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    Community Voices

    #Gratitude , Forgiveness, Turning Points & Transphobes

    📺 - #Gratitude , Forgiveness, Turning Points & Transphobes - #DwhellOnIt Ep. 60 - tinyurl.com/yckytkh7

    🗣 - "Hooray you! Hooray, cisnormative communities, cisnormative environments, cisnormative businesses, and cisnormative lawmakers, hooray that after millennia of #gender -diverse individuals existing in the world, you finally are starting to create a space where they do not get attacked as much."

    ❓ - What's #DwhellOnIt ?

    👀 - Dwhell On It is a series where I answer your questions about my lived #experience as a #trans woman!

    📺 - A new episode gets uploaded every week! - tinyurl.com/nzbr8k27

    ‼️ - Get engaged!

    ➕ - Subscribe for more episodes & similar #Content - https://tinyurl.com/mupvwkcy

    ✉️ - #Comment w/ thoughts & questions!

    👍🏻 - Please #like & #Share !

    🔖 - Bookmarks!

    * What are the most significant turning points of a #trans person's life?

    * How do you be #grateful for anything when all we face are hate and abuse and transphobia by everyone?

    * What is something that you would never forgive?

    * What are your religious and political views?

    * What is the most challenging thing to understand about transphobes?

    🔗 - Links!

    * When does your transition end? - https://tinyurl.com/bdcp9w6e

    * "You mention you don't regret the time lost. How do you do that? I'm starting HRT at 39, but I've been questioning my #gender for 15-20 years, and I'm constantly thinking about what would have happened if I'd figured it #Out or been braver early on." - https://tinyurl.com/2zcxas8y

    * Let's Talk About #Sports Emm Bee! - https://tinyurl.com/44xn76r2

    * How Presentation Affects Representation - https://tinyurl.com/6cyw8k39

    * #Transgender Awareness Week - "Progress takes time, but it should not end with us going back in time." - https://tinyurl.com/mvujbsup

    👀 - Create #change !

    📣 - End anti-2SLGBTQIA+ abuse! - tinyurl.com/2p98f8hc

    📣 - You can #help ! Everything inspiring HireWheller stays ongoing - biased systems, ignorant platforms, violent abusers & isolated victims.

    📣 - Grassroots #power comes from its #people ! Get involved or refer others you know to challenge systemic violence & oppression!

    💻 - Connect!

    @HireWheller: A grassroots group to #help the 2SLGBTQIA+ #Community overcome often-minimized struggles.

    #Instagram : tinyurl.com/5n6dm696

    #Facebook : tinyurl.com/6pww46b8

    #Twitter : tinyurl.com/26sbj4zb

    👱🏼‍♀️ - Look me up!

    @TaylorLakhryst: #Transgender woman, advocate, INFJ, ♊️, she/her/hers 🏳️‍⚧️

    Linktree: linktr.ee/TaylorLakhryst

    📒 - Alt information

    * Text: Dwhell on it w/ Taylor Lakhryst Ep. 60 - Gratitude, Forgiveness, Turning Points & Transphobes - HIREWHELLER

    * Description: A blonde woman wearing a grey long-sleeved shirt is smiling & sitting on a black chair in front of a beige wall. There is turquoise text with a grey & black accent.

    * Captions: Automated

    #LGBTQ #LGBT #Pride #equality

    Community Voices

    How Presentation Affects Representation - #DwhellOnIt Ep. 56

    📺 - tinyurl.com/6cyw8k39

    🗣 - "Taylor Lakhryst was an undecided voter who participated in a #CBC program called Face to Face during last year's federal election campaign. While being on the show gave her a chance to ask questions of a party leader, she felt CBC's production choices spoiled the experience by making her appear inept and powerless."

    ❓ - What's #DwhellOnIt ?

    👀 - Dwhell On It is a series where I answer your questions about my lived experience as a #trans woman!

    📺 - A new episode gets uploaded every week! - https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLr2CrTrMJaIzM7ETpDxpMcGHhJ1TPxPq4

    ‼️ - Get engaged!

    ➕ - Subscribe for more episodes & similar #Content ! - www.youtube.com/TaylorLakhryst

    ✉️ - #Comment w/ thoughts & questions!

    👍🏻 - Please like & #Share !

    🔖 - Bookmarks!

    "While you expressed #Gratitude for the #Opportunity to provide visibility on the subject of abuse toward the 2SLBGTQIA+ #Community , you felt that #CBC made choices which diluted your appearance. It left you feeling, if not misrepresented, then underrepresented."

    It feels as if #CBC chose to represent me as what I interpret as inept, powerless, and stuck with candy-coated concerns because who I am isn't palatable enough for Canadians who can't cope that #people such as myself strive to inspire and create #change .

    #social platforms highlighted my segment as being of the utmost importance on an issue that had not been placed front and centre in the campaign until my appearance.

    I continued to focus much of my argument on the treatment of my introductory video. I emphasized how problematic it was that this video highlighted "my love for #Sports and karaoke" while omitting more substantive #Comments about the importance of placing responsibility for bigotry and hate-based abuse on the abusers rather than the victims.

    "I'm an undecided voter because" and "Let's be #leaders …" were extracted from two completely different sections of what I provided. #CBC created that line and not me, and I'm not sure if that is conducive to "accuracy."

    "You stated that you followed all the directives given to you in advance by producers, yet you were the only one of the four participants given less than 40 seconds of airtime."

    "You also reiterated that #CBC exercised poor judgment when it failed to include your exchange about pronouns with #ErinOToole .”

    #CBC watered me down and presented me with the safest, most palatable and most comfortable image they could build based on the information I provided.

    "Your complaint is, first and foremost, a reminder that the stories journalists tell are not really "theirs." They are the stories of real #people with real lives, ambitions, and concerns."

    Journalistic Standards and Practices covers much ground regarding ethical #Journalism but doesn't cover specific circumstances.

    "There is more debate to be had about editing your introductory video … it's clear that those producers took two risks with your video."

    "On your frustration that the #question you asked on the show was "negotiated," … I worried it meant that programmers were forcing you to ask the questions that they wanted."

    🔗 - Links!

    How Presentation Affects Representation - tinyurl.com/yc26c89x

    Your Friends Appreciate a Random Check-In Call or Text More Than You Realize - tinyurl.com/3hbad7au

    What four undecided voters asked #ErinOToole | Face to Face 2021 - tinyurl.com/2p8ntybn

    #Media and #Journalism are transphobic. I was on #CBC News: The National Face to Face - tinyurl.com/5yfc9a65

    #Canada Voted In Favour of Policing Women's Bodies! - tinyurl.com/56b67cr9

    Is there anything that #people expect you to be good at but are very bad at? - tinyurl.com/br4j293z

    #CBC News: The National | #ErinOToole , Alberta's deadly COVID-19 surge, TIFF returns - tinyurl.com/4mvaemvy

    👀 - Create #change !  

    📣 - End anti-2SLGBTQIA+ abuse! - act.newmode.net/action/hirewheller/csr

    📣 - You can #help ! Everything inspiring HireWheller stays ongoing - biased systems, ignorant platforms, violent abusers & isolated victims.

    📣 - Grassroots #power comes from its #people ! Get involved or refer others you know to challenge systemic violence & oppression!

    💻 - Connect!

    @HireWheller: A grassroots group to #help the 2SLGBTQIA+ #Community overcome often-minimized struggles.

    Instagram: https://instagram.com/hirewheller

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HireWheller-103322085282334

    #Twitter : https://twitter.com/HireWheller?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

    👱🏼‍♀️ - Look me up!

    TaylorLakhryst: #Transgender woman, advocate, INFJ, ♊️, she/her/hers 🏳️‍⚧️

    Linktree: linktr.ee/TaylorLakhryst

    📒 - Alt information

    * Text: Dwhell on it w/ Taylor Lakhryst Ep. 56 - How Presentation Affects Representation - HIREWHELLER

    * Description: A blonde woman wearing a black sweater is smiling & sitting in front of a beige wall. There is white text with a yellow & purple accent.

    * Captions: Automated

    #Gratitude #Opportunity #social #Sports #Comments #leaders #canadian #gender #grateful #interview #manitoba #News #Out #Respect #Safety #Success #winnipeg #Youtube #active #Activism #Anxiety #athlete #Business #causes #Charity #donate #Energy #equality #Fundraising #Lesbian #LGBT #LGBTQ #Kindness #marketing #Media #nonbinary #philanthropy #Pride

    Community Voices

    Special Olympics Pusch Pikes Swim Team at Oro Valley Aquatic Center

    <p>Special Olympics Pusch Pikes Swim Team at Oro Valley Aquatic Center</p>
    Community Voices

    Bigotry And The Bystander Effect

    🗣 - “Someone who has made up their mind will not change their mind. So, stop trying to worry about the fee-fees of someone who’s a terrible human being.”

    📺 - www.youtube.com/watch

    ‼️ - Get engaged!

    ➕ - Subscribe for more episodes & similar #Content - www.youtube.com/TaylorLakhryst

    ✉️ - #Comment with your thoughts or questions you'd like answered!

    👍🏻 - Please #like & #Share this to help get heard!

    ❓ - What's #DwhellOnIt

    👀 - Dwhell On It is a series where I answer your #questions about my lived #experience as a #trans woman!

    📺 - A new episode gets uploaded every week! - youtube.com/playlist

    🔖 - Bookmarks!

    05:20 - Let's talk inclusion!

    17:50 - Let's talk TERFs!

    39:15 - Let's talk about being exclusionary!

    51:08 - Let's talk about suppression!

    53:03 - End anti-2SLGBTQIA+ abuse! - act.newmode.net/action/hirewheller/csr

    🔗 - Links mentioned!

    03:21 - #Letters4TransKids - "You Know Who You Are!" - www.youtube.com/watch

    10:00 - Accomplishments, #Gratitude And More! - www.youtube.com/watch

    30:30 - Workouts: Worth the effort. Bigots: Nope. - www.youtube.com/watch

    40:55 - City Council Approves To Prefer #Kindness - www.youtube.com/watch

    44:10 - Travelling, Being Left-Handed & More! - www.youtube.com/watch

    💰 - Donate now! Help these fundraisers hit $1411!

    ❗️ - Support #RunForWomen & women's #MentalHealth programs! - run.convio.net/site/TR/Events/General

    ❗️ - Support #walk4md & individuals who live with neuromuscular disorders! - muscle.akaraisin.com/ui/walk4md22/p/TaylorLakhryst

    👀 - Get involved! You can create #change

    📣 - You can help! Everything inspiring HireWheller stays ongoing - biased systems, ignorant platforms, violent abusers, and isolated victims.

    📣 - Grassroots #power comes from its #people Please #help by getting involved or referring people you know to create change against systemic bigotry & oppression. Thanks! 💜

    💻 - Get connected!

    #hirewheller A #grassroots group aiming to help the #2slgbtqia #Community overcome often-minimized struggles.

    #Instagram instagram.com/hirewheller

    #Twitter twitter.com/HireWheller

    #Facebook www.facebook.com/HireWheller-103322085282334

    👱🏼‍♀️ - Look me up!

    #taylorlakhryst Trans woman, advocate, INFJ, ♊️, she/her/hers 🏳️‍⚧️

    #linktree linktr.ee/TaylorLakhryst

    📒 - Alt information

    * Text: Dwhell on it with Taylor Lakhryst - Bigotry And The Bystander Effect - Episode Forty-Seven - HIREWHELLER

    * Description: A blonde woman wearing a purple sweater is smiling and sitting in front of a beige wall. There is black, grey, and white text on a turquoise background.

    * Captions: Automated

    #Activism #AskMe #Business #Canada #Career #causes #changemakers #Charity #cityofwinnipeg #Comments #contentcreator #creator #Diversity #diversityandinclusion #dogood #donate #Employment #Energy #Equity #ethics #eventplanning #Events #Fundraising #gender #government #grateful #humanities #humanrights #Inclusion #inequality #leaders #LGBT #LGBTQ #linkinbio #Love #manitoba #Manitobans #mbpoli #MentalHealth #Motivation #Network #opportunities #Opportunity #Organizing #partnerships #philanthropy #policies #policy #Pride #ProtectTransKids #ProtectTransYouth #quality #question #Respect #Safety #socialgood #SocialMedia #Sports #Success #training #Transgender #Transphobia #transphobic #Travel #Video #winnipeg #Work #wpgpoli #Youtube

    Community Voices

    City Council Approves To Prefer #Kindness

    🗣 - "Good for you, everybody, all you elected officials. Trying so hard to make an eight or nine, or whatever dumb page amount, document to say, "Hey, be nice to someone else." But we're not going to define what "nice" is, so then we don't get in trouble for it."

    www.youtube.com/watch

    ‼️ - Get engaged!

    ➕ - Subscribe for more episodes & similar #Content - www.youtube.com/TaylorLakhryst

    ✉️ - #Comment with your thoughts or questions you'd like answered!

    👍🏻 - Please #like & #Share this to help get heard!

    ❓ - What's #DwhellOnIt

    👀 - Dwhell On It is a series where I answer your #questions about my lived #experience as a #trans woman!

    📺 - A new episode gets uploaded every week! - youtube.com/playlist

    🔖 - Bookmarks!

    03:37 - Fascinating video! I like that you said you had to accept yourself. You didn't say anything about workouts worth the effort yet. Can you do a video when you talk about your workouts to help a girl out? Thanks.

    10:57 - I've been on HRT for almost a week, and my chest is growing, but there's some shrinking I'm not comfortable with. In your experience, does the D shrink or the B's? I got told that it would be the testes, but it's not the case for me, so how is it for you?

    18:36 - Are there other cities that you know of that have policies better than what got presented?

    21:27 - Does the "Corporate Advertising Policy" count as a tangible measure?

    23:28 - End anti-2SLGBTQIA+ abuse! - act.newmode.net/action/hirewheller/csr

    🔗 - Links mentioned!

    02:20 - #Letters4TransKids - "You Know Who You Are!" - www.youtube.com/watch

    03:30 - Workouts: Worth the effort. Bigots: Nope. - www.youtube.com/watch

    03:50 - Doesn’t working out make transitioning worse? - www.youtube.com/watch

    22:55 - **Placeholder for Council segment** - clkapps.winnipeg.ca/DMIS/permalink.asp

    💰 - Donate now! Help these fundraisers hit $1411!

    ❗️ - Support #RunForWomen & women's #MentalHealth programs! - run.convio.net/site/TR/Events/General

    ❗️ - Support #walk4md & individuals who live with neuromuscular disorders! - muscle.akaraisin.com/ui/walk4md22/p/TaylorLakhryst

    👀 - Get involved! You can create #change

    📣 - You can help! Everything inspiring HireWheller stays ongoing - biased systems, ignorant platforms, violent abusers, and isolated victims.

    📣 - Grassroots #power comes from its #people Please #help by getting involved or referring people you know to create change against systemic bigotry & oppression. Thanks! 💜

    💻 - Get connected!

    #hirewheller A #grassroots group aiming to help the #2slgbtqia #Community overcome often-minimized struggles.

    #Instagram instagram.com/hirewheller

    #Twitter twitter.com/HireWheller

    #Facebook www.facebook.com/HireWheller-103322085282334

    👱🏼‍♀️ - Look me up!

    #taylorlakhryst Trans woman, advocate, INFJ, ♊️, she/her/hers 🏳️‍⚧️

    #linktree linktr.ee/TaylorLakhryst

    📒 - Alt information

    * Text: Dwhell on it with Taylor Lakhryst - City Council Approves To Prefer Kindness! - Episode Forty-Six - HIREWHELLER

    * Description: A blonde woman wearing a white and blue shirt is smiling and sitting in front of a wall. There is white and light pink text on a red background.

    * Captions: Automated

    #Activism #Canada #Diversity #ethics #Equity #government #humanities #Inclusion #LGBT #LGBTQ #manitoba #Motivation #Organizing #policy #question #Transgender #winnipeg #Love #2slgbtqia #AskMe #causes #change #changemakers #Charity #Comment #Comments #Community #Content #contentcreator #creator #dogood #donate #Employment #eventplanning #Events #Fundraising #gender #grassroots #grateful #help #like #linkinbio #MentalHealth #Kindness #leaders #people #philanthropy #power #Respect #Safety #Share #socialgood #SocialMedia #Sports #training #Travel #trans #Video #SplashPageSelfie #DwhellOnIt #hirewheller #taylorlakhryst #Instagram #Twitter #Facebook #linktree #Youtube #RunForWomen #walk4md #ProtectTransYouth #Letters4TransKids

    Community Voices

    Travelling, Being Left-Handed & More!

    🗣 - "I don’t want to get political. I don’t wake up and say, “I’m gonna get political today.” Like, that’s not my goal. But I know that if I want to have a life, I have to fight for my life. Who says that? Ask yourself! How many of you watch this right now and know that you have to fight for your life when you wake up? Your right to live, your right to employment, your right to safety, your right to dignity. How many people wake up and tell themselves those are things they need to do today. And I don’t even do that for myself. I do that for other people. I do that for the kids."

    www.youtube.com/watch

    ‼️ - Get engaged!

    ➕ - Subscribe for more episodes & similar #Content - www.youtube.com/TaylorLakhryst

    ✉️ - #Comment with your thoughts or questions you'd like answered!

    👍🏻 - Please #like & #Share this to help get heard!

    ❓ - What's #DwhellOnIt

    👀 - Dwhell On It is a series where I answer your #questions about my lived #experience as a #trans woman!

    📺 - A new episode gets uploaded every week! - youtube.com/playlist

    🔖 - Bookmarks!

    03:57 - What do you think most people don't realize about trans folks?

    06:22 - Is there a country you will never go to that may surprise others?

    07:46 - Is there any advice that you wish you had? Do you have any to share?

    10:55 - I don't know how to ask this, I think. Why do you want to be a woman or transgender?

    12:00 - End anti-2SLGBTQIA+ abuse! - act.newmode.net/action/hirewheller/csr

    🔗 - Links mentioned!

    03:45 - #Letters4TransKids - "You Know Who You Are!" - www.youtube.com/watch

    04:45 - Transgender Awareness Week - "Progress takes time, but it should not end with us going back in time" - www.youtube.com/watch

    06:00 - My Call to Action for Trans Day of Visibility! - www.youtube.com/watch

    07:00 - Hallway Conference - Taylor Lakhryst - Creating Truly Inclusive Events - www.youtube.com/watch

    08:30 - The Power of Now … and NEWS! - #DwhellOnIt Ep. 34 - www.youtube.com/watch

    💰 - Donate now! Help these fundraisers hit $1411!

    ❗️ - Support #RunForWomen & women's #MentalHealth programs! - run.convio.net/site/TR/Events/General

    ❗️ - Support #walk4md & individuals who live with neuromuscular disorders! - muscle.akaraisin.com/ui/walk4md22/p/TaylorLakhryst

    👀 - Get involved! You can create #change

    📣 - You can help! Everything inspiring HireWheller stays ongoing - biased systems, ignorant platforms, violent abusers, and isolated victims.

    📣 - Grassroots #power comes from its #people Please #help by getting involved or referring people you know to create change against systemic bigotry & oppression. Thanks! 💜

    💻 - Get connected!

    #hirewheller A #grassroots group aiming to help the #2slgbtqia #Community overcome often-minimized struggles.

    #Instagram instagram.com/hirewheller

    #Twitter twitter.com/HireWheller

    #Facebook www.facebook.com/HireWheller-103322085282334

    👱🏼‍♀️ - Look me up!

    #taylorlakhryst Trans woman, advocate, INFJ, ♊️, she/her/hers 🏳️‍⚧️

    #linktree linktr.ee/TaylorLakhryst

    📒 - Alt information

    * Text: Dwhell on it with Taylor Lakhryst - TRAVELLING, BEING LEFT-HANDED & MORE! - Episode Forty-Five - HIREWELLER

    * Description: A blonde woman wearing an orange shirt is sitting in front of a wall. There is orange and light pink text on a magenta background.

    * Captions: Automated

    #Activism #Canada #Diversity #ethics #Equity #government #humanities #Inclusion #LGBT #LGBTQ #manitoba #Motivation #Organizing #policy #question #Transgender #winnipeg #Love #2slgbtqia #AskMe #change #Comment #Comments #Community #Content #Employment #eventplanning #Events #Fundraising #gender #grassroots #grateful #help #like #MentalHealth #leaders #people #power #Respect #Safety #Share #SocialMedia #Sports #training #Travel #Video #SplashPageSelfie #DwhellOnIt #hirewheller #taylorlakhryst #Instagram #Twitter #Facebook #linktree #Youtube #RunForWomen #walk4md #ProtectTransYouth #Letters4TransKids

    Trish Jacobi

    What My Autistic Son's Hockey Coach Taught Me About Inclusion

    My son can be described using a lot of words such as adorable, awesome, autistic, and amusing, but athletic is not one of them. He is the type of kid who can trip while sitting, bump into things a room away, and run into a tree while focusing on a bird. For these reasons, I’ve felt so lucky to live in a town that has baseball, soccer, and basketball leagues for kids with disabilities. These leagues help the kids learn the basic skills of the sport while creating friendships and camaraderie. These leagues are my comfort zone; my kid is out on the field with kids of similar abilities, I am in the stands with parents who share the trials and triumphs of parenting a child with a disability. During these practices, I can sit back and chat, or chase my other kids with full confidence that the coaches and volunteers know how to best help my kid and that there is no judgment from teammates or other parents. I’m not sure where my son first got the idea of hockey; I hadn’t suggested it nor had my husband, but one day he confidently blurted out, “I want to try hockey.” I froze, knowing our town did not have a hockey team for kids with disabilities. I gave him the classic response of, “We will see,” which is parent code for, “Not going to happen.” I hoped like other things I have had to give the, “We will see,” line to that it would fade away and not be brought up again. That didn’t happen. The next few days he was insistent on playing street hockey. Reluctantly, but with my husband’s push, I paid the registration fee, indicated a shirt size, and printed the list of equipment needed. I felt overwhelmed, uncomfortable, and in the back of my head doubted we would move forward with his participation. As the season approached, I made no effort to purchase the equipment and even told my husband I felt our son wasn’t ready to do a typical sport. I struggled internally knowing how much I didn’t want him to do it versus knowing how much he did. This internal struggle left me frantically asking for help from a young guy at the used sports equipment store just nights before the first practice. During the first practice, our son wasn’t nervous, he was proud of all his gear and ready to get out there, the total opposite of me with my stomach in knots and hands sweaty, regretting I ever signed him up. Would the kids make fun of him? Would the parents in the stands make comments about him? Would the coaches have enough patience? I had never in his five years of life sent him in by himself with a group of children or adults in a typical setting. I felt as though I was throwing him to the dogs. Things were chaotic in my mind watching him run out onto the blacktop, but suddenly there was peace. There was Coach Rick. Coach Rick knew our son was autistic, but you wouldn’t have known he knew. He didn’t treat him differently, yet gave him exactly what he needed, which was much more than the other kids. To no one’s surprise, our son was not a natural; he fumbled over his feet, never kept his stick down, ran the wrong way, and used his hands to pick up the ball. Coach Rick was there for all of it, to guide, direct, model, and push him to try his best. When our son walked off the rink that night, he was so excited and proud. As the season went on, Coach Rick’s dedication to helping our son have an authentic and rich experience never wavered. I found through the season that I went from standing tight gripped against the fencing of the rink to sitting and chatting in the stands. My son learned how to play hockey that spring, while I learned that the only person holding him back was myself. With Coach Rick’s support, my son ended the season as an accepted member of the Chipmunks, just like all his teammates. Our son went on to play a second season with the Chipmunks, where Coach Rick continued to support him not just in hockey but in other ways. During a special practice that included a rink visit from Santa, one I was tempted to skip due to my son’s fears of Santa, Coach Rick worked with him to ensure a positive experience. My son left the rink that night with a new outlook on Santa and for the first time, a photo with the jolly guy. While Coach Rick gave our son the support needed to have a meaningful first experience with hockey, what he gave me was even more. By being so inclusive and accommodating, he gave me the push I needed to stop holding our son back and step out of my comfort zone. He gave me hope for continued inclusion. He modeled what it means to be an incredible coach and set a standard that I’ll always expect from others. While I will always be so thankful for my son’s ability to play in leagues designed for kids with disabilities, I am even more thankful to those who supported his ability to play in a league not designed for kids with disabilities. This experience helped me realize that with the right coach, a coach like Rick, all teams can be designed to include kids with disabilities.

    John

    John Madden Showed Us How People With Multiple Sclerosis See the World

    On December 28, 2021, the bell tolled for John Madden. A lot of bells, actually, and he earned them. He was great at what he did, and he did a lot of it. Head coach for the champion 1970 Oakland Raiders football team. Ten winning seasons, zero losing seasons. He won three of every four games he coached. On each will one of those games, he’d blow his gasket stalking up and down all 100 yards of the sidelines. He channeled all of that passion into broadcasting. Commentator John Madden had a blustery style. In his early days in the booth, you could hear his meaty face reddening and blood pressure spiking through the speakers. To him, a routine three-yard run was a small war: “Look at those linemen — there’s a lot of beef packed on that line! Watch how they power into the defense. Boom! You can hear the bones crunching with your eyes!” Exclamation points, exclamation points, and more exclamation points. The name for it was passion. Sports fans or not, people are attracted to joyous, unbridled passion. And exclamation points! Over the years Madden mellowed into a knowledgeable teddy bear, great for landing endorsements for garden hoes and low-calorie beers. Then Electronic Arts named a massively successful videogame franchise after him. And then (catch your breath here) at some point his producers pushed into his hand a clever technology that now is so taken for granted that most NFL viewers have no idea that it has anything to do with Madden. The Telestrator let the announcers doodle on your TV picture during play-by-play. With 22 players in motion on every down of football, the Telestrator made a good toy for Professor Madden to explain the action to his audience. He’d circle the quarterback: “Here’s Montana…” With lines and X’s, he’d show the design of the play: “… and here the defensive-ends collapsed the pocket on a blitz…” Then he could break down the results: “…so Montana stepped up in the pocket and boom! he’s got all this open real estate in front of him.” But the secret history of the Telestrator, my friends, is this: it was not invented by a TV company or a gifted and gregarious football announcer, no! I have it on good authority, and personal experience, that people with chronic illnesses, mobility impairments, and disabilities have been using the Telestrator long before Madden ever uttered his first Boom — in fact, they have used it throughout history, maybe all the way back to the ancient Egyptians. (Exclamation point, exclamation point.) Using the Telestrator is what these mighty people do every day, all the time. To them, seeing circles, arrows and dashes becomes second nature, a way of life. Let’s go to the tape. Here’s some classic footage from the 80s, before the Telestrator was even born. Here’s a guy in his early 20s, walking into a convenience store late at night: because of chronic fatigue he overslept and the grocery stores are closed. And see this circle right here? That’s his walker, because he has MS. He’s here to buy food, but energy is a problem, so he has to 1) do it safely and 2) in as few steps as possible. How’s he going to play this situation? Let’s look. — Like an expert coach, he plans the best strategy, the shortest route, the most efficient path to avoid traffic or doubling back: “The milk is here on Aisle 6, but you can’t eat milk — you need cereal! Even better, you need raisin bran because then you don’t have to walk over here to the produce: the fruit’s already in the box! Two food groups in one, Boom! fewer steps. Raisin bran is over here, end of the aisle, and turn left. But that leads you into this pallet of toilet paper that needs to be stocked… and there’s no one around stocking it! Who does that? See this arrow? That’s the clerk, arguing with his girlfriend on the phone — he’s not going to help you. So you have to cut back and go the long way around the Slurpie machine.” — He’s aware of the condition of the field: “Watch out for this freezer. See the spot I’m circling? That’s leaking water. And over here, a freshly mopped floor. One slip and oof! your season is over.” — He knows to be prepared: “Exits, exits, always looking for exits. Does the door swing inward, or out? Push-button, automatic, or spring-loaded? Knob or handle? Is it a heavy door? Does it stick? And of course: A-K-W-T-B! You know what that means, don’t you? ‘ALWAYS KNOW WHERE’S THE BATHROOM!'” Do you get the idea? Good. For the next play, let’s fast-forward a couple of decades and watch the same guy in a wheelchair, stopping in at a friend’s party after a million invitations because he doesn’t want to be rude and plumb ran out of excuses not to: — First thing, check the turf: “I’m circling this sprawling throw rug because throw rugs squirrel up and can be a major obstacle. Players want to avoid this hazard. Things are getting sticky already.” — Scout the defensive formations: “See this coffee table here? this rocking chair there? and this entertainment center right here? They’re stacking the middle: there’s no way you’re getting through! What that does is create running lanes down the sides (dot-dot-dot-arrow). Are you a good driver? You’d better be, because these lanes are narrow, people step in and out of the way, and right here we’ve got the sharp edge of a fireplace mantle jutting out. Plus if you’re not careful you’ll scrape the wall. Out of bounds!” — Gauge the home crowd: “These scattered toys right here! They belong to these two little guys playing video games halfway across the room. (Hey, those nippers are playing Madden NFL, aren’t they? Smart kids!) They’re hypnotized by the game and can’t hear a word you’re saying, but look how the stretched chords prevent all movement. Your offense is bottled up! Perfect D.” — Clock management skills: “Once the party gets rolling, it harder for you to keep rolling. This joint really filled up, huh? Where once there were spaces, now you are butt-high in a room full of strangers. Looks like you should have gone with your hunch and left 15 minutes ago. But boom! here’s a corner for you to sit and wait for a hole to develop, and then pow! you’ll make a break for the end zone. Hey, at least you ended up next to the Christmas tree. Let’s draw a star on your head, and now you’ve got matching stars! Are you having fun yet?” — And remember the key to every gameplan in every place you go (say it with me, people): “A-K-W-T-B: ALWAYS KNOW WHERE’S THE BATHROOM!”

    Realizing I Wasn't Alone After My Autism Diagnosis

    For over 80% of my life, I felt like I was walking alone. Not in the religious sense, but alone in that I had no one around me who understood me. Especially me before I was diagnosed with Asperger’s. Let’s jump in the Way Back Machine (did anyone catch the “Sherman & Peabody” reference?) and look back a few years. When I was 10 years old, soccer first came to my city, and I loved it. But I sucked at it. Sucked in a big way. How big? My first coach told me early in the season, “I only play you half a game because I have to.” Well, that will do wonders for a kid’s self-esteem. But I kept playing and eventually got better. Not good enough to make my high school team, but I got better. I played club soccer and eventually got a scholarship to a tiny school with a coach who doubled as an economics teacher who took a two-week coaching course to get certified. That story is a huge train wreck for another day. Most Saturday and Sunday mornings during football season (European football season), you can usually find me on my couch with some hot tea and a little breakfast. Why am I up so early? It’s the English Premier League (EPL), baby! With a six-hour time difference between London and Kansas City, that means early afternoon games are early morning for me. Image provided by author. I love all things EPL. I love the fanbase for the different clubs, I love how they support their side, and I especially love how almost 46,000 at Anfield (the home stadium of Liverpool) come together to sing throughout the game. When I first got into the Premier League I loved Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City, and Liverpool. The tradition and the rivalries were something not to miss. They still aren’t. Then one day as Liverpool was coming onto the pitch (field) I noticed the track jackets the team was wearing. Across the back in bright letters was, “YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE.” I started researching that and found that was the official motto of the club, and, as you can see from above, it’s even on the gate as you enter the stadium. After my autism diagnosis, I felt alone. I didn’t know anyone who was autistic. At least I didn’t know anyone willing to admit they’re autistic. Eventually, I did meet people on the spectrum and began self-advocating for myself, and anyone else who needed a voice. As my work grew I met more and more people, and now I know that no matter what happens in life, I have people I can count on and I know that I’ll never walk alone. What’s it like for you? Do you feel like you’re walking alone? You’re not. Thousands of people like you are willing to walk with you and support you through your journey. If you feel like you’re alone, look for Facebook groups, Mighty support groups, or even hit up some of the self-advocates in your niche. They’re willing to help and to make sure no one walks alone. You will find someone. Tell us about your journey. Do you walk alone, do you walk with others? Are you struggling? Are you thriving? We want to know. Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart, and you’ll never walk alone.

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    Let's make some picks! Who do you think is headed to the Super Bowl LVI?

    <p>Let's make some picks! Who do you think is headed to the Super Bowl LVI?</p>
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