Discussion → Gay or Mental

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    Ann Bogle
    Aug 07, 11:36pm

    My comments are hid in yards like acorns and so far my memory is guiding their retrieval. These are in reply to LS's '96 manifesto posted at F'naut last week. LS may later add her manifesto to this group.

    LS, my heritage story called Twedes tho appreciated by several writer/readers here at F'naut, (I do not desire to prove this): influenced a thread elsewhere about whites (as whites prefer to be called) apostrophe "s" scalping Native Americans.

    I feel up to my English earlobes, female earlobes coveted by the French, who paid good money to the Natives for their removal and delivery, I read at that thread, source not cited.

    Some people do not adjust to what they are required to adjust to as well as others: "mental illness."

    A pattern in one support group for bipolar: lawyers raised on farms, as one example. Protestant but not religious and not interested in religion as a subject or aspect of diagnosis.

    Mental illness redefines right and wrong in secular society.

    At d'x, HR told me $1 million lifetime max Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas. Since the Cobra policy expired in '95, government paid. Medicare is all right. Retirement at 32 by anonymous consensus was harder. Medicaid a form of welfare: total stigma, worse than d'x. Professors on gov't payroll 6-figure income for 32-week, 6-hour-week year. They stigmatize.

    LS, you mention "passing" as corollary to hue. Gays also refer to passing. A wealthy poet, for example, might wish to pass as not wealthy, to hide his class, since recognition may be withheld in poetry or altered by his status (class). In disability there is also passing. I served on a panel at AWP called Beauty is a Verb, and the organizer birthed the idea there for an anthology of disability poetics by that name and asked my participation, but later, she and her co-editor (also on the AWP panel in Denver) decided without updating me to exclude mental disabilities in poetry from the anthology. Beauty as a personal physical subjective attribute or trait is a subtext of their inquiry, physical disability as it affects physical appearance as condition in writing poetry.

    Ron Silliman wrote an excellent review of Beauty is a Verb at Silliman's Blog. In it, he critiques the missing poetry/poetics of the mentally disabled. In my email to him, I wrote that anxiety, for example, affects appearance, including beauty, and he agreed. Jennifer Bartlett noted that Beauty is a Verb had drawn less controversy than Rita Dove's Penguin anthology of poetry and asked at Poetics Listserv about it.

    Graduate writers at my school, where my long writing led to symptoms and diagnosis, (____ ____) claimed that someone not living married or with a heterosexual lover was gay or mental, and gay was obviously better, but Ann didn't want to be gay so now she is a mental. As if there was a timer in the sky, and figure skating judges could see it though she couldn't, and they didn't tell her, give her the deal: settle on deadline as gay or get married. Credit for talent where it's due? Discredited by a few poor rough drafts I turned in, to the point that ____ ____ may have spread that my best stories had a different writer. Genius in women is not accepted, so what point in invoking it? Even to be classed among intellectuals is not a given. Just a mental is the designation in the culture.

    Oksana Baiul wins it wobbly. Nancy Kerrigan. Tonya Harding. Remember the woman who landed the back flip and finished fifth.

    It's social engineering. Top talent in art and writing is athletic by new definition. Discouraged directions: memoir, confessional poetry, metafiction. "Key of James" is my Bible poem, and it's on the net. Many are teachers, and there is a quorum that teachers in English are better writers than non-teachers except a few.

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    Ann Bogle
    Aug 10, 06:15pm

    The Wikipedia entry "Homosexuality and psychology" lists the APA declassification of homosexuality as a mental illness in 1973:


    I had long believed that the AMA declassified homosexuality as an illness in the 1950s, yet no source for that information seems readily available via Google. Psychiatry recognizes certain adjustment disorders related to homosexuality.

    It was in the 1950s that psychotherapy itself became medicalized.

    Coalitions formed GLBT.

    Coalitions between D'x'd and other groups, even within disability, have seemed so far unlikely in my experience. There is Mad Pride. Mad Pride seems to reject psychiatry or at least to demand its voluntary participation.

    D'x'd people tend to speak through clinically or legally trained advocates.

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    Ann Bogle
    Aug 14, 04:12am

    CLOSET is to gay (2012) as STIGMA is to mental? Say nothing, they would like you to do, especially if you "pass" or "present well." Then there is no reason to shun you.

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    Ann Bogle
    Aug 15, 09:11pm

    [Excerpt from email I wrote today] [Self-quoting]: "It's still the case that seeking medical advise for mental health related symptoms can be used against one [within one's communities], as has happened in the Hollywood crowd in the press. The actress Anne Heche (I saw her in Wag the Dog) was the lesbian lover of Ellen DeGeneres and they were featured as a couple in a big spread in Vanity Fair that I saw. Later, Heche and DeGeneres broke up, and the next thing I see on Heche in the rags is that Heche had a history of seeking psychiatric treatment. I felt it was an attempt to discredit Heche for leaving DeGeneres and 'going back to men' after she had married a man and started a family."

    Choice is a debated term in GLBT. Choice may be a debated term in ____ (other group).

    GLBT. We hear less from the B of GLBT than from the others. I had proposed to a woman G, a poet who was organizing a protest at Facebook of Facebook's censoring a photo of three women (clothed) sandwich dancing, Go Gay or Not, the name of the protest group organized for that purpose, inclusive, not for GLBT alone, that "we" add an O for Otter. GLBT would look good with an O, I thought. I thought, appropriate the word otter, as gay appropriated the word gay, to designate the d'x'd population. It might even apply to old-fashioned bachelors or spinsters or old maids. A spinster has an illness, I guess, and it is hoped that she will attend SA and CoSA. GLBTD, GLBTO, GLBTM, GLBTP. I didn't hear back from her on that email, but I heard from her about poetry-related things.

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    Ann Bogle
    Aug 15, 10:40pm

    My apology to Q. GLBTQ. I only know one Q. I could approach her about forming a coalition with O. QUO. Ablative of qui, which.

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