Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Unemployment Diaries: Going off Book Edition

While I'm working on new Unemployment Diaries (sorry for another delay!) here's a thing that tumbled out of me the other night on facebook to hold you over.

Guys I've been typing and retyping a comment here because I'm tired of bigotry and closed-minded hatred (I mean I'm tired of all kinds of hatred but whatever) and what it boils down to is this: Your existence is not threatened by the existence of those different from you. I promise. Whether that difference is racial, gendered, based on a sexuality or otherwise. We've had this debate before, we're going to probably have it again because we hate learning from our mistakes. Nobody wants to ruin your marriage, or corrupt your children, or change the way you lead your life. In fact, your life looks pretty nice with all the unquestioned choices you get to make on the daily. Everyone wants to be more like you, and live the life you do. It's nice, isn't it, knowing you're admired? And what would you lose by allowing such a thing? (spoiler alert: nothing).

Just... be nicer. To all the weird kids, all the weird adults, all the weird adolescents who might, in fact, be going through a phase but need your support regardless. We’re all a little weird, depending on who’s looking at us. So just let the weirdness commence. Who honestly cares? Pride should not only be afforded to those in power. Are you nervous that your kids will be exposed to the weirdness and possibly find out that they have weirdness in them, too? Cool news: that’s probably going to happen sooner or later anyhow, because some of us are just BORN WEIRD (scratch that--most of us are born weird). It worked for Lady Gaga.

You know what makes weirdness hard? Other people. I don’t hate that I’m weird. I hate the way other people look at me when they find out I’m weird. Or that they’ll decide I’m weird before getting to know me. Or that I’m weirder than I originally thought, and now I’ve gotta keep it hidden to avoid things getting worse. As the weird one, it’s somehow my responsibility to change my behavior/looks/words to make the other person (the person who doesn’t have to do all this fidgeting and adjusting in the first place) more comfortable. They’re only uncomfortable in the first place because they’ve decided to fixate on my weirdness. MINE. possessive. The weirdness belongs to me, it’s part of me, I can’t just erase it or ignore it at the risk of being less than 100% myself. Everyone loved BeyoncĂ© until she reminded them she was born weird. How dare she embrace her own skin, her heritage and her history and the very DNA with which she was born. Isn’t being rich and famous enough, Bey? Can’t you just get back in line and pipe down?

This other person, the one who is so uncomfortable, approaches with a huge roll of white out tape. I can keep the weirdness, they finally agree, but I can never speak of it again. I can never tell anyone I have it inside of me. I have to be blank, so that they can sleep better at night. In the meantime, I can’t sleep at all. Everything itches. The weirdness bounces around in a cage and makes me shake from head to toe. I’m sick and I’m dying and I’m told it’s a punishment, or that I’ve made it up, or that somehow it’s something I’ve actually caused myself. If only I’d ignored every fiber of my being and scrubbed and scrubbed until I had no features of my own left. All my edges are rounded out.
From The Fairly Oddparents, when Timmy wishes everyone were the same
and there's STILL arbitrary bullshit prejudice
I am trying to disappear. I am trying to stay quiet and blend in and make sure you’re as comfy as possible. I’m trying to make sure you forget I exist, for your sake and for mine. I only appear when you need me, to do a parlor trick and show others how you’ve flattened me out and fit my square peg into a round hole. I’m still not round enough--I’m just quieter about my square edges. You brag about your perfectly spherical existence. I’m tired of thinking about this.

I’m physically tired, and mentally drained and I don’t even get the worst of it. I barely blip on a map of misfortune, to be honest. And I CAN pretend I’m spherical, but not all of us can. Some of us are so square that we’ve tried to shove ourselves into a round hole, and torn the edges to pieces and now we’re a jagged, irregular square, even worse than when we started. There is no end to this rant, the same way there’s no end to the things we find to hate each other for. I’m too tired to continue the metaphor. Just let people be people--especially if that means they’re celebrating WHO. THEY. ARE. 

Anyway, if you see a weird kid, tell them you like their shoes. Or don’t. But I promise you they’ll notice either way.

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