The goldfish and the bearded dragon

William and I first met over 6 years ago. William was being supported by another organisation. C-Change was going to begin working with William and I was introducing myself and the organisation.

William shared his support with others in a congregate living setting. He had his own flat, had a tenancy, was not under any statutory restrictions.

During our first conversation William asked me an unexpected question. He said ‘Can I have bearded dragon?’

My first question back to William was,’why are you asking me that William?’

He told me that he had previously asked if he could get a bearded dragon. He had been told to get a goldfish. If he could prove he could look after a goldfish, he might then be able to get a bearded dragon.

For the avoidance of doubt, William had never expressed an interest in having a goldfish!
There is a lot of power and discrimination loaded into the assertion that William, an adult, be expected to prove he can look after a goldfish, he never wanted, before ‘being allowed’ to get the bearded dragon he had set his heart on.

William got his bearded dragon.

Goldfish and the Bearded Dragon (Audio by Sam Smith and William Rae)

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