Sunday, May 03, 2009

GLBT(Q) plus O

Today is my 47th birthday. I woke thinking of my 50th birthday. I have three years in which to do something before I turn fifty -- to do something -- but what? Today my mother, sister, and I are going to Como Park Zoo and for dinner at W.A. Frost in St. Paul. There's a flower show in the conservatory at Como Park, the "old zoo." It is a little early in the season for the other zoo, the "new zoo," in Apple Valley. As I described it to my friend, the "new zoo" is "a safari zoo," where the large game animals roam wide swaths of wooded and prairie lands. Visitors do not always glimpse the elephants, lions, and wolves from the tram or from the walking paths. He thought I said: the "old zoo and the Sephardic zoo."

. . .

Rights for mentals, rights for queers. If LGBT(Q), if GLBT. But GLBT(Q) needs a vowel, not another consonant. M for mentals (and medicated); D for diagnosed (dx'd); P for psychiatric case. What if the diagnosed were to call themselves something starting with a vowel: "A" "E" "I" "O" "U" or "Y" but what?

A friend's mother -- (she has or had "multiple personality disorder" renamed "dissociative identity disorder," MPD renamed DID) -- doubted the accuracy of my bipolar diagnosis during our week-long visit up north. One of her three sons had been diagnosed with bipolar, but he'd been too busy with life to seek treatment (tx) for it. "My son is Hemingway, Ann," she said. "The other son is a trained assassin, Ann," she said. "You were an overachiever," she said. "I was never sexually attracted to women," she said.

Bring "O" to the table, the imaginary table where diagnosed p-cases meet collectively, the discos that they frequent in their exclusive sexual attraction to one another: What if mentals were to agree to be called "Other" or "Over" or "Out"? Over it. Overboard. Overcooked. Overdue. Overly dramatic. Over the hill. Over the top. Over and out. Over the limit. Over easy. Overdosed. Overlooked. Over estimated. Out of bounds. Outnumbered. Out of it. "Orange," "Odd," "Old," or "Open"? Open minded. Old before their time. Orange has no exact rhyme.

Just as the words "gay" and "queer" were appropriated -- taken aside for everyday use, outmoded in their other connotations -- Gaelic and happy and odd -- and the word "crack" transmigrated, though most people seem hardly to notice it -- a word for mentals would take a common word or phrase out of ordinary use. What "O" word would do it? The "o" could be the "o" in psycho or wacko. "O" for a pride word: Orange. Take back the fruits! Off our backs!

Then GLBT might accept the diagnosed as the "O" in their herd. (It would look almost like an anagram of my name.) Or keep things as they are and borrow the "T" for "touched" and "nut."

During the Holocaust, the mentally ill who were institutionalized, sterilized, and "euthanized" didn't wear triangles or badges. The code name for the Nazi Euthanasia Program was T-4.

What is the word for internalized psychophobia? Or for people who are psychophobic?

There are those who feel that mentals ought to be "put away" and not allowed to have sex or do other things queers (at last) and normals are (theoretically) allowed to do. For that, we would have a custom. We need a Mario Cuomo for it. Would Obama do it? QUO.

1 comment:

Robin said...

Happy Birthday, Ann.