I recently watched the live-action version of The Lion King and I’ll start with this: I’m happy that they didn’t take out the very beginning song that’s in the original version of this movie. But it hurts my heart that they got different-sounding singers to sing “The Circle of Life” and other popular songs in the movie that they should’ve left alone. That being said, I did love Beyonce’s singing parts as well as her acting scenes. To me, she really did sound like she felt every word she sang/delivered…and that’s important. Whereas the person who’d played Scar, in my opinion, didn’t do that role justice. I was of course happiest to see that James Earl Jones played Mufasa; and even though he’s much older now, he did fantastic!! That being said, the little kid who’d played baby Simba this time around, had moments where I thought he was a decent actor. But he was no Jonathan Taylor Thomas though, that’s for sure. I know, I know, people might want to be harsh on me because I’m coming down hard on the live-action version of The Lion King…but it pisses me off that Disney doesn’t just let the classics be classics. Like, get creative, think of Disney original shows, which Disney has done…so clearly, they aren’t exactly starving for good content…or are they? I say that sort of jokingly…but mostly seriously.
In season one of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, the Dark Lord visits Sabrina, Hilda, Zelda and Ambrose. But he’s disguised as someone else, probably in the hopes that Sabrina won’t recognize him later on in the show. But as the show goes on, we the viewers find out that on October 31st which is Sabrina’s 16th birthday, she’s supposed to sign the Book of the Beast. And the beast is just another name for the Dark Lord. But when the Dark Lord is visiting the Spellman household, he tells Sabrina that no matter what happens, she’d always have the ability to make her own choices. But then on the night of her birthday which is when she’s supposed to sign the Book of the Beast, the Dark Lord changes his story…and that prompts Sabrina to run away from this event that the witches and warlocks call someone’s ‘Dark Baptism’.
I recently watched a Netflix original show that was called Fortune Feimster: Sweet and Salty. The comedian was a gay woman who’s from the south. She definitely has the southern twang that many folks from the south have…and usually I don’t like the sound of said twang. But in this particular comedy show, I found it to be more than just tolerable. This woman joked about everything from her sexuality, to her mom and she did all of the jokes in a way that allowed the love she has for her mom, to shine throughout the entire show. And while I’m someone who does cuss and who believes that using such language is one fun thing about being a grownup, I’ll say that watching this Netflix special where the comedian rarely cussed, really did fit the vibe of the show.
In an FB group for members of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) who are in the LGBTQ+ community, I posted a thread that reads:
So I’ve done this 1000 times, where I’ll go to the “create a post” link in this group, start typing something out and then discard the post. But I’m making myself write here, for real, now. People say things often to me like “I believe your someone special is out there.” And TBH, I feel like that’s just something folks say to people…just as something to say as a filler. I’m 32 years old and I’m not getting any younger…yet I’m single as can be. I have a lot of love to both give and receive, I’m a fun outgoing person…but single I remain. So I’m just posting here, I guess, cause I have nowhere else to go. But this sucks, it really, really sucks…cause I’m a confident person who lights up whatever environment I’m in, no matter where I am.
A couple well-meaning comments were posted on my topic, one of which said something along the lines of “I’m sorry you’re feeling lonely.” My response to that comment reads:
Loneliness is not the right word though. I have lots of friends, mostly on social media nowadays, that I interact with regularly. I’m not wanting for human contact. It’s more just knowing that our world is set up to make people think that there is a person out there for everyone, and I just don’t believe that’s true. Not for me, anyway. And like I say in this post, I’m fine with that sometimes. And I certainly wouldn’t want to be in a relationship just to be in one. But at the same time, I mostly see everyone in romantic, loving relationships. That makes it hard to feel hopeful for my own situation.
Another comment on this thread said something like “I can help you find a therapist if you want.” So my response to that comment reads:
It’s not really anything a therapist can help with though. It’s more just, this is a shitty feeling/a shitty place to be in over all…and I’m sick and tired of it.
But again, the person just totally misunderstood where I was coming from. But that being said, at least I know that I can’t turn to that FB group, now.
In Childfree by Choice, one of the members posted about a movie called We Need to Talk About Kevin. And I ended up engaging in a discussion with her about it which starts off with me saying:
I’m watching it now–although, I’m totally blind so I find it pretty hard to follow. Like, the amount of dialogue in the movie is pretty rare/doesn’t seem to reflect some of the bad things that Kevin does. Like, I get that Kevin pooped his pants and that he may have put drano in his little sister’s eye…but that’s about all I know for sure. And Hulu doesn’t have audio description which is basically what would narrate the movie for blind people. I’d be interested to continue commenting here with you so that I can perhaps learn what I’m missing out on.
And that was as far as the discussion between us has gone.
In this same CF group, someone posted a thread about someone treating them like shit and then folks telling this person to keep the asshole in their life. Someone responded to this thread saying something like “that’s bullshit. You don’t have to take anyone’s shit.” The response I wrote to that comment reads:
This, so, so much this. Specifically the part you said about not forgetting or forgiving. That’s exactly how I am…and I wish more people saw that sort of thing as being OK, rather than interpreting it as us holding grudges against folks. Emotions are never constant, no matter what said emotions happen to be. It’s society that interprets anger or not being a dormat, incorrectly. I know I’m preaching to the choir here but I had to reply.
This person then replied to the original poster of this topic, saying something like “the people you’re calling your friends don’t sound like friends at all, since they are basically advocating that you allow someone to treat you like shit. So I responded to that comment saying:
Exactly!! There are plenty of other options for this woman to get what she needs, that are not her using someone who she otherwise doesn’t give a shit about. The same thing can be said for when people want to join this group who regret having kids or who want to learn about being CF. This group is not for that; but there are numerous other resources in the world that such people can turn to, in order to learn what they want to learn.
The person I’d been going back and forth with agreed with what I’d said.
In this same FB group, someone posted about the fact that their husband has a coworker who’s encouraging her husband to have kids. The response I wrote to that thread reads:
I don’t understand why people with kids are adamant that childfree people have kids. But I echo what someone else here said: tell the man with a kid to talk to your husband about kids when this dude’s kid is a teenager or in its terrible twos…
In this same FB group, someone created a thread where they offered their living space to CF people in need; this person was a man. And that’s relevant to this discussion because on this particular post, a woman commented saying that she doesn’t become friends with men because she’s married to a man and she doesn’t want other men hitting on her. And my response to what she’d written was something along the lines of “how narcissistic it is of you to assume that every man you may associate with, would want you sexually. And also, lady, have you not heard of gay women? Because I hate to break it to you…but women are perfectly capable of flirting with you/coming onto you. But perhaps you’d be OK with that” 😛
In this same FB group, someone posted a topic asking if folks were in open marriages. My response to that topic reads:
To the OP of this topic, thank you so much for posting this. As someone who’s polly-curious myself, I’m happy to see at least a few supportive folks on this thread. But that being said, also being a realist, I’m not sure if ethical non-monogamy would work for me. Because while I love time with great people, I love my alone time just as much. So maybe if anything, I’d be solo-polly. It’s complicated as fuck for me though because if the right person or people came along, I could definitely see myself living with long-term partner(s). But also, it’s hard enough for me to even find one partner, LOL.
In the FB group called Disability Wisdom Discussion Group, someone posted a topic asking how they as a disabled person could change someone else who’s disabled. The response I wrote to that thread reads:
The thing is, you can’t change your friend. You can, however, change the way you think of her/react to how she lives her life as a disabled person. That doesn’t mean that you agree with or even like how she lives, though.
In this same group, someone created a topic asking how people referred to theemselves using another human or a dog to guide them. What I wrote in response to this, with some expansion, reads:
I’ve honestly never heard of the term “human guide” until reading this post. Personally, I was taught to say “sighted guide.” But that being said, I do get and agree with just saying “guide” or “human guide.” The hierarchy of sight has honestly never made sense to me, even though I never felt comfortable saying that outright until I became an adult.
But before I go any further, I think it’s important for me to talk about what the term “hierarchy of sight” actually means. So there are people, both blind and sighted alike, who believe that a person having eyesight means that folks who are totally blind are lesser people. Put another way, the hierarchy of sight presumes that blind people are incompetent human beings. It is not true that being blind means that one’s life is of a lesser quality. It is not true that being totally blind is, or should be, a death sentence. But yet the hierarchy of sight model that I was taught at the Texas School for the Blind, drilled into me that limited though my eyesight was, I should cherish that eyesight to the fullest…because without it, I’d be nothing. And so for years, I believed that truth. I didn’t know any better, after all. But once I’d found out about the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) in 2006, that opened my world to new possibilities. And one of the new things that I started to get a taste of then, was that I met totally blind people who were in leadership/powerful positions. And while it took me years and years to actually decide to stand alongside the NFB as a Federation member, I’m glad I made that choice.
One of my FB friends posted about the fact that people randomly touch their hair/body without this person’s consent. Here’s my comment, with some expansion:
Because of my disabilities, people think they have the right to touch me whenever they want to, and believe me, they do just that. I’m kinda surprised that I haven’t slapped anyone’s hands away TBH. But using a stern voice and giving them a death look, I guess does the trick 🙂
But even so, it’s nerve-wracking to have to deal with this on a regular basis. And my rule of thumb, is to tell folks that if you wouldn’t touch an able-bodied sighted person’s body without their consent, the way you desperately want to touch mine without my consent, then don’t touch mine. Period!! Your intent does not matter; put another way, respecting my personal space/that my body is mine to decide what will and won’t happen to it, is always the answer. ALL OF THE TIME!!
On Twitter I recently wrote the following thread which reads:
So I didn’t write about this on Twitter as it was happening cuz IDK if folks here really care. However I’m writing about it now cuz if anyone shares these types of experiences, it may be helpful to know that you aren’t alone. So a week or so ago I was deathly ill; like, by the…time I went to the clinic I go to for most of my medical needs, the provider I saw literally told me I was dying, all cuz I’d run out of my medication which I couldn’t get a refill of until I saw a medical provider at this clinic. But the thing was, I didn’t even know that…I’d missed an appointment with my regular medical provider. Cuz the clinic doesn’t call patients to let them know about upcoming appointments which is usually fine cuz I receive text message alerts. But this particular time, I didn’t receive an alert of any kind. So when I…finally did see a provider, this provider literally told me that I might not have made it another day cuz the medication that I take is literally the difference between me being a functional human being&me not functioning at all. So I’m writing this thread for a couple of…reasons: 1, if people tell you that they have to take medication in order to function, don’t fucking shame them for that; don’t argue with them about *their* experiences/what they’re told by medical professionals on their team. 2, if you can’t say anything supportive to…them then keep your mouth shut. Period!! Cuz it’s already tough to live with several health issues for me as it is. I don’t need armchair doctors giving me more shit to deal with. 3, if you have any chronic health conditions, I want you to know that you aren’t alone. I know…that living in this truth can be isolating as fuck, which to be honest, is exactly what’s encouraged me to write this thread. I hope it helps someone. Please know that you are loved, folks; I don’t have to know you personally to feel that way. I’m here for you to reach out…any time you want or need to. Social media is powerful&so too, is love.
Yesterday morning someone brought me the one piece of mail that I had; no joke, it was literally one thing. But I’m writing about this one thing because it’s something that’s important to me, both online and offline: equal access. And what was it that I’d received in the mail, you ask? Something in Braille that was from the state I live in. And the reason that equal access is so important to me, is because my disabilities don’t mean that I’m incompetent. They are simply my lived reality; so when I get mail that’s in Braille, no matter who it’s from, I feel like I’m an equal citizen in this world. But when I don’t receive that equal access, I feel alienated. And that feeling is one that I don’t think anyone should ever have to experience. But yet so many of us do experience it, and on a regular basis, at that. It’s fucking ridiculous.
But what’s insane to me about this, is that when I lived in San Antonio Texas for over five years, the insurance company I had there never gave me documents in a format that I could read. And once I’d learned what my rights were, I fought and fought and fought for them to do so. But unfortunately for my sake, all they did was to fight me right back, constantly denying me information about my own fucking life. I was reasonably asking for something that was readily available to me. No one would have to go out of their way to allow me this equal access; these folks just didn’t want to give me that right. There was an organization called Disability Rights Texas that I had on my side for awhile…but the state of Texas just didn’t give a fuck about that either. If you don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, then I sugggest you educate yourself on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), along with specific state laws, as the laws may vary somewhat from one state to another. So needless to say, I’m glad that the state I live in now, gives me equal access to information, at least some of the time.
Awhile later that same day, one of my ASL one classmates came to help me do my homework. There were a few different assignments I had to complete, mostly requiring me to watch a DVD which was a bit frustrating. Because unfortunately, my MacBook Pro doesn’t have the ability to play CDs or DVDs. LOL. But I got through those assignments and then moved onto the most difficult assignment: having said classmate video me actually doing specific signs.
So I don’t remember if I’ve said this in my blog before, but the particular app my professor uses for students to upload their videos onto, is called Go React; I’m writing those two words separately so that people who use screen readers will know exactly what this app is called. But the way the app name is written, it’s all one word, so it’s written like thiss: GoReact.
And so, the initial problem I’d had getting GoReact, was that when I’d click the link using the Canvas app that would lead me directly to GoReact on the AppStore, the link was not clickable; at least, not from my screen reader’s viewpoint. Like, I’d go to the files on said app, then to the syllabus on said app and then I click the link that was supposed to take me directly to get GoReact. And so, I ended up having my classmate go through the steps for me to actually get it onto my phone. And then from there I created an account for myself, practiced signing what I could sign of the alphabet with my classmate and then had them film me signing the alphabet as best as I could. We also did have some technical hiccups along the way though, like the fact that the process to complete assignments using GoReact wasn’t straightforward, the way we might think it should be. And if I’m remembering things correctly, how my classmate finally got it to work, was by recording the video, uploading the video to GoReact and then the app showed our professor’s name/the particular ASL class we are taking.
This morning I had to go to school for a meeting with the OSD Director and the person who was going to be my aid. But first, I had to call the school to let them know that I’d be running a bit late. Because there was an area my driver had run into where road construction was blocking the path. And then it turned out that I’d forgotten to tell my driver that I’d need to go to the main college campus, not the campus that I’m going to for this semester. And so we ended up having to turn around which made me arrive at school much later than I would’ve liked to be. But that being said, everything in this meeting mostly went well. I’m still having a tough time convincing the OSD director to fully support me in taking this particular class…so we’ll see how things go in class tomorrow. I’m anticipating a total disaster.
That being said, I wrote the following FB post that reads:
It’s 2020 and people need to GTF outa my way!!! For 30 years of my life, I’ve been a fucking dormat when it came to allowing toxic people to hurt me; I’ve held my tongue all the time, even when I didn’t want to do so…because ‘women are supposed to be polite’. And I’m gonna fuck shit up now and say that, when it comes to my access needs, if having someone copy-sign for me, someone who knows no ASL, mind you, doesn’t meet my access needs, I’m going to get my access needs met another way. Now, I’ve used the words ‘my access needs’ a lot in this post. Y’all know why? Because ‘my access needs’ are just that, my access needs. Having an interpreter who’s fluent in American Sign Language, and likely who also has interacted with the Deaf-Blind community, is probably the best option for me. I’m going to try this OSD’s way tomorrow…but if my access needs aren’t met, then I’m gonna speak up and speak out. I hate that I’m having to deal with this…but I care about humanity and the progress of humanity…so I’ll be damned if I’m gonna allow myself to be stuck. I’m 32, I’m voting blue…and if you don’t support me in every way…well, that will not stay quiet. I’m believing and receiving, y’all…:-)
This afternoon I had an appointment with my Primary Care Provider (PCP). And during this appointment I asked for them to write a referral for me to see a grief counselor. Although, I’m not sure if the person I’m going to see will be the therapist I haven’t gone to in like, forever or not. So that will be interesting. I also told my PCP that I’d seen my neurosurgeon last month and that everything has been stable with my shunt since then. I made sure to tell them that I’m scheduled to see my neurosurgeon again in July, unless something in my life changes beforehand. And unfortunately, whenever I’d asked my provider if they’d received the paperwork that my caretaker had dropped off to the clinic last week, they said that they hadn’t seen anything about me on their desks at all. However I did get the name of my PCP’s assistant and was told by her specifically, that she’s the one who takes care of all of his paperwork. So hopefully sooner than later, this fiasco will end in a positive way AKA me getting my access needs met. Cause this has gone on for far too long already!!