Tuesday, August 27, 2019

From Michigan With Love

Dear Drag Syndrome performers,

I am deeply sorry you were recently barred from performing at the Tanglefoot building in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The decision to deny you the freedom to perform reflects one man’s ignorance regarding the needs and abilities of adults with disabilities. He could have accepted your invitation to speak with you and learn how truly capable you are but he declined. His loss.

Admittedly, when I first learned about this unfortunate situation it made me angry. It made me so angry that my stomach turned, my face got hot, and all the swear words spewed from my mouth! Anger isn’t what Drag Syndrome and your fans are about though so, it’s time I get with the program.

I am a performer with a disability who lives and performs in Michigan. I have worked with Jill and Chris of DisArt and appreciate the opportunities they create for Artists with disabilities, like you and me. Their reputation and integrity is impeccable.

Furthermore, the notion that you bombshells would allow yourselves to be exploited is absurd. I am not an expert on Down Syndrome but I know that everyone, even those with the same disability, is different. We all have different strengths, weaknesses, and passions. Clearly, you all have the ability to express yourselves as you choose and I am here to support all of you in all the ways that I can.

Thank you for unapologetically being your authentic selves. Drag is an art form that pre-dates Shakespeare and you have perfectly personalized it because that is what Artists do…and I love it! I have seen numerous drag shows over the years and really look forward to one day seeing Drag Syndrome on stage.

It is sad that not everyone is open to appreciating what you have to offer. It is sad for them because they are truly missing out on experiencing all the dimensions of who you all are. Please don’t let a few closed-minds and some hate mail stop you from putting your bold and sassy selves out there because there are plenty of fans that love you.

Your friend in Michigan,

Jane Hash aka Lady Jane The Mini-Mermaid

Friday, May 17, 2019

Maintaining bodily autonomy as a woman with a disability

Jane Hash at Redondo Beach
As a woman with a significant physical disability, I have always had to fight for bodily autonomy. Healthcare policies that govern how Medicaid dollars are spent in providing home care to people like me attempt to dictate how often I can use the toilet, take a bath, eat a home cooked meal and leave my house. This is a battle I fight constantly. When I say “constantly” I mean, I have regular meetings with lawyers to maintain my right to choose who helps me change my pads/tampons and all the other personal things I need assistance with.

As a woman with a significant physical disability, I am at greater risk for being sexually assaulted than non-disabled women…especially if my chosen Caregivers are taken away from me. This is a scary reality that has just become scarier because of all the anti-abortion laws being passed across the country. If this trend continues and I was impregnated by rape, I could be victimized a second time by being denied an abortion.

As a woman with a significant physical disability, I am seriously pissed off. I am pissed off that our government is trying to control all of my bodily functions and strip me of all bodily autonomy. I am pissed off that people who have no idea what my daily struggles and health concerns are think they are more qualified to decide what is best for me than I am. More than anything, I am pissed off that I am pissed off because I have a pretty awesome life and I’d like to spend more time enjoying it instead of constantly fighting.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Now hiring in Southfield, MI - no experience needed

Personal Care Assistant

Hours: Part-time, weekdays and some weekend mornings, flexible scheduling
Pay: $12 an hour
Client: Middle-aged woman who works primarily from home and is a full-time wheelchair-user. No meds. No nursing.
Requirements: CPR, First-Aid, Recipient’s Rights, Universal Precautions (assistance provided in obtaining Recipient’s Rights and Universal Precautions), reliable transportation
Duties: Assist with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and transport to professional and social engagements
Work environment: A quiet and spacious private residence in Southfield, MI. PCAs are allowed use of kitchen, bathroom, and WIFI.
Personal Note:
The ideal person I’m looking for is a non-cigarette smoking woman that is physically fit enough to safely do my transfers, likes cats, and can roll with the diversity of my life. I’m involved in healthcare advocacy, fashion, and I’m occasionally a dancing Mermaid. I’m also in a long-term relationship, have many friends, and an active social life. 
Serious inquiries may contact me at hashitoutwithjane@gmail.com

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Accepting limitations is a sign of wisdom, not weakness

Dear Activists with disabilities,
Since disability doesn’t discriminate, we are the cross-section of everything – every religion, political affiliation, ethnicity, sexual-identity, sexual orientation etc…we encompass all of it. Therefore, we feel the impact of more issues than just the ones that are disability specific.
Although we are passionate people who feel very strongly about our individual values, it is important we are mindful of our physical limitations. Some with disabilities are very capable of participating in a demonstration or protest and I fully support them. 
However, some are not physically up to that challenge due to complex medical conditions. So, instead of throwing your medically fragile bodies into the front lines of the many protests going on in our country right now, I urge you to utilize technology instead. There are numerous ways that technology can be used to support the causes that you hold dear.
-       Launch a video campaign - Organize like-minded folks to make a video of themselves expressing their feelings about a specific topic. Then post & share! Partner with an organization that shares your values to help your videos reach more people.
-       Blog – A personal story often packs a greater punch than an actual punch. Spill your guts (figuratively speaking) and blog about why you feel the way you do. If you feel passionately enough to be considering putting your medically fragile body in harms way to make a difference, than I feel you should have the conviction to open up about why you are steadfast in your beliefs.
-       Organize an email campaign – To make it easier for folks to participate, write up a few example letters that can be copy, pasted, and easily modified.
-       Social Media – Tweet. Retweet. Share. Like. Love. Never underestimate the power of sharing information!
Accepting limitations is a sign of wisdom, not weakness. Finding alternative solutions is what disabled people do every day. Stay strong. Never give up. Just make sure you’re still around to celebrate after we cross the finish line.
Nothing About Us Without Us,

Jane Hash aka The Gimp Avenger

Monday, April 23, 2018

Care.com displays lack of care for woman with a disability

On February 2, 2014 I attempted to log into my Care.com account and follow-up with some applicants who had responded to my ad for a Home Health Aide. After a few tries that only led to error messages instead of access to my account, I clicked on their Member Care link and sent them a message to see what the problem was.
Basic Membership to Care.com is free and allows someone seeking a Caregiver to post an ad describing the type of care they need. To actually communicate with a potential Caregiver or utilize any of the other services Care.com offers requires a paid membership, which Medicaid and Medicare do not cover. One month costs $37 or an annual subscription costs $147.
For me, the most appealing feature of Care.com is that members can choose to only communicate with Caregivers who post the results of their criminal background check. This is a huge safeguard that was worth every penny, even though it had to come out of my $800 monthly budget.
On February 3, 2014 Care.com responded to my message alerting them to the fact that I could not log into my account. Here is what they had to say:
Thank you for your email. After researching this issue, we found that you previously had an account that was closed by Care.com.
Unfortunately we are unable to accept your membership. This decision is final and irreversible. No exceptions will be made to these terms.
I was stunned! I thought this had to be a mistake or misunderstanding. I am a healthcare advocate with a disability. What could I have said or done to warrant this extreme action? They must have been hacked, I thought! So, I called them.
As it turns out, Care.com was not hacked. They told me it could take up to a week for my membership fee to be refunded and that I can never have a membership with them again and…here is the kicker…they do not have to tell me why.
I’m a small statured woman who uses a wheelchair. Obviously, I’m no stranger to being disrespected. In fact, the last person I interviewed from Care.com had plenty of disrespectful things to say about my lifestyle. I didn’t cause a ruckus about it though. I just didn’t hire her.
Since Care.com refused to tell me why they revoked my membership, I’m always going to wonder if that judgmental interviewee complained to them about my non-traditional ways. Am I being discriminated against because of my lifestyle? Their website states that their goal is ”…to provide families with as many options as possible so everyone can find the care that best fits their unique needs.”  Why am I being excluded?
Now, let’s fast forward. On April 18, 2018 I attempted to open a new Care.com account because I have moved to a different state and need to assemble a whole new team of Caregivers. My first attempt got an error message. On April 19th I tried again and got another error message.
It’s been four years since we parted ways. Care.com couldn’t possibly be holding a grudge, right? There must really be a problem with their website, right?
Like I did four years ago, I clicked on their Member Care link and sent them a message to see why I was getting an error message. In return, I got this seemingly automated response.
Thank you for contacting us at Care.com.

While we review your submission, we’ve included some general information below about how Care.com can help you find the perfect caregiver.

How does Care.com work?
Care.com is a self-service website where you can find and screen local caregivers and service providers.  With your membership, you can post a job, browse through providers, and contact your preferred candidates when you are ready to begin the screening process.  By accessing background checks, reference checks, and member reviews, you gain a greater sense of the experience and qualifications of your emerging candidates.  The general steps include:
·      Browse caregivers by zip code or post a job to generate applicants for your position
·      Check references and read reviews from other members and previous employers
·      Run background checks and view other safety verifications
·      Narrow down your top candidates for interviews, and hire with confidence
What’s included in the Safety Center?
The Care.com Safety Center offers safety and hiring guides, frequently asked questions, detailed information about our background checks, and other safety articles for your perusal.  These resources help you take full advantage of the screening tools available with your membership, and to make the most informed decisions throughout your search.  If you have any further questions or concerns, you may also browse our Help section.

We hope this helps, and if your specific question was not addressed in this message, we will do our best to respond within 24 hours.
The déjà vu was getting stronger every hour I waited for an answer. By the evening of April 19th my impatience got the best of me and I sent Care.com a Facebook message, asking why I was getting error messages upon trying to open an account, and this is what they had to say…
Jane, after researching this issue, we found that you previously had an account that was closed by Care.com.
Pursuant to the Care.com Privacy Policy and Terms of Use, Care.com is not required to release the specific details as to why an account has been closed.
As a membership-based online community, Care.com reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to remove a member's Care.com membership for any reason or no reason, with or without notice. If we terminate your registration, we have no obligation to notify you of the reason, if any, for your termination.
There was no error. Care.com is still denying my membership for reasons unknown to me. Is this acceptable behavior for a multimillion-dollar company that does business in over a dozen countries? Where is the Customer Service? Where is the compassion? Most importantly, where is the CARE?

If I violated Care.com’s membership rules, it was absolutely an accident or misunderstanding. I feel I deserve a fair trial, so to speak, before I’m handed a lifetime sentence. Instead, their cowardly method of handling this situation will always make me wonder if there are aspects of my life that I need to hide in order to find the kind of care that I need to live in my own home and community.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Affordable Care Act Helped Us

On behalf of UHCAN Ohio, I am collecting stories from real people who are benefiting or have benefitted from the Affordable Care Act. You will only be identified by your first name and last initial when your story is published. 

I am an experienced Blogger and healthcare advocate who will convey your story with the utmost respect and dignity. Please send your story to me at: hashitoutwithjane@gmail.com

Please indicate if you would like me to mail you a release form, for permission to use your story, or email you the form in digital format. I can only use your story if I have a signed 'permission slip' from you.

Thank you for your advocacy!

Jane Hash

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Holy Toledo, Dorothy is a Drag Queen!

Every element of Saturday night was absolutely mesmerizing. My paramour and I visited the Collingwood Arts Center in Toledo, Ohio. Built in 1872, its history is almost too rich to digest. This massive architectural conglomeration has been a school, a library, and a nunnery oh my!

In addition to being a source of inspiration for artists near and far, the center also allows them access to its beautiful theater. The most recent theatrical production to come to life on its skillfully crafted stage (the reason for our visit) was, The Wizard of Odd.


This retelling of an American classic tale maintains the captivating magic of the original story. Directed by Matterz Squidling and Mackenzie Moltov, The Wizard of Odd addresses current social issues in a way that leaves audiences feeling hopeful and uplifted while also questioning, “What the flying monkeys did I just see?” With the perfect blend of sharp wit and silly puns, the script is hilariously clever.


All the characters we have loved throughout our childhood are represented and re-imagined in a way that will make you fall in love with them all over again…Toto too (Bayard Matty)! Each has a unique request of the great and powerful Wizard of Odd. So, together they make the journey by following the yellow brick road.

When this motley crew of characters finds themselves in a bit of trouble, a new friend comes along to save the day. She is the Queen of the Field Mice (Fibi Eyewalker)! After seeing the things she can do with fire in her mouth, only a fool with a death wish dare question this Queen’s power.

The belle of the ball, without a doubt, was the beloved Dorothy Gale (Pollyanna High-Gloss.) Dressed in traditional Dorothy attire, this actress/female-impersonator is full of surprises. Possessing the naïve charm we would expect, she enchants audiences with her intricate dance number and angelic vocal abilities.



Each performer’s costume was a piece of art in itself. Perhaps the two most eye catching of them all were The Wicked Witch of the West (Redrum) and Glenda the Good Witch (Madeleine Belle). These artists handcrafted their own burlesque inspired ensembles. The results are simply jaw dropping.

Aside of Dorothy’s rendition of “Over the Rainbow” at the close of the show, all the music was written and produced by Ringmaster Zeb (The Munchkin King & The Odd Head), Velvet Crayon (The Wizard of Odd), and Satori Circus (The Tin man during the Detroit performances). This includes each song performed by The Tin Man (Erik Bang), The Cowardly Lion (Titano Oddfellow), and The Scarecrow (Jelly Boy the Clown).


Without a doubt, the theatrical production of The Wizard of Odd lives up to its name. It is very odd indeed. Though there is some cringe worthy use of sharp objects and acrobatics of Cirque du Soleil caliber, the overall message is quite clear. It may not always be easy. Sometimes it can be rather scary. However, by embracing your authentic self…love wins.