Robert N. Lee

So This Is My Friend Doug…

Doug Lathrop


…who hated “Tiny Tim shit,” hated disabled people being held up as Examples of Courage and etc. But who wouldn’t have hated a scholarship named for him, for LGBT disabled kids who want to go to college.

The thing was: Doug was the Example of Courage, the Tiny Tim he hated so much. He always was. He was born a dwarf with osteogenesis imperfecta , the brittle bone disease Samuel Jackson has in Unbreakable. He was in a wheelchair his whole life, spent his childhood in a sometimes Elephant Man-esque hell of surgeries and and hospital stays and being held up as a lesson to visiting doctors and etc. He spoke fluent Spanish, because only the Mexican kids were nice to him in school in the seventies, and he came up in the LA punk scene and…saw all those bands back then they make movies about now.

When I first met Doug, he was a journalist, covering the 1992 major party conventions for disability issues media. Later he was…Managing Editor, I think, at New Mobility, a wheelchair issues-specific mag.

Anyway, people who loved him in San Diego are setting up a scholarship in his name through the Imperial Court de San Diego, where he had a lot of friends. Oh yeah – Doug was gay, too, on top of being a dwarf who could shatter forever if he just fell down one time too many.

I never knew anybody who did so much with a life with so many obstacles in it, anybody as fearless and badass and constantly loving and amazing as Doug, in spite of so many reasons not to be. I doubt I ever will know anybody exactly like him again. And I know I’m not alone in that – Doug touched a lot of lives on his pass through this world.

I never pass crowdfunding stuff around, but…in the day since the scholarship was announced, it’s almost gotten funded for the first year, and…if you can, this is a thing worth giving to. I think.

EDIT: and – just to be clear – the scholarship needs funding past the first year. If you get there and the first year goal’s already been met, you can still donate money and that would be very welcome.

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