On Access Intimacy, Mental Health, and Rosebud the Psych Service Goat
A friend called me, pretty freaked out, from the waiting room of the sliding scale clinic where all the broke queers in my community get healthcare. She was waiting for some scary tests – reproductive problems, could there be cancer? The familiar voices inside her head were loud and full of worst-case scenarios. Breaking things down logically wasn’t so helpful. So I told her I was going to send Rosebud her way. Rosebud is her imaginary psychiatric service goat. We dreamed up Rosebud, and her comrades, around the time I discovered the psychiatric service dog society on the internet. The idea that I could get a letter from my therapist, train a little dog, put a cape on it, and take it everywhere, was extremely soothing, and helped me keep a sense of humor and hope during some hard times. Soon we were brainstorming a land project that doubled as both an artist retreat center and a breeding farm for service goats to help out all our (self-identified) crazy crip friends. As the dreams got bigger we felt lighter and lighter. Whenever shit gets overwhelming, we know we can call on Rosebud, and each other, to break the cycles of despair.