A lovely and thoughtful essay. Thank you Vaughan Bell.
(as a side note) I don’t like the word stigma. What we’re dealing with is prejudice and bigotry and I like to call it what it is.
I remember taking a bus to London Bridge when, after a few stops, a woman got on who seemed to move with a subtle but twitchy disregard for her surroundings. She found herself a seat among the Saturday shoppers and divided her time between looking out the window and responding to invisible companions, occasionally shouting at her unseen persecutors.
By East Street, the bus was empty.
You’ve probably encountered fellow travellers who are strikingly out of the ordinary, sometimes quite distressed, scattered among the urban landscape where they seem to have a social forcefield around them that makes crowds part in their presence.
If you’ve ever worked in a hospital or support service for people with psychological or neurological difficulties, you’ve probably met lots of people who are markedly out of step with the mundane rules of social engagement.
They seem to talk too loud, or too fast, or too…
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