What are we taught in school? We might look different, but we are all the same inside. Bullshit. I look the same and I am different inside.
I started talking to a friend about my last blog post. And something familiar started happening. I work so hard to explain myself. To find the words to convey a message that is unfamiliar. Foreign. How do I explain an experience that you’ve never had? Or even worse, that you think you’ve had? Everyone has made a fool out of themselves. Everyone has said the wrong thing. But you don’t go into conversations knowing you will say the wrong thing. That it is an inevitability if you let yourself be known. What I’m talking about is that inevitability. But I already wrote about that. This is about your response.
You reassure me, I’m not “that weird.” Not “that awkward.” That I seem “normal” to you.
I don’t need your reassurance. Allistics are so caught up with being normal. As if being weird is the worst thing that could happen. What are we taught in school? We might look different, but we are all the same inside.
Bullshit. I look the same and I am different inside.
I’m not afraid of being different. I look at the mess we have made of the world, the hurt we have caused each other, and I think we could use a little different. Your way isn’t working.
But you want us to be the same. You need us to be the same. Because you don’t know how to love people who are different from you. The problem is not our differences, but how you feel about differences. You think being different from other people makes me less.
I am different and I am not less.
Take my hand and walk with me. Fat people are not less. Disabled people are not less. Mentally ill people are not less. People of color are not less. Indigenous people are not less. Queer people are not less.
“Because we are all the same inside,” you say. NO! Because it is okay if we are not the same inside!
If you can only love that which resembles you, you are only loving yourself. Love someone else. Not because they remind you of yourself, but because they don’t. Love them. Not yourself found in them.
When someone tells you they are different, fight your urge to deny their truth. Hear them. And tell them it is okay to be different.