Katy can’t use rehab services without her mom butting in. This is bad for her business prospects and her love life.

4. Katy has medical guardianship. If she gets pregnant, guess what? Her mom could tell her to abort the baby, which is tantamount to killing in some circles. Or the baby could be signed away to a strange couple or single mother who doesn’t give a fuck whether Katy is blind and independent or not.

5. Katy has probably had her free speech encroached upon for the safety of nasty patriarchs and important people. I had that happen to me. And I hope that guardians understand what their decision really does to a person.

6. My guardians lied to the courts about me, well, my former guardians as of December. It is very obvious why they lied. They created a toxic relationship between me and them, relegated me to isolation or bad people as friends, and when I found love, up till recently, it was always an abusive idiot. That is not okay, not okay at all.

So what do you do as a potential guardian who steals SSI checks? Well, here’s an alternative for you to consider.

Supportive decision making is a very good alternative to guardianship, and if you don’t consider this, well, you’re evil. YOu have to understand, there is no excuse for guardianships, and when Katy grows to be aged 90, she could end up beat up in a nursing home, but supportive decision making will help with Katy’s needs a lot better, that is if she was intellectually impaired. Don’t like the things I am saying? Well, put the mouse or keyboard down and don’t comment, because gguess what? You can’t. I’ve been trolled on the subject of guardianship, and it is an evil practice akin to institutionalization and human trafficking. When my former guardians are sued, I’m going to ask that my lawyer help Katy out. She will be free, along with thousands like her. Young adults with disabilities deserve independence, dignity, and human rights.

Beth

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