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Monday, February 10, 2014

On Being Apart

Apparently I need to see Frozen.

I've read some reviews that claim it is the path of the LGBT coming out, claiming life and being authentic. But what I read of a review seemed like it plain old belongs to all teenagers no matter what they have to come to grips with. This from a Wordpress blogger

Frozen isn’t about the individual journey to acceptance – it’s about finding your way back after, and reclaiming the life you thought you had to leave behind.

The author comes at this from an LBGT perspective. But I don't think this is categorically an exclusive perspective. I am an artist in a family of farmer/thinkers/planners. I am the lady in blazing purple while everyone else is wearing Carharts or tan. I am a geek in a family of stoic appreciation and quiet participation.... except sports. Sports fan are loud in my family. I am the Picasso while my family is white washing walls ahead of and behind me. I am the child who sits in church gazing at stained glass and Christ's navel while everyone else is paying attention to when to stand kneel sit kneel stand. I'm the kid that cried over music, dead bugs, beautiful sunsets and squealed when the clouds of specific shapes rolled by. I was the kid that asked questions in a family of party line-towers. I was the kid in class that did homework for fun not for profit. The kid who had conversations with teachers about things in our books that were a couple of grades ahead of us because I could see where the information was leading. I am the artist/gypsy/geek/new-ager in a community of stoic, blue-suited (unless it was a school uni) profiteers or grubby farmers.

I would have jumped into the TARDIS with nary a second thought.
I would have BUILT a TARDIS if I had the parts and the skills.
I scanned the skies for the ship that left me on this weird little planet as a science experiment or because I wandered away from whatever alien group I was with.... it's what I do.
I prayed God would let Scotty beam me up.
I would have killed (figuratively) for a dragon.
If there were a white rabbit carrying a pocket watch I would have followed it down the hole.
I wanted every wardrobe to lead to Narnia.
I wanted the Mutant Superpowers to go with the Mutant Outcast status.

I belonged no where.

Twenty years after school was over I still thought I belonged no where. I struggled to have my family understand me. "Why do you have to be different?"
"Why can't you do something with your life besides art?"
"Why can't you act like everyone else?"
"Why can't you like real things?"
"Why do you have to talk to animals (the imaginary kind.... like dragons)?"
"Why can't you just look at things instead of touch everything (like art, sculptures, fabrics)?"
"Why can't you be normal?"

Why do you have to be different? Why can't you be normal? Why can't you be like everyone else? Ah, the quintessential question of the LGBT community since the dawn of time.
The quintessential question of every teenager ever.
The quintessential question every geek boy and girl faces.

Question? Why can't we be born to people who get who we are?

LGBT, Geek, Gypsy.... whatever, why do we have to be born into families & communities we feel compelled to runaway from to find ourselves? Why do we have to go to school with people who are different from us? Why are we always outside, hiding who we are, dimming our once brilliant lights or hiding those glorious elemental powers & special skills? Why do we have to go away to figure ourselves out and then come back and figure out how to reclaim the life we left behind?

Twenty years after school I found out, through facebook chats with a selection of school mates, that this freaky artsy geek wasn't the only one who felt out of place and weird. The jocks had sides of themselves that were compressed into the jock category even though they would have made great sci-fi geeks. I thought I was the only Whovian who read English lit for fun. I am not. I WAS not. We were all to some extent hiding who we were. If we only had a way to know each other better.....

So much time was lost coming back and reclaiming our lost lives and lost friendships. And in coming back I still find I can not fit into my family. My classmates accept me and all the forgiveness for the torment I can give is given. All the apologies that can be made for my torment have been made, and made again. It is only in my family that I still do not belong because I will not cease to be less than myself.

It is a human story. EVERYONE goes through this. I appreciate that this take is from her own lens of being her kind of other. But the story of the struggle to build your own community does not belong to her LGBT lens alone. We all suffer this. We all run away to some fortress of solitude somewhere to come back and liberate those that we left behind. We go away and wait for others to catch up to our own understanding.... if, IF we indeed know who we are and have already embraced that.

Luckily for me my dad got it right before he died. Its the others that I am more concerned with. I've had to amputate siblings to keep my identity. It's not my fault they don't know how cool it is to have a diverse family. It's just the way they see things. But if they are going to limit themselves there is not much we can do about it. We just take the people who will embrace us and move forward.

All of us move forward. If you are brave enough to look into your own soul and personality, can see your flaws and features objectively and have the courage to be your most authentic self then all you need to do the rest of your life is be yourself and help others find themselves.... how ever those selves will be.

Oh yeah.... I'd like to think that I am not terribly judgmental. And I'd like you all to think that my Aquarian nature is as free as the words I write. I'm not. Selfishness on any person and the desire to hurt others for sport or out of ignorant autonomic reflex will bring out the judgment. I do judge. And I do think that in cases where people brag about doing those two things, being selfish and hurtful, it's okay to judge. I judge because I don't have the Mutant Superpowers to blast them out of existence.

But other than that, I'm cool with everyone being themselves. The world is dull and uninteresting without our colorful ways.

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