My personal life/job journey 

My childhood is such a weird mix of occasional poverty, incredible racism, and more.

Like, we were on welfare/food stamps a few times. And my father is a high school drop out and ex-felon. He literally had to lie to get jobs where he made roughly $10/hour.

But my dad would work 10 hours a day, 6 days a week. We did well enough. My sister and I went to private school. My parents owned a house with a cheap swimming pool in Cleveland, OH.

racism, money, childhood 

We probably could have lived a higher class lifestyle if my father wasn't so racist that he refused to let my sister and I go to what he called the "bad black public schools." So we went to private school, instead.

My parents couldn't really afford to send me to college at all. That's not a thing they could afford. So instead, my sister did not go to college initially and instead worked as a bank teller like my Mom.

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racism, money, childhood 

Me... I barely managed to go to college, thanks to obtaining enough scholarships to get a full ride to a relatively local Jesuit college called John Carroll University. Technically, it was *almost* a full ride. I still had some loans, but nothing like most folks.

When I got out of college, I was severely underemployed, basically making the equivalent of $12/hour for a software job.

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money, childhood 

And now here I am making an order of magnitude more than that at age 40. I support 4 other queer folks living in my house that have been unemployed or underemployed the entire time they've been here.

I own an airplane and am building a house. I'm doing really well in this capitalism game.

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money, childhood 

It really seems like a lot of factors enabled this. A ton of luck. Some hard work on my part. But also a lot of privilege. Being a neurodivergent white person who was labelled as "smart" and not "disabled" got me scholarships which helped me avoid loans and gave me a chance to get out of here.

I'm also eternally grateful to all the people that helped me along the way. Moving out to California gave me a chance to participate in tech, but I only did it with friends helping.

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money, childhood 

I was almost labelled as disabled and on the same track as my ex-felon father as a child. He pulled me out of a school that was labelling me as such and treating me in the negative way such people are often treated by the system. The new school I went to saw me as "gifted" and "smart" instead and treated me well.

If it wasn't for friends and random internet strangers giving me literally thousands of dollars to move to Cali, I wouldn't have made it out there.

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money, childhood 

I think it's bullshit that the system treats disabled people like I was almost treated. As problems to be solved rather than people to care for.

I'm glad when people don't treat "disabled" as a curse word or bad label, tbh. When I was a child, though, the schools definitely did that. My second grade teacher repeatedly abused me because of my disabilities. Others weren't so lucky as I was to have a father that wanted to change that.

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racism, money, childhood 

It's all so strange. Coming from such the position I was in a kid. Owing so much to my father, yet horrified by his abject racism. Being where I am now.

It makes my head spin to make sense of it sometimes.

But I'm glad I can help my chosen family, and others where I can.

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Beach City is our private beach-side sanctuary for close friends and awesome folks. We are various flavors of trans, queer, non-binary, polyamorous, disabled, furry, etc.