In case you’ve been in a beautiful fantasy world for the past few years, I have a sad truth to report: the world is, just, full of allistic people. Not only that, but despite their comically overstated deficiencies at staying organized, attaining intense mastery of niche topics, and being at all bearable to be around, they control almost everything. Learning how to deal with their bizarre needs is a necessary life skill for the rest of us, and I came to learn what I have about how they operate from a still more noisome source: narcissistic, emotionally abusive parents.
I wrote in my review of Kim Fu’s “For Today I Am a Boy” that one of the most emotionally resonant incidents in its protagonist’s life is when she, upon encountering her first transmasculine person, experiences a fit of inchoate, perverse jealousy: “Give me your girlhood, John, I thought nonsensically. You don’t want it? Give it to me. I want to be the woman you would have been.”
I claimed in that review that this feeling is common among transfeminine people. The truth is, I have no idea if indeed this sentiment appears in many of us. What I do know is, it has long gripped me.
There’s a very odd thing that sometimes happens in conversations. Some people think certain conversations shouldn’t take place at all, and resort to a variety of circumlocutions and thought-terminating clichés to try to shut it down. Perhaps the oddest of this is invoking the fictional “right to an opinion.”
A fairly subtle deception lies at the heart of this refrain, which merits teasing apart.
One of the best things about becoming a blogger has been meeting amazing people who have rapidly become my family. We’re all united by similar struggles – poverty, disability, abusive pasts or histories, – and some struggles unique to specific individuals – racism, parenting. We try and help each other out as much as we can: with information, ideas, fundraising when applicable, and occasionally, like with other family members, by showing up and lending a hand when things get tough.
I have one such friend in the New York area. This person is really an inspiration to me. With everything she’s been through she has done a magnificent job raising her daughter to be a confident kid who loves the things about herself that the world tells her she should hate: her skin colour, her Neurodivergence, her gender. This friend has been here for me and Alyssa when times were hard: staying up late with me when I was struggling with crohn’s and couldn’t sleep. Being there for Alyssa as a representative of the same heritage when it seemed like her own family might reject her.
We’ve been there for each other when discussing disability, and we’ve shared tips on working with difficult doctors. But like with most of us struggling with disability, things have gotten a little more complicated lately. Doctors are ignoring a serious symptom, and trying to get them to pay attention to it is exhausting. To add injury to injury, a misstep on the train has left my friend with an injured leg that slows her down.
Those familiar with New York know that if the things you need to do are spread across the city, getting anything done can take several hours. Add an injury and a young child, and it gets a whole lot worse.
New York is fairly close to where I live. Close enough to drive to in one day. Those who have been following our story though, also know that Alyssa and I are currently in a marginally more difficult situation. Since her graduation, Alyssa is no longer getting paid. She’s been diligently looking for a job: everything from the work she is qualified for –scientist for the federal government, assistant professor, teaching work, positions at universities, labs, anything – to part time work to help pay the bills at stores, pet shops, groceries, admin assistant, anything and everyone who might hire her.
In the midst of all this, we are also working on figuring out exactly what needs to be done to allow her to change her name and information, while fighting the clock on her immigration application this summer.
Have we mentioned it has been a busy summer?
I have the time and the inclination to go to New York. Not for long, just long enough to help out for a week or so. Help take care of my friend and her daughter, chauffer them around for a little bit so they can run their errands without having to spend multiple hours in the baking sun, make some ready meals for them so that she doesn’t have to worry about getting dinner ready in the middle of her exhaustion, and maybe, just maybe, knock a few doctor’s skulls around to help get them to take things seriously.
I have a place to stay, and my hope was to be able to take advantage of my Costco membership to get groceries for her that I could also live on while I was there! I’m asking for help with gas and cost of food and potential incidentals (parking?). Any donation would be greatly appreciated. I will also do what I can to promote Young, Sick, and Invisible while there, and maybe just maybe take advantage of the post office to finish sending out the books for the IndieGoGo (between the money needed for shipping and the [totally justified] post office strike it’s been rough getting all the packages sent).
Please help if you can and are willing. If you want to help, but can’t donate, please share this fundraiser and post in the hopes that someone else might be able to.
Thank you everyone.
I’ve been on several Caribbean cruises. I’m also terrified of next month’s automatic bill payments. The juxtaposition of those two facts, both as true as they are incongruous next to one another, is something I’ve had to learn to understand, live with, and acknowledge as part of myself.