Dear Eve Ensler,
I want to start off by saying thank you. I appreciate the time you took to reach out to me, because I know you’re incredibly busy. I know there are much more important people in this world than myself, so I appreciate you engaging in dialogue with me and my colleague Kelleigh…
Posting this again in light of Penny Arcade’s Dickwolves Debacle.
How you go about your Ally Education is as important as your ally actions once you learn. Here are a few basics.
1-Be aware that you are ignorant. This needs no further explanation.
2-Start with script. For this step, I encourage you to read everything. If you are an ally for racial equality,…
White kids are taught from childhood up that the worse thing you can be is a racist. But no one ever taught us what being “racist” meant. History books said that slavery was racist, but we don’t own slaves, so we never took credit for that. Teachers told us that Jim Crow…
Despite studies indicating that race and gender are two of the most easily identifiable qualities seen by people, color blindness and gender blindness inundate our everyday interactions. “There is only one race: the human race.” “When I look at you, I don’t see color.” “We are all Americans.” “Regardless of your gender or race, I believe the most qualified person should get the job.” Such statements and their orientation serve to deny the racial, gender, or sexual orientation reality and experiences of these groups. Sue (2010) has suggested that “the denial of differences is really a denial of power and privilege. The denial of power and privilege is really a denial of personal benefits that accrue to certain privileged groups by virtue
|—||Derald Wing Sue (via wretchedoftheearth)|
The violations started small. I was 12, fairly tall with brand new boobs. My mother wouldn’t let me buy “real bras” for a long time. It didn’t occur to me that was weird until boys in my class started advising me to “stop wearing sports bras” because I was looking a little “saggy.”
It was a…
Taken with Instagram
fly as fuck
Fat Unicorn does not need your validation. Fat Unicorn knows she is beautiful.
Unicorns are actually supposedly male. How’s that for an extra “fuck you gender roles I love being a pink pony and I love rainbows”?
Last night I got to talk with Lou Vaile about parenting, his son, Jack and how urgently they need a new wheel chair van in order to safely get to where they need to get to. They have a campaign up at Indiegogo- please check it out. They have raised $11,000 in 22 days but they need to raise more. You can help by reblogging, posting on your twitter feed, re-tweeting Indiegogo’s twitter feed and donating.
Here’s what Lou had to say-
Queerly: I think anyone who knows you, knows how committed you are to your son, Jack. Can you talk a little bit about how you view yourself as a parent?
Lou: Wow- I probably view myself as a parent- that’s a hard one I know that I feel incredibly blessed every day to be Jack’s Dad- I brought him home as my foster son when he was five weeks old and it took a couple of years to finalize his adoption and he’s 14 now and I still look at him every day and I can’t believe he’s mine, that I get to keep him. He’s the most amazing thing that’s every happened to me and I do my best, I try and be mindful and present with him as much as possible some days I do that well, some days not so well but mostly I see myself as just a lucky person that gets to introduce Jack and make sure that Jack gets known in the world.
Queerly: You do a great job at that- anyone who knows you knows who Jack is- which is pretty cool. Can you talk a little bit about Jack for those of us who don’t know him, or don’t know enough.
Lou: Yeah. The amazing thing about Jack that I didn’t know about is that basically the doctors expected him to die. The foster care folks were just looking for a nice place for him to be until he died and I didn’t catch on to that and basically I’m glad because I spent all my time just being so in love with him and showing him how amazing the world can be and I guess I did a good enough job because he decided to stay.
He has Spastic Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy, he’s fed through a g-tube, he was a preemie and had a bad birth and was brain damaged at birth and he had a really rough start and he still really has some rough times in his life, he has a lot of really scary illnesses, he’s had surgeries that had to do with his Cerebral Palsy, and through it all I’m just amazed at his strength of spirit, and his ability to smile and find humor even in the hardest roughest times and there’s so many things he can’t do according to the standards of able bodied people, but his heart is so big his spirit is so strong and he just blows me away with that.
Queerly: Good answer. What are some of the challenges that Jack faces day to day?
Lou: Well, he is non verbal, he’s not able to do any kind of self care so he is completely dependent on me for all of his physical needs and also dependent on me to be aware of what he may be feeling and thinking and to kind of be his voice in the world which is a huge responsibility for me and I’m never sure if I get it just right but anyone who has had the opportunity to spend time with Jack gets to know his sense of humor it’s kind of a little bit dark at times, he can have a really wicked sense of humor, he loves giving me a hard time, he loves to get to me, and he’ll crack up when I’m blustering at him. He’s definitely a typical teenager in that way, that’s for sure.
He’s had several illnesses like I said he has a seizure disorder which ended up with him being in a coma, several times because the only way to stop the seizures that he has is to create a drug induced coma because they won’t stop on their own. So that’s terrifying. He’s had two hip surgeries, he’s had surgeries on his left wrist and arm for the tight muscles and things that go with spasticity. We’re looking at spine surgery next which is very scary. Through it all you know, he loves being out in the world he loves shopping, he’s a great shopper I taught him well.
He loves to be out in nature. One of his favorite places here in the Bay Area is Muir Woods he loves being with the trees and outside, he feels really free and at peace mostly when he’s among the trees.
Queerly: What are some of the challenges for you as Jack’s parent and also how do you handle those challenges?
Lou: Well I think probably one of the things is that I really don’t spend that much time thinking about the challenges. (laughs) The best way to deal with the challenges is to not spend the time thinking about that you know? There’s times when I’m tired or scared because he’s sick or if we’re stuck in the hospital for any length of time I can get down, I’m a lot more aware of how hard things are but for the most part I’m just- I know this sounds kinda sappy but I really wouldn’t change a thing about our lives in regard to- I wouldn’t change a thing about my son is I guess what I want to say.
And the things that are hard are knowing I can’t provide him with every opportunity I can’t provide him every new cool little piece of equipment that’s out there that may support him and can’t provide school private school that would you know care for his needs but I counter that with knowing that even if I don’t do things perfectly I love him with all my heart and you know I just remember how to keep the focus on were going to get through this
Queerly: Can you talk about The Indiegogo fund-raising campaign and what it’s for?
Lou: Yeah. We have currently got a 17 year old Dodge Caravan that was adapted for a wheel chair. I got that a few years ago off a craigslist ad, I drove up to Oregon to get it. It was great for awhile but it’s so old the hydraulics that raise and lower the van don’t work so well, and the lift works just sporadically and sometimes I have to put it back together when it falls off it’s track I’m never sure if the doors are going to open and let us out of the van and there’s transmission fluid all over the driveway and I don’t feel like I can’t afford to take it in and have them take it apart to figure out what’s wrong with it. So there’s a constant worry that when we are in the van we may not get to where we need to go, we may get stranded on the side of the road somewhere.
There was a contest on line a couple of months ago where you win a new wheel chair van. We got into the contest late but I decided to go ahead and try and we did so well with face book support from all my wonderful friends that we actually came in, in the top ten percent of the votes and we were semi-finalists. We ended up not winning a new Van but I got so much interest and support and people said lets fund raise, and I decided to put up a fund-raising campaign at Indiegogo. So it’s been up for 22 days and so far we’ve raised almost $11,000 dollars.
Queerly: That’s fantastic.
Lou: In order for us to get a decent used van we need to raise $40,000 dollars. This is for one that has been adapted to hold Jack’s chair and accommodate the kind of chair he has. And we aren’t being greedy we are just going for something that’s less old than 17 years and that’s going to last awhile and get Jack to adulthood. We are super excited about all the support we got, mainly through Facebook. There have been a lot of other supporters, complete strangers that have donated money too and I’m so touched by that the fact that strangers would donate to us. You know it’s an amazing thing that people in our community would get behind our cause. But we’ve got a long way to go in a relatively short period of time so we’re really trying to do a push to get the word out and it may be a possibility that we can get a working van, in the next month!
Queerly: So how much time do you have?
Lou: I believe that it’s 37 days from now. I put up a 60 day campaign and we’ve got 37 left.
Queerly: Okay my next question was going to be what has the community response been like- it sounds like it’s been great. Do you have anything to add about the community?
Lou: I’ve just been so blown away by the support and other people picking up the cause and posting it on their Facebook walls and tweeting it, it’s been beautiful. Most of the people I know, in my community? Don’t have a ton of money. So even people who give ten dollars, I know that that was a sacrifice they made for me and Jack and it just means the world to me that people are willing to pitch in and sacrifice to help us out.
Queerly: That’s wonderful. So what would be the biggest difference- in getting- lets say best case scenario- a new van- what would be the biggest difference in your life and Jack’s life?
Lou: (laughs) I don’t know if you could hear that audible sigh.
Lou: That’s it- the relief, the not having to worry that I’m not going to be able to get him where he needs to go. On top of that, as you can see if you check out the Indiegogo site, he sees eleven different doctors, specialists, he also plays Challenger baseball which is meaningful to him and they meet in places all around the Bay Area, and then Jack most loves to be out in nature and if we had a van I could count on for road trips I could take him places like Yosemite, Mt. Shasta, places where he could actually be out in the world and see, especially with all the beauty that we have here in Northern California, I don’t feel comfortable, attempting that in the van we’ve got. In fact we are taking him to Monterrey Bay this weekend to go scuba diving and I’m renting a van, because I don’t trust ours, and renting a van for two days will cost us over $300.00. With a reliable van, he would be out in the world and I wouldn’t have to worry about not being able to get there safely.
Queerly: Queerly: So how can people help?
Lou: People can help by logging on to our Indiegogo site and donating and if they can’t donate they can spread the word, via facebook or by tweeting or emailing their friends. If anyone wants to help us out- I understand not everyone has money but you never know who you know that might. So if you could just put it out there (unclear word) wherever possible we can maybe do this.
Queerly: Alright so- donate if you can and spread the word.
Lou: Yes that’s what we need.
Queerly: My understanding is this campaign has been highlighted on Indiegogo and is there going to be something special happening tomorrow?Lou: Yes. On the fourth, they notified me that they are making us the campaign of the day on their twitter site. So I’m sure that goes out to lots of people and we’re really excited that maybe that’s going to generate some new interest.
Queerly : That’s awesome. Thanks so much for talking with me Lou and I’m so excited at this momentum that is happening. I am hoping to hear that Jack gets his new van soon.
As you can see- this is a special family. Warm, funny and with the kind of heart you don’t get to see much. They need your help too. Please re-post this, tweet it, Facebook it and visit the Indiegogo site and check out the news, a wonderful video of Jack and see how you can help him get a van so that he can safely go where he needs to and spend more time where he’s happiest, with the trees. This is an easy one- if you can donate- any amount will help them reach their goal and if you can’t donate, please spread the word, however you can.
They deserve this.
|—||bell hooks (via dead-dog-fred)|
|—||Lesley Kinzel (via curvesahead)|