I’ve been reading a lot of philosophy lately. Well. I’ve been watching a lot of it… on YouTube.
Regardless, I’ve been thinking a lot. About community. About society. About identity. About oppression.
Most of us crave to belong to a community. And many of us do, to this peculiar monolith we call “society.” I call it a monolith as it does not abide well those who transgress its unwritten rules.
Some of us literally cannot follow these rules—the exceptions. There are many examples of this, such as non-white people, neuroatypical people, disabled people, etc. As a general rule, I like to speak on my personal axis of self; I feel it’s far too prevalent to speculate outside of the places one has lived. Philosophical tourists, if you will. I invite those who have experiences unlike mine to add here, and in the meantime, let me speak of gender.
Gender is a peculiar thing: it sits between self and society. A recent video I watched put it: we can find the words for our inner gender, but validation still relies on other people. Sometimes, that validation is rare, and one needs to fight for it.
What happens when that validation literally cannot be had by the world around you? As a non-binary person, I look to the world I live in and see a place where I can be seen as a woman at best; a delusion at worst.
Well. Fuck society then! Let’s turn our backs to the norms and shout, “not us!”. Queer ideology (not the umbrella term) exemplifies that counterculture, creating a space where the abnormal is normal. Where the people cast off are given validation.
It’s still living in limbo, though. Some seem to think bubbles are a bad thing, but I think they are one of the few things keeping me alive. There’s little getting outside our pervasive culture, but indulging in escapism is good for the soul, in my opinion.
Another thing: Validation is not love. Kai Cheng Thom has a line that resonates with me still: “how has queer community loved you?”
I go further: can it? Can any community love you? Or does it exist to say yes to your doubt… but only if you doubt in the right ways. Yes is not love; it’s not a home. It’s shelter from a raging storm of no.
Shelter is needed. For me, I’ve learned to build my own. Code-switching constantly, living as loudly as I can, but accepting that I cannot drown out the entire world. Holding multiple selves inside me, girl/not-girl/not-boy/other, power transferring from one to another every situation I’m in.
It’s exhausting, sure. But at least I’m not drowning.