Ever since he can remember, Buzz Green dreamed of getting a tattoo.
Growing up with autism, Buzz got used to people telling him what he couldn’t do. His mom Sandi Green told him he could get his first tattoo just as soon as he turned 23, but when his birthday rolled around the family quickly discovered that getting a tattoo might be trickier than they’d imagined.
“As a child, he loved the fake ones and would freak out when they washed off,” Sandi said. Determined to help her son accomplish the goal he’d set as a child, Sandi began searching for the perfect tattoo artist to give Buzz the tattoo of a “Rugrats” character that he craved. She even spoke to Buzz’s doctor to get his okay, and the doctor thought it was a great idea.
But each time Sandi brought Buzz to a tattoo parlor they took one look at the 6’3″, 200-lb. autistic man standing in front of them and turned him down. Other artists simply quoted him an outlandish cost, making the artwork prohibitively expensive. Sandi thinks that they were worried about how Buzz might handle the pain of the needle, but regardless of their reasoning, they were clearly discriminating against her son.
Finally, they walked into the right shop. Pat Masga works at Northwest Inkorporated, and as soon as he heard about the trouble the Greens had been having he decided to take the job.
“When Buzz arrived he had a huge smile,” Pat said. “From the moment I met him and that’s when I told myself that this tattoo is getting done – no matter what adjustments I have to make. Whether it took me five hours or five sessions, I was willing to do it. He sat like a champ, didn’t complain or quit, and we did it!”
Buzz got a tattoo of Tommy from the Nickelodeon show, “The Rugrats,” and he is thrilled with how it turned out. He’s already saving his money to get the rest of the “Rugrats” gang on his arm next to Tommy.
Talk about a dream come true!
After Pat shared the story of how Buzz had been rejected simply because of his autism, the internet exploded with supportive comments.
We’re sad to hear that so many tattoo shops judged Buzz before ever getting a chance to know him. It’s a good thing that there are artists out there like Pat who are willing to look beyond the exterior and see the unique human being inside.
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