Patricia Frazier

The oldest daughter of 3 ,Patricia Frazier, was born in the year 1970 in a place called the Caribbean  The doctors told her parents that she would not live past a year, but if she did, Patricia would be a “vegetable”, a common term used back then. Patricia’s  parents ignored the doctors and took her home. They fought for Patricia to attend regular school, because only live-in institutions existed for people with disabilities at the time .

At home, Patricia played with her sisters, neighborhood friends and cousins. She liked playing school, she was always the teacher . Patricia also loved riding her  bicycle with training wheels because of her balance. Patricia  was included in all games and sports her friends played. And she got into trouble like her friends did too!
Patricia attended elementary school where her classroom was on the top floor, so every day she walked up three flights of stairs with her friends. 

Patricia’s  favorite memory from that time was standing at the bottom step, dropping her crutches and book bag, and holding on to the railings as she climbed the stairs. At the same time, her friends picked up the book bag and crutches, and they  continued up the three flights, chatting away. Once at the top, Patricia was handed her crutches and bag, and they continued on to the classroom.

In the US, Patricia was placed in special education classes based solely on her physical disability. This made her angry, until Patricia started to make friends who looked like her, which she did not have in the Caribbean. Classes were mostly easy for Patricia , because she liked school, loved to read, and her parents expected Patricia to do well in school. So she did her best. Patricia  was called a teacher’s pet a lot, but she learned to ignore the taunts because her parents would be disappointed if Patricia failed on purpose.

In high school, Patricia was finally fully mainstreamed in school .  The special education classes were way too easy and Patricia wanted to be more prepared academically to attend college. Patricia’s  parents fought for her to have adaptive gym and transportation to and from school, but all of her academics were in regular education classes. Math and science were always Patricia’s  weakest subjects, so she took the easiest required courses in order to pass into the next grade. English, Social Studies and Foreign Language were her favorite, and best, subjects.

Patricia  has always loved reading. she read any genre except horror, but Patricia’s  favorites are autobiographies of interesting people, science fiction, and books by/for people with disabilities, LGBT, or immigrants. She  also loves movies, music, camping, traveling, dancing, women’s sports, and spending time with her wife, friends and family.

At this point in Patricia’s  life, she has  done a lot that she is l very proud of. Patricia has lived on her own, graduated college, worked since she was 14 years old, gotten married, and travelled. Even though Patricia does not have biological children, she is a very involved aunt, second mom, and godmother to several children (some who are adults with children of their own) in her life. For the future, Patricia  plans to continue doing more of the same, enjoying herself, and living life to the fullest extent possible. Professionally, Patricia is  planning to go back to grad school for her MSW, so that her career options continue to grow.

Even if you think you can’t do something, you’ll never be sure until you try. Surround yourself with people who have acquired the things in life that you want. Find out your strengths and weaknesses, and use them to go after what you want. Don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself, or to ask for help when you need it. 

Patricia Frazier