Crabby, but not wanting to be Normal
Mom and I crabbed all the way home. Actually, I crabbed, and then she crabbed about me crabbing. It was kind of funny. But soome of it had nothing at all to do with her, I was on a tangent about homophobia in reggae music and she seemed to think I was confronting her, although to my knowledge she’s not into reggae. Oh no! It was about if I got married somewhere far away, like in Jamaica, and then I said something about homophobia in Jamaican music and thinking probably same sex marriage isn’t legal there.
But what I was really thinking about it the evolution of the c/s/x civil rights movement as compared to other civil rights movement, and noticing that we’re stepping out of the phase most fledgling civil rights movements go through. As in, when various POC groups started working towards rights, there was this attempt to be less threatening to the ruling class by appealing to them based on a principle of sameness. You know, the old line “The only difference is the colour of our skins.” It’s total bull. We have lots of cultural differences, our lives are totally different from someone who’s white, and that’s not based on skin, that’s based on something else. Same with the gay rights movement, when the lesbians would wear dresses and the men would wear suits and they would calmly walk back and forth holding signs and trying to look like heterosexuals. If that wasn’t bad enough, for a long time gays and lesbians would also say “If I had a choice, I would be straight!” Which is homophobic in and of itself. I don’t want to be straight, fuck that, how boring. I like the extravagant mess that is the Queer community, even with all our infighting. And the sex is great, which is just another perk. And then even among transgendered people, those who went for sex changes often were pressured into saying they hated their bodies completely and were just regular straight people in the wrong body, and now of course it’s much more complex than that, there are trans people who don’t even want to end up at a specific gendered destination.
And the same is happening in the psych survivor/consumer movement. I mean, we all had to go through this phase of “I would be sane if I could, I hate my mental illness, I wish I never had it,” and now some of us are saying, actually, it’s not so bad, it’s the system that makes it really hard. I mean, there are a lot of things that could be done so we can just be who we are and live in society, disability access issues that are particular to people with psych disabilities. And also, a lot of my symptoms are things I can live with more or less. I know sometimes normals will tell me to slow down when I speak, sometimes I get insomnia, sometimes I get super sad and need someone to hang out with me so I don’t turn into a lemming. And sometimes I hear things or can’t be around large groups of people. But it’s not really so bad, and I don’t know that I would want to be cured or fixed or whatever you want to call it. The insomnia sucks most of the time, but you have no idea how useful a hypomanic episode is when deadlines are approaching. So, enh, why should I want to be a normal person? I think this kind of sentiment is being expressed in a lot of disability rights thought nowadays. I don’t think it is a tragedy when bipolar people are born, or people with Downs Syndrome, or Autism, or Cerebral Palsy, or Deafness, or Blindness, etc. Why should we all be the same? I don’t want to live in a world that misses all the diversities of human experience, whatever they may be.