Sunday, December 22, 2019

The Dangers of Perceived Normality

Normal means lack of imagination, lack of creativity.
 - Jean Dubuffet

It's more or less inherent in human nature to assume the people around you are like you, even if you don't know much about them, especially when you share an environment that is not determined by chance. That is, if you work in the same building, live in close proximity, or drive similar vehicles.

If you have kids, they probably have kids. If you have a nice car, they probably have a nice car. If you're up to your eyeballs in debt but are embarrassed that you're bad at managing your money or have a second mortgage on your house or half-a-mil in student loans... You get my point.

There's a term that used with fairly derogatory connotations that's become more common as of late. "NT" or "neurotypical." It means there's nothing wrong with your brain.

I'm disabled, but I present as NT. This blog has been running longer than I've been getting a working treatment, so I have no doubt it's apparent in some of my posts (and more so in my written art) that I'm not neurotypical.

But I look that way. And my mental health isn't the only way I "present" in ways than I'm not.

I'm openly bisexual, and this has gotten me no end of toxicity... from the gay community. Yes, I suffer more discrimination and bi-erasure from gays than from straights or homophobes. Because I can and do present as straight. Plenty of bisexuals are happy in monogamous, straight relationships. It doesn't mean they're straight, but it's easier to present themselves that way, and that presentation is a big part of why so much of the gay community hates us so.

Because we can be hidden, sheltered, and still with the one we love. I haven't heard of anyone calling it ST, "sexual-typical," but that's what it is. Gays hate us because we can present as ST, as straight.

I'm not straight. I'm not neurotypical.

I am disabled, under the guidelines set by the ADA for determining disability.

But you wouldn't know it passing me on the street.