A good friend of mine was taking a flight, in first class, with her spouse, when a large, angry man sidled up the aisle and deliberately stepped all over her feet. When asked to move by the flight attendant , he stood down hard on her foot a while. When he took his chair, he reclined so far back, my friend could barely turn sideways in her own seat. Again, he was asked by the flight attendant to move forward just a little. Again, he refused to comply. As they were ready to land after this unnecessarily difficult flight, he continued to be rude and obnoxious and finally announced, ” I don’t like queers.” He was informed by the attendant that the police would be waiting for him at the gate, as he had literally assaulted my friend physically and intentionally.
I am livid. I am sad. I literally cried when I heard of her treatment and I cry as I write this both as her friend, knowing her pain and offense and as a mother of a child on the autism spectrum , knowing how it feels to be treated with disrespect for things that shouldn’t matter to anyone else.
This is why I am a non-social recluse. This is why I have clinical moderate agoraphobia.
I know first hand what it is to be ‘different’ and to mother a child who is ‘ different’.
I know what comes with that the moment you engage with the general public: rude comments, interjections of unsolicited opinions, ignorance, mean-spirited jeers and remarks, dismissal and exclusion…
I know what it is like to just be living your life without harm to anyone and have someone lambaste you for things that do not affect them at all and which you are fully aware will stand out in a crowd. You get tired of wearing masks. You get tired of pretending you don’t notice the glares and snickering. You get tired of people.
I know what it is like to try to blend in the crowd and hope you go unnoticed, snuffing your own flame for fear and insecurity and want of peace.
Webster’s dictionary has several definitions for the word ‘ queer ‘
a : differing in some odd way from what is usual or normal
c : absorbed or interested to an extreme or unreasonable degree :obsessed
d : often disparaging + offensive
3 a (1):sexually attracted to members of the same sex :homosexual, gay
(2):of, relating to, or used by homosexuals :gay
Let’s examine them , shall we?
I have been told that I, myself, am unconventional, eccentric, absorbed or obsessed ( with my cows and dogs ) etc…
I have a bassinet for my little dogs. I hug my cows.
I also have literal OCD, ADHD and agoraphobia. Therefore, I am ‘ not quite well’.
I am queer.
My son is on the autism spectrum. He is very open to talking and sharing about how differently he thinks and acts than ‘ normal ‘ kids his age. Is he ‘queer’? yep.
I have a friend who cannot stand to have her clothes touch her neck. Another who hates to be wet–at all. Drives her nuts.
Are they queer? sure.
How about those who stutter? Those who rescue animals at their own expense? Those who create art ? Those who give up their social lives to heal others? Queer ? Yes.
What about people with Tourettes, bi-polar disorder, skin disorders?
What about visionaries, writers, philosophers, believers?
How about homesteaders, back to basic yearners, off the grid folks?
Homeschoolers, attachment parents, breast feeding moms?
All queer by definition.
I am different.
There are many aspects of my construct and character that the world at large deems weird, strange, odd …but no one, not one single time, has ever physically assaulted me for them. I cannot imagine having to live in that world.
My friends were , as they always do, minding their own business, on the way to a professional endeavor in another state, two lovely in all ways successful women and because this jerk feels his flesh is more valuable somehow than theirs, they were accosted multiple times in ways that he hoped would humiliate, degrade and crush them.
With malice in his black heart, he repeatedly attempted to dehumanize my friends while only succeeding in dehumanizing himself.
I love my queers. All of you. The weirdos, the artists, the back to the earth gals and guys, the gay couples and singles, the farmers, the autistic funny guys and the brilliant girls on the spectrum too. My OCD , ADHD, animal saving, animal hugging, antisocial, outspoken, socially driven , divine believing, spiritual friends.
I love my queers. I am honored to call you my queers..