Monday, December 26, 2011

Tech support

I continue to marvel at how technology can help people. (Never mind for the moment, during this joyous season, how it can harm people.) Take my DynaVox, for example - the speech synthesizer I have written about several times here, which I use via a camera that follows a silver dot stuck onto the bridge of my glasses and which I now call Dyna. Incredible!

Dyna was outdone, though, when I attended a P-FLAG meeting earlier this month in Los Angeles. This was my second time at this meeting. I wrote here about my experience going to this meeting for the first time in October, saying I missed going to these supportive meetings after the one in Claremont faded out years ago.

One thing I didn’t write about at the time was that there was a transgender man at the meeting, accompanied by his mother, an American visiting him from Quatar.

The young man was at this month’s meeting. The mother had long since returned to Quatar, but she was there, with her son and us, at the meeting. Literally. The son plugged in his laptop, and there was his mother, on Skype, able to see as well as hear us, for the entire hour and an half.

That’s what I call support - through the wonder of technology. Like I said, incredible!

And all I want is my parents to just go to a P-FLAG meeting.


  1. Skype and social networking and the internet is truly modernizing communication. Quickness of information, however, doesn't always equate to progression, however. In your case, John, you utilize the power of communication more than most and we thank you for that.

  2. I prefer a conversation but as I have come to know the meaning behind the machine is not the communication but more so the inclusion to the conversation. That is let more people become less afraid of the power behind the mind vs. fearing the social consequences of patiently participating in the process. I know the frustration and maybe not as much as you though, but when there came an impasse trying to pronounce "grist" for the mill, when relating to a book by Ram Dass, I almost just had to laugh (sorry) but the only response I could come up with was what the hell, and that is where the machine comes in handy I guess... Otherwise just talk and spell it out verbally, like we have always done and the fear of some will disapate with the idea behind, "hey that machine actually can bring us closer together without sounding so machanically and mind boggled mistepping, as for me the newer the technology the better. Just get the conversation going like the time, I overheard you talking out in your back porch to a bunch of friends uninterrupted and sounding as a monologue from heaven. The first response was who is that talking and the second I heard the pattern of speech flow with the eloquence of uninteruppted silence I knew I was eaves dropping on something unique, a man with a mind of the century who gets misunderstood more than interpreted through a slow process of mechanical dysfuntion. I do want to hear you, I do laugh at the process, and I do know there is so much you want to say and let other's hear it, but we have to wait for the patience to bind our hearts and let the newist translation come about gently with or without a complete understanding. Oh and one other thing John, thank you for your writing. It comes off clean and does take more time than Dyna but then Dyna Vox takes more time than one on one and the heart of the matter is, you have more words than can be heard or written, which is a gift of eloquence all its own. Love, daryl