I got called a Social Justice Warrior, and not in a good way

Content warning: transgender issues, bathroom rights, possibly unpopular opinions.
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
Hello readers, as we wrap up 2019, I thought I’d write a short post (I can’t make long stories short, but I’ll try) about a series of unfortunate events that had taken place over the last twenty-four hours. While I won’t detail the exact nature of the events or reveal people’s names and genders to protect the privacy of those involved, and thus not risking libel, slander, or defammation of character, I will just write out some of my beliefs to set things straight.
As y’all probably know, I am pretty active in social justice causes, particularly relating to disability and LGBTQ2SIA+ rights. I am working hard to publish my debut novel which features a transgender person and an autistic person in a Latine family. Somebody told me that someone with a disability in a Hispanic family is often swept under the rug. I think saying that is a great eyecatcher when pitching or querying publishers and agents. Also, I am really thankful that someone was able to articulate the circumstances so well that it inspired me to retitle my autobiography. It’ll now be called, Finding my Voice: A Memoir. before, it was just called My Autobiography. I wrote it in 2013 when I was at the transitional programme at the request of my former vision teacher. I think he wanted to show things about me to some people he was reaching out to after he had won his litigation against his employer.
Back in July of this year, on the fiftieth anniversary of the 1969 moonlanding, someone showed me a recording made by Neil Armstrong. I have actually been ramping up to this by watching the realtime player on Apollo XI’s web site. It was actually during the time that I was at the second Catalyst retreat when I was sent a Whatsapp message, so I played it. Actually, now that I think about it, I think this person and I had a conversation about that before they sent me the message. Anyway, I told this person that I although I liked the recording, I wish Neil Armstrong had used a more inclusive phrase to refer to everyone equally. That’s why I was delighted when I got an E-mail by Pete Buttigiege saying One giant leap for humanity. Anyway, I have been a little impatient and irritable towards this person, but I think this has been brewing for quite some time due to an unrelated thing, so my message to them might have sounded a little harsher than it was meant to be. Anyway, this person doesn’t have the intellectual capacity for their age, and their perception and reasoning were so flawed that, when they relayed the situation to one of their friends, that person’s perception of me became largely skewed, and it led them to jump to conclusions about me and saying that I was a selfish and demanding person. Interestingly, this person isn’t probably aware how demanding they can be as well. It may have been because I might’ve accidentally triggered a flashback of a previous experience they’ve had with me or someone else. I noticed some hypocracy on their part because they said that they supported Martin Luther King Jr’s speech, and they had no problems with my being transgender, and they helped me come up with ways to help my brother, so it really didn’t make sense why they would be making such a big deal out of what a friend told them about me.
So, a month later, after asking if I could be part of a Whatsapp group this person was in, I learned that their friend had developed a strong dislike for me because I was an SJW. I did the best I could to defend myself against these accusations, and even forwarded some of the messages to my friend to advise both me and the other person. I know some people won’t often give you the time of day to be put into the crossfire between two or more opposing parties and try to act as the go-between and remain diplomatic, so I am really thankful that so far, they kept standing up for me because things happened because my intentions were misunderstood a few times. One of the opposing parties even asked the other person to urge this person to ditch me, but it didn’t work, which I’ll explain later.
We have this norm in our transgender community choir, Transpose. It says Assume best intentions. It simply means that if you say or do something you think or feels right, but other people might not agree with it, or it gets construed in a totally different manner and leads to an undesired outcome you weren’t expecting, rather than argue about it and putting you on the spot, assume that you meant well because everyone has their own experiences and walks of life, and then try to edify you so that you can try and articulate what you were saying or doing better.
Here’s a good example of this. A couple days ago, I was having a conversation with someone who is blind who ended up misgendering someone at a store by saying, ‘Thank you, sir’, and only using the person’s voice to cue them. That person pointed to their name tag, but they were probably not allowed to verbally contradict the customer, since the customer is always right. That brought up some rampant transphobic comments and a heated debate about how transgender people ought to conform to societal expectation of what is more male-like, more female-like, etc. Someone said that they went into a women’s bathroom, and they heard someone walk in, go standing up, which makes a different sound, and probably engaged in a deep vocal hygiene which made that person feel very uncomfortable. While I understood their concerns, I, as a transgender person myself, refuse to use the bathroom that does not match my gender identity. However, I don’t want to make others feel uncomfortable by using a bathroom that I want to use, but for which my expression or functions don’t match what is expected. I said, in reply to that person, that some transgender people can’t afford to get all the medical procedures needed to pass, but there were some basic things that could be done to pass more reasonably, like shaving, sitting down, and talking in a higher voice. That person responded by saying that it wasn’t very nice for me to define how transgender people should conform, especially since not all of them choose to go through all those medical procedures even if they could afford it. So, it wasn’t just about whether they could help how they functioned. However, my reason for saying this was because I didn’t want more transgender people getting hurt by transphobic cisgender people. So, when I use the bathroom, I put a sign covering up the men and women signs that has all gender written on it. Or, I will simply use a gender-neutral bathroom, if one exists. It is definitely a ligitimate concern that women are seeking protection from so-called transvestites and cross-dressers who may potentially be rapists, and I don’t blame them for that. So, what can be done so that we can find a middle ground?
Anyway, I recently published one of my books on Smashwords and KDP, which includes both paperback and Kindle editions. It is about what it is like to go on a plane for the first time, written from a blind and hard-of-hearing person’s point of view. It’ll also be available on ACX, Bookshare, and Learning Ally soon. I’m not sure about BARD, though. When I told the person who I’ve talked to before, they thought I was starting to shove social justice down their throat again, and the situation quickly escalated to its zenith. Then, through certain means which I will not detail here, I learned that the person’s friend has judged me unfairly and falsely concluded that I was like all SJWs and said that words like he, male, man, were prety much bad words in SJW culture. They thought that although social justice was important to stop black people from being lynched, and why laws exist against discriminating against people with disabilities, today’s SJWs are often viewed as victims or heroic fighters for causes that have already been dealt with, and then make up reasons for why things are sexist, genderist, racist, etc when they’re not. They said that SJWs often viewed white men as being a sin. This person accused me of being tyrannical about how people talked, like why we said things such as oh man, oh boy, oh brother, etc. I mean, yes, I do get a little offended by using male-default terms, but it doesn’t necessarily mean what this person thinks it means. Of course, they couldn’t help thinking that because they didn’t know my backstory.
Another thing they said about SJW cults is that they have their own motto, The future is female. Imagine the outcry that would follow if people said The future is male. Ugh! I can’t stand hardcore feminism. It annoys me that people try and act like the lives of women and black people are more important than other peoples’. I mean, it’s important, yes, but it’s not more important. There is a difference. I remember a friend telling me back in 2015 that they almost couldn’t get through reading an article in English class written by a feminist. They said that feminists only did things to help white women, so it took another movement of black women to get them to care about them, as well. Anyway, they essentially said the same thing, that they thought all men were evil, and that they wanted all men to die. Anyhow, this person wondered if my being in social justice causes has made me disenchanted, like I have been brainwashed in some way. I don’t think so, especially since I have pretty good reasons for doing what I do.
The problem is that each social justice movement is selfish in a way that rewards the people in it, and only focuses on them in the current moment rather than devise a plan to help future generations. In my case, though, I’m just helping those who are non-binary because it is a ligitimate concern. The percent of nonbinary people having jobs is extremely low. I mean, can you imagine someone walking in, looking like a man, but wearing a skirt and a bra, and talking in a high voice?
This is the truth. I do not hate men. I hate men who think females are worthless. I’m actually advocating for Pete Buttigiege, because even if we didn’t elect a female president by 2020, at least he’d be a lot more caring and sympathetic about females, being gay himself. I know I said at one point that we should start a Female President Now campaign, which would be like the Deaf President Now campaign of 1987, but that was before I learned about Pete. Maybe what needs to happen is that we need more minorities to become president, such as those who are Hispanic or Latine, female, or even blind. I don’t believe in suppressing free speech unless it was really legitimate. Free speech does have it consequences. That’s why there are laws against hate crimes, as well, but unfortunately, I don’t think there aren’t any for people who make verbal and ableist, transphobic, racist, etc harassments towards someone. And yes, it’s true that I do hate people who disagree with me, but only if they disagree with me disrespectfully. If we simply agreed to disagree, then I wouldn’t hate them because they were still being respectful of my opinion.
I guess the reason SJWs have gained such a bad reputation was because of the whole thing with Brie Larson and Hiliary Clinton, and how the media kept forcing political correctness down people’s throats 24/7. Here’s a question I asked on Quora. I thought the person’s answer sort of explained the reason for why this person probably disliked me so much. They have been misguided and misled by hearsay information, and probably because of past experience.
Also, the other reason I am very passionate about social justice is because, as a blind and hard-of-hearing person, I’ve found that you can often get support if you have one disability or the other, but not both. That’s why I said in my author biography that intersectionality is important. If you’ve read my posts about what my brother and I have gone through because of our father and mother, and what lengths I’ve gone to advocate for him, then it’ll probably show that I’m a great person. If I didn’t care about social justice, I probably wouldn’t have helped my brother as much as I had. If the people who bully me and criticise me for the stupidest things (like not advocating or speaking up for myself) knew my past, I’ll bet you they would’ve had thought twice about doing that. And, while I don’t wish this upon anyone, if that had happened to anybody, and they were D/deaf-blind and in a Spanish-speaking family, they wouldn’t have been able to learn social customs.
So anyway, this friend of mine has been extremely helpful. They were able to plead my case and use that as a basis to explain why they still remained my friend even after all that had happened. I need more friends who feel that mediation and arbitration come easily to them. I wish more people knew how to use peer counselling. We often hear about taking care of yourself in the transgender community, but we often get so lost in it that we forget that we also need community care as well. I once asked, what can a professional counsellor, psychologist, therapist, etc do that a friend cannot do? Friends often mean well, but often give you their unwise piece of advise. Of course, it would be unethical to require professionals to go through those experiences to relate, but it would at least help knowing from the patient’s perspective what they were going through.
So anyway, I recently read some books by Marilyn Reynolds in which one of the featured classes is Peer Communications. They say that the best way to communicate is to avoid saying things like You always or you never. No put-downs, and use I statements whenever possible. So, if you have to talk to someone and do it in a way that won’t fuel the fire to make it worse, then make it seem as though you are an ally to that person, so that the information you’ll be providing would be more tolerable. Then you can explain what you want afterword. The important thing is to emphasise things that’ll make the person feel so bad that they’ll realise that they’ve been being unfair and unsympathetic because they didn’t know about the circumstances. Like for instance, it is true that I never fought back when my brother bit me more than one time. I mostly struggled to run away from him. So, whenever he bumps into me, I quickly run away from him to avoid that happening to me. So, they are basically hurting a defenseless person, but I hate to think myself as one, because I’m constantly fighting to find my voice. My personality sort of fits that of Cinderella, who did not gripe. You can actually read about this on Broad Blogs.
So yeah, in the end, I don’t know if I’ll get back together or not, especially since I’ve been friends with this person since 2010. We did have a similar issue back in 2014, and we didn’t speak for almost two years, but we reconnected again. Deep down, I will always care about this person, because I have always stood up for them when no one else would. I don’t think they thought about that when they made the hasty decision to ditch me. I know that I have helped out this person quite a lot, even when they had been taking advantage of me many times and often not giving me things in return, but I did the best I could at the time. So, knowing that I won’t be their friend for a second time will leave me with a guilt so profound that I don’t know if I’ll ever get over. For the rest of my life, I’ll keep thinking about how I haven’t tried hard enough to explain my intentions. Maybe I should think about how I don’t have to worry about their constant haranguing, or the repretitive things they do on a daily basis. However, I learned of something that might make me feel a little better. I heard long ago that sometimes doing a secret good deed to help someone might make you feel better, and it makes the person feel better, even if they didn’t know who was behind it, but knowing that it got good results is enough to be greatly rewarding. So, if my friend and I agree to do something, I’ll probably donate a small amount to begin with, because I don’t want this person to have a miserable life.
Anyhow, I hope y’all understand now where I’m coming from. I look forward to getting my memoir published!

Resolutions

Well, it’s that time of the year again. The weather is getting colder, the holiday season has officially started, and the time for reconciliation is more important than ever as we approach a new decade.
I thought I’d finish what one of my friends was trying to post on here regarding finding your identity, and making people respect that, not only for moral or ethical reasons, but also on a legal one, as well. I have had a bit of issues with this, but not nearly as much, at least not yet, anyway.
First of all, I believe that we have grown accustomed to naming and giving our kids an identity based on what their personality or physique reminds of of. No doubt we do the same with our pets. We automatically give them names that will remain with them for life, or until, if it is a human, or a pet who is smart enough to know that they like a different name and refuse to come to you when you call them by that name, they would have an opportunity to redefine their identity later.
Also, I want to emphasise that nobody here asked to be brught into this world. That’s why it is important that we not disown them or make their lives harder just for being themselves. Our parents brought us here, and their parents brought our parents here, and so on and so forth. How many people have said to themselves or others, I never wanted to be here? I’m sure we’ve been down that road. I know I have. That’s why I wrote my testimony.
I never asked to be brought into the world. I never asked to be born with a condition that would cost me my eyesight, and later, most of my hearing. I never asked to be put into conditions I have no control over now. I never asked to be dealt these cards. But, thanks to how things turned out, and thanks to the direction my life had taken, I am still living at home with an older brother who has fought for control of self-determination, and several legal battles to attend. I could’ve gone to college when I was just out of high school, but nobody told me things I was going to come across until it was too late. But, because I am being civily disobedient, I refuse to do anything with school until the situation has been remedied.
However, there are some things I will not change about myself. I am proud of having discovered who I am, who I should’ve been born as, how I should’ve been addressed all my life, and what things I should’ve had a long time ago. The only problem is that a lot of people assume that I wasn’t born that way, I just chose to be that way and put on this persona that isn’t really me, that I am just pretending. No, I am not pretending at all. This is the true, real me. I had to grow up and grow into a new body, mind and spirit. Is it called coming out of the cupboard? Is it like coming out of one’s shell? Maybe it’s more about coming into something, finding your true name. Have you heard of people who rechristen their crafts to improve their luck? That’s how it is for me. I rechristened myself. I gave myself the identity that was so erroneously shoved onto me by what my parents thought was appropriate for me at the time. I got rid of the identity that was associated with negative memories and had trauma and abuse attached to it. I can’t say that I grew out of it, though, because it would imply that I liked it, but I decided later that it wasn’t for me.
However, when people look at me, they don’t see the real me. They see someone who they automatically perceive to be masculine. That is not how I want to be perceived, but I can’t help the way I look. And, while I cannot see how I look, I would imagine that it would look as if I were seeing a stranger in a Photograph. Tom Henrik. Someone told me, long ago, I was broken and it stuck. Strong Enough by Bobby Joe Valentine.
I have been asked by people in the LGBTQIA+ community why, if I don’t like being called male pronouns, do I not transition to a female binary gender? Well, I chose to legally recognise my gender as nonbinary because I think it is easier for me to look androgynous. If I could look more female, I would do it in a heartbeat. But, this is what I have to work with. That’s why, more than ever, I want these groundbreaking procedures to reach clinical trials by the 2020’s. We don’t have to be defined by anybody else. Fractal, by Kim Boekbinder.
So, it’s a bitter pill to swallow, and it’s one I have to swallow almost every day. What can I do to reduce the potency of this pill? What switches would I need to flick so that I wouldn’t have to deal with this any more? What can I do if I find somebody who says to me, I don’t care what your birth certificate, court order, ID, etc says. I’ve made up my mind and you can’t change it. I’ll call you by whatever I feel like calling you. That hasn’t happened to me yet, but I still wonder….
I heard that in some places, you can get your birth certificate changed at the administrative level without having to go to court and potentially publishing your name change in the newspaper or anywhere else. The only thing you would’ve needed was a doctor’s note or a note from a sworn health authority that affirmed your gender identity. Quite a few states are starting to legally recognise third gender markers, but the federal government is not yet one of them. But, that’s one of the things I like about the professional world. When you change your name, they will go back and update everything and make it look as if you were always that name. This doesn’t happen everywhere. For example, baptism registries will still have your old name. If you were written about in the media (good or bad) those will still have your old name. The sad news is that they have no legal obligation for them to update it.
Unfortunately, I was told that there may be certain entities that will not accept a birth certificate as proof of name change. I mean, you could say, Well, who can argue the validity of the certificate? You can’t argue with a doctor. Similarly, you can’t argue with a lawyer or judge, especially if they have PH.Ds. It is official as it gets. However, I was lucky in that Oregon has amended a statute that wouldn’t require you to go to a hearing or publish the name change in the newspaper. All I needed to do was attest that I was going through surgical, hormonal, or other treatment for the purposes of affirming gender identity. That resulted in the judge ordering that my old name be replaced with my new legal name… the name I’ve always wanted and should’ve had, as well as legally recognising me as gender nonbinary. The judge also ordered the court records to be sealed, so that nobody could access them. Not everybody was so lucky. There is a judge here in Oregon who is refusing to issue gender nonbinary markers, of which several amici curiae briefs have been prepared by Basic Rights Oregon and American Civil Liberties Union.
Anyway, I have thought hard about what I should do now that I have a key to unlock many locks. Could I use it in a situation where someone insists on Deadnaming or misgendering me? I found this Quora post to be pretty interesting. My therapist said that I should not jump to the big things, but rather, think on a micro-level scale first before going to the macro-level. For example, should I sue someone just because they called me sir or man? Why not see if they are willing to listen and be trained accordingly?
Because of my hearing loss, I have a greater tendency to sound more masculine when I talk on the phone, but sometimes I am called madamme and I always feel warm and fuzzy when they do. Of course, it’s hard to do that in person, unless the person I was talking to was completely blind. This actually happened to me a few months ago when I went to a retreat. Someone addressed me as lady, girl, and possibly something else, and oh my gosh! How I loved it when they did!!!
I would like to detail two situations, both good and bad, in which I was able to redirect the conversation. In the first situation, I went to accompany the majority of the of a group participants to an activity, and I met somebody there who remembered me from my O&M days. Of course, I didn’t know anything about them. So, when they asked me what my name was, I gave them my new, legal name. Sometime later, they asked me if I knew Deadname. I was, like, huh? Did I hear you aright? I asked them to repeat the question. I said that I didn’t know anyone with that name. They were, like, ‘Oh, well, he was in your group, too.’ I felt so happy when that person couldn’t associate me with that name.
A few days later, my mum and I went somewhere. One thing to note, however, was that I have estranged from certain family members and relatives. I do not want them to know about my legal name change until after I had moved out, and I am a long distance away from them. Therefore, when we went to this place, she had informed the staff what my name was. Only, of course, she didn’t know that I had legally changed it. Instead she gave them my Deadname. So, when I got home and saw the E-mails I have requested, they all bore my old legal name. So, I wrote back and attached the court order to prove to them that I no longer used that name.
Oh, and one more situation that I didn’t remember until now: I have had a bit of a problem changing my name with Experian and CreditKarma because I have been getting correspondences from them under my old name. So, I called my LegalShield provider firm and told them the situation. They were able to write up a letter, and we heard back from them, and they sent me a new credit report with my new legal name on it.
Now, it’s a matter of fact before I need to let other people know. For instance, if my mother writes a will, she may use my old legal name. But I think it should be okay if I still have a copy of the court order and birth certificate that show my old and new legal name.

Basically, because I’ve worked so hard on this name change, I call it a transition more than anything because this represented a sort of self discovery and me finding out who I really was, rather than something a small amount of closed-minded people said that what they refer me as is what they think I am and what they think I should be.
That’s how little and how unfavourably and how disconnected I was to that name. I didn’t feel like me. Of course, when I filled out the paperwork, I had to give a more compelling reason because I knew that just saying I didn’t like it, while it may or might not have been sufficient, to me to just simply say I didn’t like it as a reason wasn’t good enough in terms of effort. I’m sure most judges would accept ‘because I just don’t like it’ as a reason, but I wanted the judge to have some sympathy for me as far as the fact that, in most states, in order to change your name, you need to publish your intentions in a newspaper. Being forced to publish that in the newspaper would’ve jeopardised my safety, as I would’ve had to give them so much personal information, it’s unreal. All digressing aside, I’m glad I’m part of a protected group. I used the fact that we still live in a world where it’s still unsafe to be LGBT, and the judge basically waived all fees, waived my requirement to publish my name change and even sealed my case after it was all done, and after a while those case documents get destroyed.
With me, though, I don’t think I have much a case to sue anyone for disrespecting my name choice because, although I’m LGBT (being that I’m gay) I’m” not trans or gender queer or non binary so I can’t really use that as a cause of action, as I went from one name to another for the same gender.
But I digress. I was this 15 or 16 year old who wrote songs about coming out in my own identity, but I didn’t even know what the hell it meant to have an identity, let alone what it meant to come into my own! Now I see what it really means to have an identity and to come into your own. I look at it like this, and this may make me very unpopular in the LGBT community, maybe even hated, but why should I come out of the closet? It seems so inauthentic and like I’m drawing too much attention to myself. The way I see it, if someone asks me, ‘Am I out?’ we should just say, ‘Out? Out of where? I’m in, I came into my own.’ What do I need to come out from under, and why should I come out of a closet I never knew I was even supposed to be in in the first place!

F.C. So, Show me love on this living planet. Emma’s Revolution and Hundred Waters.
Those are some snippets of stuff one of my friends had written. Basically, no matter whether you are transgender, gender nonbinary, or gender nonconforming, or even someone who is not in the LGBTQIA+ community, you would still be going through a transition. I think the word transition should not only be used to refer to people who change from one gender identity to another, but to anyone who changes any aspect of their life in a significant way.
Therefore, if and when I have children, I will try to give them gender-neutral identities and refer to them as my child, and have them call me by portmanteaus of parent, mother, father, mum, dad, aunt, aunkle, niece, nephew, etc. Or, I can just have them call me by my first name, or an entirely made-up name or something in a different language. When they’re old enough to the point they start talking, I’ll have an initial conversation about whether they like their identity. I’ll have this conversation with them periodically at each milestone they complete. I want them to realise that they can’t rely on me to define who they are. They need to live their lives for themselves. I’ll be like, ‘Do you like your name? Do you like being called these pronouns?’ If they say yes, that’s great. If they say no, then we’ll have a discusson on how we can address the problem, so that they won’t have to go through what I, and so many others, had to go through.
So, together we’ll shout it out like a bird set free. Sia. Though the world may be cold and bitter, and we may be delicate and bruised, we will neither be destroyed nor our roots be pulled. Witch Hazel by Tom Gala. And believe me, We’re all scared. We must learn to help one another through these times and do whatever we can to uplift one another.
So, Now that I’ve about covered nearly all my past history since the last time I’ve posted in 2014 to 2019, I wanted to talk a little more about some of the mysteries of the brain based on some new experiences I’ve had and information I’ve gathered. Starting in the new year, I will talk about some interesting things that might bring us closer to winning a long-fought war.

My experiences as a totally blind and hard-of-hearing person, part 1

One thing I have struggled with as a person with both total blindness and progressive hearing loss was which community to identify. I hope this part will not sound too condescending by any means. I have challenged blind people to think about how they would function if they lost their hearing one morning, and, to be honest, a lot of them would be devastated to the point they would want to kill themselves. This was usually the result of when someone asked the usual question of if you’ve been told that you could’ve gotten surgery to restore your eyesight, would you go for it? Many blind people would never do it. Yes, some people would be devastated if they became deaf, but just like how they like being blind and consider that to be a part of their identity, they would respect that I could love being deaf blind, and that it is a part of my identity. Still, many blind people use their hearing a lot, though, and have echolocation.
Most people say it is easier to be deaf than it is to be blind, but when you are already blind, you cannot see yourself as being deaf. No two disabilities are superior to one another. There is a lot of cruelty and internallised ableism towards deaf-blind individuals by some blind people, but I know that not all blind people are like that. I mean, a lot of blind people hate being asked how they use a computer if they cannot see. Likewise, those same blind people who hated being asked that asked me, how do you do music if you have trouble hearing it? It is because they view their hearing as everything; they would just simply collapse and feel like they can never get up again. That is why I remind them to be more open and inclusive towards our siblings with combined disabilities that have blindness in addition to the mix. Some people I’ve talked to agree that deaf-blind people are always left out of accessibility initiatives. Still, people in the blind community continue to refer to this blind gentleman named Kennith Jernigan whenever they argue about codependence, interdependence, independence and dependence, and he wrote the well-known banquet address called The Nature of Independence in the nineties. However, I would argue that The Nature of Independence was written from the point of view of someone who was only blind and married. It was not written by someone who was deaf-blind. It was not written by someone who was blind and in a wheelchair. It was not written by someone who was blind and had a severe chronic illness. It was not written by someone who was blind and had autism, Down’s Syndrome, or any other kind of learning, intellectual or developmental disability. Still, it seems that a lot of blind people, particularly those who are proud of their accomplishments, are overly ambicious and would consider relying on sighted or blind assistance as a sign of weakness or being inadequate. However, they do not seem to mind using guide dogs, even though a dog is not going to tell you what intersection you are at, or describe your surroundings to you. It also seems that although they do not feel comfortable taking another person’s time, they are fine with taking a lot of the dog’s time instead. This is where the cultural aspect comes in, because in south America, people are more likely to offer you assistance, whereas here in the US, people tend to be hands-off. Also, I don’t like it when SSPs are taught to act like they’re your slaves or something. I mean, if I, the client, asked my SSP what their opinion was of something, they’d say, ‘It’s up to you.’ SSPs need to be treated as human beings, too. Yes, I can understand the whole thing about blurring the line between professional and personal relationships, but don’t forget that SSPs can also be family members, relatives, close friends, neighbours, etc.
A lot of members misquote it… I’m talking about the Nature of Independence. It probably did result in people believing that they are better than I for not pre-boarding an aeroplane and things like that, but I don’t think those people actually read it.
Whatever happened to the concept of work together, help others, and all those things we learned growing up? Besides, it is not a crime to ask for help, and sighted people use assistance all the time, so why should blind people be an exception to the rule? They are so anxious to show society that they can do anything. Besides, Kennith Jernigan did use assistance at conventions, and other members criticised him for going guided travel. Oh, and how can we make talking ATMs more accessible to deaf-blind people? How about movies with audio descriptions? Seriously, deaf-blind people are being left behind it is not even funny. I definitely also want deaf blind people to be included in making appliances more accessible. I have noticed that a lot of things talk now, but if you are deaf-blind, that doesn’t help. So many blind people say they want to make things accessible, but what they really mean is that they want those things to be accessible for only themselves in the current moment. That is because they are not following universal design. Not all deaf-blind people can read Braille due to barriers related to a learning, intellectual or developmental disability. Deaf people who do not develop oral language skills almost never develop reading comprehension beyond the sixth grade anyway, but still. I would imagine that deaf people are the same where they only think of and include deaf people who meet societal expectations in every other way. I think interfacing with a kiosk using an accessible app to scan the QR code, use near-field communication, etc would benefit a lot of people.
Europe uses spinning cones to tell deaf-blind people when it is safe to cross streets. Australia uses relays that vibrate and give tactile feedback. Japan uses Braille signage that is printed directly on railings where they would be extremely conspicuous to anyone using them. I do not enjoy being independent as a totally blind and hard-of-hearing person. But I truly believe we are all interdependent. I have written very cogent remarks here. Perhaps the most important part about being independent is knowing when and when not to need assistance, as well as being extremely self-reliant. Be lucky that you have what you have, and use it to the fullest. Do not depend on anything too much as everything has its time and purpose.
Older people might say that I’m not as independent as they are because I rely on my phone too much. I think that a lot of people just get stuck in the rebellious independence stage discussed in the speech. Other blind people have told me I wasn’t as independent because I used audio descriptions at the theatre, and while I don’t use a guide dog, they would’ve probably criticised me for it, as well. I am not perfect by any means. Yes, people do not want you to use guided travel at training centres because you are there to learn and develop new skills, but even when you are out of it, they act like you should be at the centre forever. Kennith Jernigan agreed that the way we do things while we are in training is not the same way that we would do it in everyday life. For example, if I took a college math class where calculators were not allowed, I would have to learn how to do everything by hand so as to master new techniques. But, when I am out in the field, it would be ridiculous for me to continue doing it this way when I can have a computer do that for me in the blink of an eye; the skills are simply an adjunct. Likewise, it would be foolish of me to criticise others for using calculators and accusing them of taking shortcuts. They would have every right to say that I was being altogether arrogant in that regard. Of course, one could argue that if the power went out, or the batteries stopped working, then your math skills would definitely be of service. They would say the same about blind people relying on their devices that could fail one day, and since the brain almost never fails, they should always rely on that. I am really good at technology, and I notice myself almost never using a reader to do things such as manage my finances and read my mail when other blind people say that they use a reader for these things all the time. I don’t think of myself as more independent than they. It is just easier for me not to have to rely on a reader most of the time. I might decide that I’m not going to follow this person, or I’m not going to go cited guide because I really want to learn about this area, and I really want to develop some new skills. Sometimes it’s also about priority. For instance, if you need to be somewhere as fast as possible whilst having a conversation, it might be perfectly fine to go guided travel because you probably already know the layout of the environment. Even sighted people do things differently depending on what their priorities are and how they want to do it.
I believe the problem is that a lot of blind people act like they want everyone there to be blind. Well, that is exactly like me saying that everyone who is only blind should be deaf-blind. The problem is that when many people in the NFB, as well as many people out of it, say blind people, they only think of and refer to people who are just blind and have everything else that meet societal expectations. They sometimes forget how diverse the blind population can be. If I said a sighted person, I could be referring to a sighted person with autism, a sighted deaf person, a sighted wheelchair user, etc. The same should apply if I said a blind person. Some blind people want other blind people to experience what they could never have.
Actually, some people have started thinking about this because it is common for hearing to deteriorate with age. Also, some people lose their ability to know in which directions sounds are coming from, whether due to allergies, migraines, or what have you….
That is why I value Helen Keler’s philosophy more, because she knew what it was like from the inside. I was not allowed to have an SSP at several NFB-sponsored activities, and whenever I attempted to use guided travel, someone would come up, I do not know who, and, gently but firmly, separate me. I got lost numerous times because of that, plus I could not hear the crowd in a noisy environment, or I might hear them, but it would later turn out that I would be following the wrong one. I didn’t have a cell phone back then, so I had no way to call someone for help. Some might say I was lazy and did not want to try hard enough, but as I grew older I was able to justify my need for additional accommodations on the basis of having severe hearing loss, especially around 2013 and on. When I discovered HKNC, it was like a whole new world has sprung up before me with a number of countless possibilities. I know that the NFB has been changing in the last ten years, and that the Deaf-Blind Division has been created, but frankly, I would not deal with them until they can prove to me that they really want to accommodate me; not only for the blindness, but for the severe hearing loss I have, as well. It is not just about me. It is about my fellow deaf-blind friends, too.
I don’t know if I can ever have completely positive relationships with other sighted people, or even blind people, but I want that for other blind and deaf-blind people. I want them to be integrated in ways I might never be able to have. I want them to be able to meet sighted people who believe that blind and or deaf-blind people could never have a job, and then have a meaningful and equal relationship with that person even though I can’t do it. My emotional feelings toward sighted people in general, as well as some blind people, and toward the whole situation basically make that impossible, but I’m glad that other people don’t share those feelings, and I don’t think they should. Logically, my feelings aren’t what I think.
Sometimes, blind people do need to be reminded that Deafness and other disabilities affect how you do things, but I think the key point they are making is that BLINDNESS itself does not create dependence. And yes, sometimes that can come off as a little tone-deaf when they are dealing with people with other disabilities. But it is all attitude and all problem-solving to figure out what will work for you. You can try different things, be open to new ideas and be a CAN do person, or you can make excuses, say no to everything and be a CANNOT do person. Not everyone is going to be able to do everything by themselves all the time, and I do not think anyone expects that, but I think they wants you to at least entertain the possibility, play around and experiment with it, and see how far you can go.
This is a very interesting perspective of blindness. When someone is blind, it does not make basic tasks impressive, when someone is deaf, it does not make basic tasks impressive, but because some people do not understand what it is like to be both, it makes them think basic tasks are impressive, even know it is just combining 2 things that are not impressive. That is very strange. The lack of having experience is definitely a the leading factor for different mindsets. I know you performing basic tasks is not impressive, but the lack of experience makes it hard to think outside the box. If I could not do basic tasks extremely well, I would not have been able to go on the internet and share my story, so it is very hard to think about what someone has done and then use that to say, oh, well because they did this, then everything else before that must be easy to them. Instead of using what we have seen you do, we use the lack of our own experience to determine what is and is not impressive or easy for you.
So, to drive my point home, I might blow the whistle by recording what goes on at these training centres and take a vow of silence and only communicate in sign language. Or, I might just do an expose on them. How, I know not, but I swear I will do it some day.

My Impressions on Bullying and Harassment

When you hear about bullying or harassment, what emotions do you immediately feel? It can vary widely based on your schemas and experiences. Regardless, you should know what’s happening by peering into the points of view of others that differ from your own. How and why this happens will be described to the best of knowledge below.
First, bullying and harassment are not the same thing, although they may share similar meanings. Bullying refers to the constant act of picking on people who are believed to be inferior to the person doing it because they feel they possess a better status or trait than the victim. Things include age,intellect, gender, disability, race and ethnicity or nationality, even socioeconomic classes and more subtle things like microagression, especially in patronising certain individuals in a professional context.
Harassment is a criminal offence when a person continually or repeatedly does something of which the victim has persistently asked and told the harasser to stop. This may be a result of them wanting to stalk the victim for whatever reason, or simply because they insist on doing something the other person didn’t want. This latter type of harassment is more of an indirect form than one that is deliberate. Both are equally devastating, and there has been efforts to criminalise bullying, as well. Nevertheless, there are a broad number of motives as to why one would want to bully and or harass someone else, and I can tell you that there is likely no way I can cover them all.
How bullying and harassment affects a person in the long run depends on several factors of said person. If the person is mentally and emotionally stable, which is to say that they are totally self-confident and they have a positive outlook on their lives, they may feel somewhat impacted, but they would most likely vent and use other forms of expression to talk to other people to insure that the victim was not at fault. Others, however, may not have this kind of reaction, especially with those who have a lower intellect to emotion ratio. These type of people may suffer the most from an attack of a bully. Since they have little to no ability to reason and to think rationally, they often rely on their emotions to express how they feel and sometimes results in self-destructive behaviour. However, it is possible that a person could have their intellect reduced if the bully picked on the same person for an extended period of time. This type of change is called ‘neurosis’. If not treated, the person could end up sharing the traits of someone who would normally be a neurotic (more emotion than intellect). The opposite to neuroticism is psychopathy, which is someone who has more intellect and less emotion. It is also known that children who grow up with abusive parents may become abusive themselves, though they usually learn not to follow in their stead.
The remedies for dealing with a bully depends on the kind of person they are targetting, as well as the bully’s familial background, and possibly other things. you, the victim, are mostly psychopathic, you can find non-physical ways to intimidate the bully and make them submissive if possible. If you are primarily neurotic, however, you may have a harder time standing up to a bully since you would be too submissive, whereas the bully would usually dominate over you. Note that the majority of bullies are acting out of sheer cowardice and ignorance. However, there are things that you can do to help speak up for yourself and realise that there is nothing wrong with you, and that you will pull through. Be sure to address the situation at the micro-level if you can, rather than going all out and going to the macro level. Also, be sure to get plenty of evidence that would be significantly unfavourable to the bully, no matter how hard they would try and convince people that you were bullying them.
Things like mixed martial arts and other forms of sports (physical or mental) can be used to build confidence by stimulating all areas of a person’s brain, allowing for further development of intellect. Examples of when I was bullied or harassed and how I dealt with them are rather hard to find since I was able to get out of most situations. When I was younger, I was often made fun of because of my disabilities of blindness and severe hearing loss–even by people in the blind community! Some sighted children would make me bump into things, and they would laugh and taunt me. However, I did not experience a lot of emotions except for sadness and being upset in general. So, I thought of inflicting the same pain that the bully did to me, but I think that is normally not the best thing to do; I sometimes felt it would have been the right thing to do, because I wanted them to hurt just as they had hurt me. However, the line between wanting justice and revenge become blurred, and sometimes, whether you want to give someone a taste of their own medicine, two wrongs don’t always make a right. And, as aforementioned, hurting a bully first would be consider taking too big of a step… it should only be used if nothing else works.
The problem in many schools today is that both the bully and the victim end up getting suspension time because they have a zero tolerance policy for any physical violence. However, the law does authorise anyone to act in self-defence if the situation warranted it, and if the means of self-defence was proportionate to the offence As an example, you cannot choke someone to the point of near death simply because they punched you a few times. However, the attitude must always be, ‘I do not want to fight, period.’ You should always maintain this attitude even if others will call you chicken or coward These are all forms of peer pressure used to get you to conform to a dominant culture, and possibly, at the subconscious level, because they want to get you in trouble for fighting with them.
In conclusion, bullies often have fears of their own. Fear and lack of understanding makes us do strange and irrational things. Nobody can control how they feel inside, but anybody can choose how to respond to these emotions. Knowing this can help you to a great extent to gain positive power to defend yourself rationally. As usual, new methods are continually being invented by psychologists and sociologists, as well as politicians and other legal personelle. All these things will hopefully prevent bullying and harassment. This kind of behaviour cannot only occur in children, but more often than not, it can just as well happen with adults, too, especially if they do not agree with one another on any given situation and who has no ability to control their anger and frustration. The best thing that can be done is to realise who will be their true friends and who to stay away from. Visit the Stop Bullying web site for more information, and remember that there is always help. Simply dial +1(800) 275-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. Two-one-one Info also provides resources for immediate need.
As always, stay safe!

More Issues That Seem to Keep Prevailing in This Country

I don’t know if I can make this post, or any post for that matter, short because I know how much we all find political stuff boring since it feels like we’re just repeating the same thing over and over. However, I’m going to outline some bad experiences I’ve had on several social media platforms and sometimes in person, and some remedies I came up with right on the spot to try and combat them.
About six or seven years ago, I was out and about late one week night in the down-town area of the metropolis. I had previously gotten left behind because I didn’t know that my group had evidently left, nor in which direction they had gone. So, not knowing how bad things could get, I eventually made my way (with some assistance) back to the dorms. On the way in, however, this rando stopped me and grabbed onto my left shoulder and spoke to me gruffly. I felt very vulnerable at that point because there were several of them just hanging out on the porch, probably beyond drunk, stoned, high, or whatever. I’ve heard horror stories about harassers and predators on the news, and, to my dismay, my phone had previously gotten wet, so I couldn’t use it for gathering evidence. Although I’ve only had one near miss, I sometimes tighten up inside every time I’m walking and hear guys shouting and swearing angrily, which hasn’t happened all too often fortunately. Still, being in the vicinity of guns and fireworks sometimes scare me and I end up getting paranoid.
About three or four years ago, I’ve read some books featuring fictional victims along with a connection to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN). There were some things that I particularly found fascinating, especially after I read another series later on. If you remember from my earlier post about how babies slowly develop consciousness, and how they mostly operate on autopilot until that happens, sometimes I wonder if an abusive experience could be so traumatising to the point the brain would be able to suppress it completely. It’s absolutely true that when a person is traumatised, they can’t remember a lot of details except for the main ones, which suggests that the brain uses a network of neurones to store gross details and eliminate fine ones. By the way, the two books that I first read were Hopeless and Losing Hope, good choice of words! Then I later learned about a series that was set in my home state of Oregon, called The Programme. Sometimes, especially when our brains are capable of remembering everything as we get older, we let our experiences eat away at our inner core. Still, you might never be too old to suppress a bad experience. But, knowing what I went through nearly three years ago gives a perfect example of how dwelling on it can really change your brain chemistry. I’ve heard researchers trying to invent a prototype that was similar to the one used in The Programme, including using light-sensitive proteins to guide them in mapping out memory cells.
When I went to attend a festival over at Gala Choruses in Denver, Colorado, I came up with a brilliant idea that it was a wonder how it had slipped my mind when I could’ve done this a lot sooner. This was of course if I could make it work legally. Fortunately, many laws have this loophole. My idea was to keep a daily record of my activities in audio form, and sometimes video, if it were warranted. I call it the #RecordYourDay campaign. Now, in almost all states, you can say that at least one person must consent to the recording, which can be constrewed as the person making the recording. Unfortunately, Oregon is not one of them. Here’s why. I once read an article about how the military was concerned that Furbies had the ability of recording or eavesdroping on their conversations. That’s why I believe in recording police brutalities, especially when dealing with unarmed people of colour. Or, why victims of bullies should wear body cams and stuff when the bully turns around and pretends to be the victim to get the real victim in trouble.
Anyway, last year sparked a lot of high-profile controversies about whether famous cisgender heterosexual male celebrities had been taking advantage of certain minority groups in the entertainment and legal industries. This was probably caused by the aftermath of the 2016 election, though it could’ve just as well been caused by a completely unrelated incident. At any rate, a new trend started popping up on social media called the #MeToo movement. Although this is slightly extraneous, I came up with an idea for an invention back in 2015, but when I looked it up, I saw that it was already being considered. I was going to call it an anti-rape device, but surprisingly, someone else had beat me to it. So, for those on my Facebook who were in abject defeat following the approval of a new judge in late 2018, I knew I had to think fast on how best to respond. We should all have the right to be righteously angry. However, it always amazes me (and not in the good sort of amazed) that people truly think we want to make these things up, that we truly want to say that someone (or someones) said or did disgusting things to our body (which could prompt other people to say or do those things), and now they say that women and transgender people need mental help because we’re angry all the time. Screw that. They truly think we want to risk mockery at best, ongoing harassment, job loss, and physical violence at worst? They truly think this? Yeah, I think they do…because they believe the way the media has sensationalised narcissism and other personality disorders, and they’re more than ready to slap those labels on people who are saying things they don’t want to believe are true. I believe it is bottom-of-the-barrel despicable for the president of the United States to mock anyone at one or more of his disgusting ego-building rallies. His mockery is a symptom of the problems plaguing our country from the top down. Anger is important as it motivates us to keep fighting. I also dislike it when some women are like, ‘Oh, well just don’t bother him when he’s drunk’, or ‘If you had just kept your mouth shut, this wouldn’t have happened.’ Seriously! Why do they let these guys walk over them, and then blame you afterword? That is seriously demented, and if anybody says it was just nothing, that those guys were just paying you a compliment, screw that, too!
Some time in September 2018, a new supreme court justice was nominated. However, someone decided to hault the progress by testifying in front of the congressional committee. You can see the testimony for yourself.

People have a right to believe or to not believe, and that is fine. However, everyone was blaming her for coming forward after 30 plus years. But, nobody seemed to be blaming the males who came forward after 30 plus years regarding priests molesting them, like in the recent Catholic church scandal. So, if nothing else, it’s  a double standard. Some people think he’s lying and others think she’s lying. There is absolutely NO irrefutable evidence. All any of us have is her word and his word. It’s the same with Stormy. You probably don’t have any proof, it just rings true. The same goes for Roy Moore. I think one or two of those women had something happen to them by Moore. But then, all these cockroaches come out of the walls and dilute the real accusations. Cosby was found guilty, and I think that was the right verdict, but he had evidence presented in the court of law and was found guilty by his peers. Presumption of innocence is mandatory. It’s the constitution. RAINN has some pretty good information on the topic. Sometimes, this thing about treating people as innocent until proven guilty is so warped that you might as well be treated guilty until you were proven innocent. This has happened one too many times with framings and other things.
Since a lot of attention by the media is chiefly focused on the alleger, I think it is equally important to consider how the alleged person might be feeling, even if you don’t think they are worthy of consideration. If that is how you feel, then you are probably biased towards that person. Maybe you’ve had a similar experience and found it easier to sympathise. This is a huge problem in this country when one is attempting to select an equitable jury panel for a high-profile case. Although the media is free to impose upon such cases based on the first amendment, I believe there should be some restrictions to prevent the media from covering these things until a vertict has been reached and the case was at an end. Of course, no one can stop any juror from seeking information from outside sources. However, if you stopped for a minute and really thought about it, then why in the world would you expect Judge Kavanaugh not to be emotional and pissed? Just once, think of what it must be like to have someone lie about you to the world. The whole entire world. Because that’s where he’s coming from. Unless she had clear, concrete, and consistent evidence, that went all the way through, along with reliable witnesses, I cannot find any legal basis to accredit Ford’s testimony. That is not to say that I am invalidating her unsubstantiated and uncorroborated story; I just don’t see any way she could’ve won. She couldn’t tell you when it happened, where it happened, who was there, how she got there, how she got home, and who the people were at the party… well, except Kavanaugh. She could only tell you what happened, and of course, only fate knows why. So, we are to take this as the adequate burden of proof. This is America. Due process is a fundamental principle of our nation when the constitution was ratified. This witch hunt was orchestrated by the Democratic National Committee and nearly destroyed a man, his career and his family. Of course he was pissed. This stunt could’ve made him lose everything. You can say what you want about ford’s and Kavanaugh’s testimony–her story stinks to high heaven, he could’ve been pummeled with death threats, her accusations had no merit, and so on and so on. My point here is that I want to convince people to really think with an open mind and stop jumping to conclusions because of how the media portrayed a certain group of individuals.
I’ll give you another example that someone had expressed on the same platform. It was evident by this person’s demeanour towards Kavanaugh that they were influenced by information that could only be described as hearsay. What supposedly happened was that Kavanaugh had made some decisions regarding pregnant women with developmental disabilities, and how he encouraged their guardians to consider abortion. Of course, many disability rights advocates would argue that no matter how severe one’s mental capacity was, that person still had a right to speak their opinion in whatever way possible. Others would argue that it was medically necessary because the person was mentaly or developmentally unstable. My point here was that this person had gotten this story from a media source, and since they generally tend to be extremely biased, I suggested that said person call the courthouse directly and purchase an audio record of that case, so as to get the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. This article, as well as this second article do a pretty good job at explaining how we should choose our battles in life.
Now, here’s another perfect example of why we have such high standards in this country, and why it is further exacerbated by instant gratification. About a year ago, someone told me that they had read an article in which a female had consensual sex with a male, but for whatever reason, she disliked him to the point she fabricated stories in order to slander and defame his character by claiming that he had raped her. Of course, you’d expect everybody to immediately sympathise with her. Still, there are no words to express how the behaviour of so many is causing such anguish. There was a time when we all depended on our fathers and forefathers, our grandfathers, our husbands, boyfriends, or any other male-identified figure to fight for our freedom. A freedom to love, to work and worship as we please. Now to hear that our own disgusting leader flagrantly mock a somebody who had the courage to tell their story, to listen to a contemptuous crowd egg the mocker on, to basically be told that women don’t seem to matter? As you say, to daily see the way the disabled are disregarded? I just cannot fathom this.  I am not a cynic, (or I try not to be), but there are just times that sicken me.  I know that the higher power will make things right in the end, but being patient is so hard. I completely and totally agree, which is partly why I bothered writing a post about it. It’s to raise awareness. It’s to call out bullshit. It’s to let people know that this ugliness happens, and women–or at least anyone who identifies as female–aren’t going to take it silently any more. But You know what, some conservatives label liberals as entitled. The truth is, it’s the conservatives who are entitled, especially the white, straight, cisgender men. They are entitled to act and speak as they please with impunity. They have been taught from day 1 that no matter what they do, they’re at the top of the food chain, even now when they are the minority. It’s no wonder why they are feeling threatened. This country, not to mention the majority of our societies, are extremely patriarchal and male-dominated. And, part of the reason I don’t really like feminism is because although they claim to advocate for equality, the truth is that they only want to advocate for female domination, and they end up turning misandristic. So, what would happen if we had the same male gender, but of a different type? What if we had more gay men lead the nation?

Before I conclude this post, I’d love for you to all head over to Pete’s campaign and sign up to become a volunteer and a donor. We need all the support we can get if we are to help him reach the next level.
Stay safe and until next time!

%d bloggers like this: