Sep. 19th, 2016

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The day had dragged on, my interminable task lasting until I needed to head in the direction of my evening plans. There'd be no trip to the coffee shop in the offing.

I considered as we left the merits of driving: I could offer friends who might have a more difficult time getting home late a ride, but I'd have to park: annoying, costly or both. We took the subway.

The line for the concert venue was long, but moved shortly after we arrived. Among my party were folks who identified as neither man nor woman; neuroatypical folks; and one person who was using a cane and carrying water.

Bag checks, for me, are easy. I once visited the same venue 6 nights out of 7. But I was an irregularity in this group.

While my purse was quickly vetted, several of the others hit snags. A purse with too many straps. A phone larger than some arbitrary size. A water bottle that was full. A medication bottle with several prescriptions commingled. "Can't you leave these in the car?"

I waited to make sure everyone would get in. The staff got increasingly agitated as they had to deal with the issues, all the while pressing harder to get me to walk away.

It wasn't until one of my party, harried past the point of coping, collapsed that the staff stopped worrying about me and began to figure out ways to stop being obstructive. I accompanied two friends up on the elevator and then got their tickets collected, and we tried to all calm down so we could enjoy the show.

We live in a world constructed around the needs of an idealized person. The core audience this night generally misses that theoretical ideal on several axes.

I can't fix it, at least not this today. But we will only stop seeing the denigration of friends, loved ones, and ourselves when we start calling attention to these issues, taking them seriously, and addressing them. And so here I am at step one. I hope you are with me.

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dariaphoebe

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