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Archive for the ‘societal norms’ Category

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Image Source: http://trauma.blog.yorku.ca/2015/12/south-asian-queer-community-lacks-visibility/  (Artist – Jinesh Patel)

(Content and Trigger Warning: Self Harm, Suicide, Substance Abuse, Emotional Abuse, Intimate Partner Violence, Bullying)

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I often find that mental illness and queerness aren’t addressed properly or constructively when talked about together. So often the public at large would have us believe that queerness is a result of mental illness or that mental illness is the result of queerness exclusively. With this in mind, the queer community will often push back on society’s behavior by talking about the two exclusively from each other, frequently ignoring all the ways mental illness intersect. That’s does not go to say that queerness is the result of mental illness or vice versa at all, but rather it shouldn’t be ignored that many people in the queer community go through both because of the way society has constructed and reacted towards queerness. For example, queerness has often been perceived as a deviant thing, it has historically been punished and worked against in a variety of ways. (more…)

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Image Source: http://www.avclub.com/article/theres-mash-rainbow-road-themes-all-8-mario-karts-206528

I’ll focus on my own experience here but I know there are going to be things about my experience that many other queer people can relate to in this regard.

My experience with queerness has never been linear, it has indeed been very queered. It has consistently involved not knowing about a way of being queer and then being introduced to the concept, a moment of reflection and then realizing “oh shit that’s me.” But I’ve also consistently struggled with coming to terms with these new labels and seeing how they fit me.

From the age of 12 to about a month away from turning 21 I had been on a journey of denial, internalization, grief over myself changing and growing, complete secrecy, exploration, etc. etc. about me being bi. I had come out after years of being afraid of myself, but in that time I also developed a yearning for community. When I came back to UMBC after two years of community college I knew that I’d want to seek out my community. Since then my reality as a queer person has shifted so greatly. I feel so liberated. Yet I grieve. I grieve for the ways I have been, not knowing if they are different than who I am now. My sense of self has been questioned. I don’t know if my new state of existing is just blurrier, or if things have just been just out of my sight this entire time and it constantly feels like both. I don’t know how consistent this person who is me is. (more…)

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At the beginning of the semester, I came across an article titled The Deaf Body in Public Space on my Facebook news feed that was posted by one of my deaf friends. As I read through the article, I found myself nodding in agreement with many of the observations that the author, Rachel Kolb, voiced. (more…)

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tumblr_n7r6vgKPpR1t6dcj7o1_500.jpgI’m getting tired of hearing that….

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In 2011 I came out while simultaneously accepting Christ. Apparently, that is a very odd thing to do, especially on a Southern Baptist mission Trip in Lousiana. My camp counselor cried tears of joy for me, but looking back on it I think he thought I was rejecting my homosexuality, rather than affirming it. I thought I couldn’t be a good Christian if I wasn’t being honest with myself, my community, and God. So this decision made perfect sense to me at the time, and I stand by that, even though I don’t attend church much anymore (for many reasons that do not pertain to this discussion). (more…)

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I’m carrying a relatively heavy box, but its weight is nothing I can’t handle. However, perhaps I showed some sign of strain that would cause this man to come over to me and take the box. (more…)

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There is nothing I dread more than the confused, shocked, horrified look on people’s faces after I open my mouth and say something incomprehensible to their untrained ears. I feel like I am exposed for the freak of nature that I am. Despite my years and years of preparation in the form of weekly speech therapy sessions and high-tech cochlear implant, I still clumsily navigate the hearing world, where sound reigns supreme, constantly tripping over tasks that seem mundane to most people.

My body, and more specifically, my ears and voice, are seen as something out of the ordinary and freakish that must be covered up as efficiently as possible or put somewhere else where there are “people like me”.

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