Being Queer and on the Autism Spectrum

Planets of the solar system floating over the Golden Gate Bridge and a chain link fence. Caption over pink inverted triangle reads "Queer As In Homes For All"

by Jordan Davis

As you might already know, I write mostly about permanent supportive housing and how San Francisco’s government stands in the way of delivering effective services on time, under budget, and in a manner that works for everybody. I don’t like to talk much about my past, but since it’s Pride month, I’d like to share how being a neurodivergent, non-binary trans femme who began transitioning nine years ago has impacted me,

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When Self Reliance Leads to Solitude

by Jack Bragen

My support system includes a mental health agency and my family, yet mostly I am in charge of meeting my essential needs. I’m proud of this independence—but at the same time, I find it frightening and lonely. .

My level of independence is unusual for mental health consumers with a serious condition, as people who have disabilities like mine are not known for doing what I do.

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Facing Employment Barriers with a Disability

by Jack Bragen

Most people in the U.S. in their 20s don’t need to think about the harsh realities of life. Their parents are probably still living, and from what I’ve seen, most, are willing to support them as they make their way through the last transitional stage into adulthood. Most people in their twenties expect good health and have their needs met—and this means that usually, desires and dreams are in the driver’s seat. 

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Judgment Calls: Making Decisions When You Have a Mental Health Condition 

by Jack Bragen

There are many reasons people lose their housing. Much of the time it is not caused by anything the tenant is doing wrong. The landlord may believe they can get more rent money from someone else. They may want to sell their property or refurbish the building. They may have a personal dislike for the tenant not based on anything the tenant does wrong: People can be fickle. 

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Homelessness Should Not Be Normalized for Neurodivergent People

by Jack Bragen

The media has taught Americans to associate “mentally ill” with “homeless,” and vice-versa. Politicians and authorities have brainwashed Americans to believe homelessness is caused by untreated mental disorders or a drug addiction. This is a sadly mistaken way of thinking, and it is promoted so that society can continue subjugating and otherwise mistreating those who are different. 

But it is a half-truth. Some people are homeless and have a mental condition or drug addiction,

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A Futile Attempt to Make Money Foiled by Social Services

by Jack Bragen

The social services systems in California punish success and punish efforts at raising one’s standard of living and personal security—at least, that’s how it seems in my case. Even if your earnings are literally tiny, Social Security, the IRS, county food assistance and Medicaid all insist they need to know, and insist they all get their share.

As hard as I work at my two to three little-paid writing gigs,

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We’re Not Mentally Ill People Anymore—Now We’re “The Crazies”

by Jack Bragen

We live in challenging times. Those who have power over others are waging a detestable war against the innocent, against those who merely want to make things better for themselves and their families, and those who make sacrifices to help others. 

But those who have power over others cannot win—it is physically impossible. They could destroy all life and everything else, but they can not ultimately maintain a malicious dominance over the innocent. 

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CARE Court in California: A Primer

Defund Police. Invest in Community. House. Feed. Empathy. Listen. Teach.

by Gloria A Lightheart

In September 2022, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 1338, creating a mental health court. The Community Assistance Recovery & Empowerment (CARE) court program empowers judges to compel people with mental health disabilities or substance abuse issues to accept psychiatric treatment and medication. The legislature approved the bill on a near-unanimous vote.

In the new system, a court-appointed conservator would make financial and health care decisions,

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Neurodivergent People and the Abuse of Language

Woman raising fist, wearing a green kerchief and shirt reading "None of us is free until all of us are free"

by Jack Bragen

To quote a highly educated, knowledgeable, authoritative religious man whom I know (I can’t give you his name, but he exists), “Words are weapons!” He’d said this to me in an outraged, loud, almost yelling, tone. He was unhappy with something I wrote. I had asserted that words didn’t count for much. That was more than twenty years ago, and now I know better.

Words can be weapons.

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It’s Not Your Imagination. Working is Tough.

by Jack Bragen

Many people don’t find it difficult to work a job, and as a result they may lack empathy for those of us who find it highly challenging.  They just can’t relate to the challenge of working with a disabling condition. Therefore, they might believe something is wrong with the person who finds work to be difficult. Or they might believe a person who has a problem with it is lazy or that they intend to mess things up. 

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