For the record, I’d rather be weird than whatever lies in some kind of opposition to that, which some might call normal I suppose. I don’t really believe in normal. I believe that people attempt to pass as normal in the hopes that no one discovers they are weird in some manner, unique in a way that would potentially embarrass them because suddenly they would separate from the flock and, as a result, could perhaps be shunned.
Shunned! The horror!
No, fuck that. I despise the pursuit of normal. I reject the safety of normality, of false belonging. If I am deemed weird – in action or appearance or thought – then I am doing things right. I don’t blend.
Is that what you want? To not be noticed? I see it in students. Not just mine, but the ones I went to school with that averted their eyes the the professor was looking for a response in the hopes of not being noticed. The ones that were happy to see me raise my hand and weirdly embrace not caring if I was right or wrong, but simply trying out ideas I had to see if they made sense. That’s how it is with most people and, if so, that must be what normal is…the cowardice of hiding in plain sight.
I’ll have none of it.
The most important thing for some trans people is “passing” and they miss the point that in trying so hard to pass, they are attempting to not be themselves, not own who they are. To be something close to a normal man or a normal woman and missing that being normal is the dullest of ambitions. I strive to be authentically me. The process of transition has been about learning who that person is. And, yes, I like the trappings of the binary, but that’s part of who I am. I like to look a certain way not because I’m afraid of the attention but because I like to look a certain way.
I don’t seek to pass or to hide because it’s unnecessary. If people are going to take issue with me, they will and I’ll deal with them as I can as I curse their worship of the myth of the normal. The fact is, most people don’t and fewer still do it to my face. The same fear that keeps them from raising their hand to answer a question they know keeps their gaze averted when they suspect I am not one of them. Let them avert their gaze. Let them shun me because I have already rejected them.
People say that trans folk are brave and we often downplay that…it’s not brave to take medicine to save one’s life. It is, however, brave to walk proudly in the sun, reject the constraints of false normality and be weird and wonderful (and, yes, some of us try so hard to sneak back into the church of normality that tries to bar its doors to us…it’s a sadly natural response).. We’re not the only brave ones in this regard…far from it. Most of the people I associate with are both wonderfully strange and not trans and, in that, I add them to the lists of the brave ones who know that it’s better to live life in the warmth of a metaphoric sun than lob fearful stones from the shadows of normality.