Dear LGBTQ Community,
Hi. I am Julie Morrow, prolific blogger, aspiring author, and an ally to your social cause.
Dear Conservative Christian Friends and Family,
I am sorry to disappoint you. I know you fervently believe that gender and sexually nonconforming people are sinful and damned, but I disagree. I understand, in consequence, some of you will disavow association and friendship with me, but I refuse to hide my ethical convictions for the sake of redeeming the shallow semblance of community we may have once shared.
I would like to explain why my declaration of alliance carries moral weight. My experience as a neurodivergent creature has generated a burgeoning sympathy toward the plight of the LGBTQ community. My struggle (and failure) to conform to social and cultural norms, as well as the resulting mental anguish, has endowed me with insight, enabling me to identify with other social groups who’ve suffered discrimination as outcasts, resigned to exist on the fringe of society.
With that said, I consider myself an ally to all minorities, whether by race, gender, sexuality, neurology, ability (or disability), etc… Please forgive my poor recall, if I’ve excluded any others. I mean to extend my support to any and all marginalized people.
As an atypical human, I can honestly say that most people wish to conform to social norms. Most people wish to integrate seamlessly into society, and most people attempt, at all costs, internal modifications, in effort to please society at large. I say this because I know from experience that most people do not aim for the fringe of society, and if people do not aim for the fringe, then those relegated to that space have done all they could to avoid such relegation.
The decision to come out is one fraught with anxiety. Grief trails within the wake of such decisions, but so, too, trails freedom. Gay friends, trans friends, non-binary friends, I stand with you in solidarity. I know it is not easy to deny your personal organic human development, in effort to meet the demands of society. Likewise, I know it is not easy to embrace your personally organic development at the expense of communal fellowship.
I’ve chosen to use the term organic development with intention. I am aware there are haters who call you unnatural. I argue that atypical humans are, in their most natural states, atypical. As a person with atypical neurological wiring, I can say with certainty that yes, for some people, it is natural to identify best with the gender to which they were not physically assigned at birth. Yes, it is natural for some people to be sexually attracted to members of the same gender. For me, it is natural that I think differently, that my mind wanders sometimes, that I hyperfocus sometimes, that I refuse to spank my children, that I’m oversensitive to sensory stimuli, and–the list of things which have before relegated me to the fringe could go on forever.
With that said, I support my gay friends, my trans friends, my non-binary friends, my neurodivergent, and minority friends as they rise to affirm the right to their most natural existence. The berth of the normative population fails to recognize that what comes naturally to most fails to come naturally to all. They refuse to consider the possibility, so they collectively establish norms to regulate and standardize human existence.
These social norms are the unwritten rules of society, established to maintain the appearance of order and to uphold the dominant ideology. In effect, rigid norms serve to repress what is undesirable within a given culture. It works, to a point. Undesirables, longing to be desired, strive to adapt and strive to conform, but such self-immolation rarely persists. The choice often becomes: meet the demands and murder your soul, or embrace your desire and accept life as a social pariah. In The Sublime Object of Ideology, Slavoj Žižek defines the Lacanian (psychoanalytic) symptom as follows:
“the traumatic point which is always missed but non the less always returns, although we try – through a set of different strategies – to neutralize it, to integrate it into the symbolic order…which persists…and returns through all attempts to domesticate it, to gentrify it…to dissolve it.”Slavoj Žižek, The Sublime Object of Ideology, page 74
I argue that we, non-conforming members of society, serve as a sign, indicating the impotence of the unwritten demands of society at large. The rules, the limits, the discrimination—all serve as the impulse to quash all that we are, but in spite of our own desire to assimilate—to meet the demands—we cannot.
In my opinion, Andrew Hozier-Byrne sums it up nicely:
“All around the world / You’d think that things were looking rough / But the jackboot only jumps down / On people standing up / So you know good things are happening when the jackboot needs to jump.”Hozier, “Jackboot Jump”
Dear LGBTQ Community, Immigrant Community, Black Community, Disabled, Neurodiverse, Minorities of all shapes, colors and sizes,
I support you.
The laws, the regulations, the policies–have been established to erase you, but you will never be eradicated. You don’t have to hide. You don’t have to conform. Rise up. Your rising announces the cracks in the system.
Rise, friends. I’m standing right beside you.