General, LGBTQIA+, Mental Health

Queer Monologue

My speech for Mizzou Queer Monologues 2019. I left all of my speech cues in so the speech aspect can sort of be heard.

 

(Siri) WEIRD- (Adjective) of strange or extraordinary character; of, relating to, or caused by witchcraft or the supernatural; suggesting something supernatural; uncanny

Ya know what’s fascinating? Humanity. (Fascinated) Did you know Human minds can naturally determine Normality vs WEIRDness? A few examples of things that are WEIRD and you just don’t know exactly why, Well, wearing very little clothes in freezing weather is WEIRD, or wearing multiple layers in blazing weather is WEIRD. Wearing all black or wearing a ton of bright colours is often WEIRD. Animal behaviour, very WEIRD. Now let’s make a hard cut to talk about Cultural Normalization. (Tone switchu) Because of created cultures, there are things people can do in America that are WEIRD in other countries, but are perfectly normal to native citizens. There are items, clothing, and actions that are WEIRD, and then there are people that are WEIRD. But yakno WEIRD seems to be something embraced today. Christopher Barzak says that “Normal is just a setting on a washing machine.” Everyone brags about being WEIRD these days, so WEIRD is good, Right? I should feel good about being one of those WEIRD Hot Topic girls.

Well, it seems WEIRD is more often used as an insult. What I mean by that is WEIRD is also word used to describe something that is just abnormal, odd, not expected, or too different to be acceptable. Thanks to society and determined culture, humans have a way they are expected to look and behave at all times, and going away from those societal norms is considered being WEIRD. In some places, it is dangerous to be certain types of WEIRD. If you look in the dictionary again, you will see that WEIRD is also considered a (Siri) {Verb} To Induce a sense of disbelief or alienation in someone. Just like people can make the WEIRDest aliens in Star Wars and Star Trek, people can also make the WEIRDest aliens out of humans. I seem to always want to target conservatives or closed thinkers, but it’s really because according to where I grew up in, you are considered WEIRD if you are a man wearing women’s clothing. You are considered WEIRD if you are a woman dating another woman. You are WEIRD if you ask people to use They/Them pronouns when speaking to or about you instead of He or She. Basically, if you are in the LGBTQ+ community, you are just automatically WEIRD for the rest of your life because the societal norm is to be heterosexual and cisgender and you are therefore too WEIRD to be considered normal, too WEIRD to be human in some places and some people’s minds. And that’s not the case anymore in this future as I have learned over time.

Imma jump back to my childhood experiences for example reasons. So this one day in middle school right, I was watching some tv show. Now this was back in the day when we only had those 10 free cable channels on tv and nothing else because Ma wouldn’t pay for all the good channels. (Annoyed) I had to make due with either the over repetitive super slow pre preschool learning shows or the boring news or confusing and mature adult tv shows. Well this one particular day I had this show playing in the background and I happened to look up at the perfect moment to see two girls kissing. KISSING! My 11, 12, 13 year old self, whichever it was, was quite surprised. (Sound like a 10 yrold anime kid) “Since when was this a thing? Is one of those a boy that just looks like a girl? It’s kinda, gross, maybe? I don’t think those go by the rules. Guys and Girls kiss, that’s normal.” But, Me being the ADD riddled child I was got bored immediately and forgot about it for a very long time.

 

So high school started a couple years later. I had this friend circle nearly all through high school of nerds and geeks and anime mimickers. There’s this one day when this girl started to hang around the circle. But Here’s the WEIRD thing about her: She always dressed like a boy and had a boy’s name, but she was very clearly a girl. One day, just casual conversation, I had said She, but she interrupted me with a very emphasized “HE” I was quite confused but again she told me “I’m a He.” (Loud side whisper) “I don’t get it, why would you wanna be a boy? I guess if you really like it, I don’t care, it’s just too WEIRD so I won’t question it anymore.” I knew nothing about pronouns but I used He Him because this guy wanted me to, (Nonchalant) didn’t bother me. We did become pretty decent friends when we found out we both loved David Bowie. I know we were both crying over our screens that fateful day in our senior year. (Heavy pause, moment of silence)

 

HS Junior year was probably the WEIRDest, as two of my close girl friends came out as this thing called gay and dated for a short while. I had no idea what that meant and apparently it just meant they liked girls instead of guys. I didn’t care that two girls wanted to date, (Nonchalant) I acknowledged it was incredibly WEIRD and went about the days. Not too many days before this happened, we had this project in AP Language Arts, screw that class, to create questions about a problem in our hearts/ on our minds, interview each person in our class, then write about our results and what it meant logically and how it felt to us. I don’t remember mine, I’m pretty sure it was related to animal abuse or something. There was the questions of one classmate that I remember well. So Question 1 was “Do you know what LGBT stands for.” First time in my ENTIRE life I heard those letters in that order, age 16. For the 2nd question she told me what it stands for and then asked if I knew the definitions of those words, and I really didn’t know. There were more questions, one being “Do you support Same Sex marriage?”. Do I support a man marrying a man, or a woman marrying a woman? I had no reason to say no, sure it was WEIRD A F, but if people want to, go for it. So I said I support to sound like a good person and to move on quickly to the next interview fast as we had to ask these questions to 22 people in only 40 minutes (Failed American school system meme joke here?)

I’m pretty sure every dramatic person says this, but (Look up to the Heaven)<<<College Completely Changed Me>>>. Once I got away from home and came to a mostly liberal campus, I was just curious in a lot of stuff and so Google and Wikipedia became my best friend in exploring reality instead of argumentative essay points, and I totally got to use wikipedia without a teacher docking points! Only now, today, do I really understand that I was quite homophobic and transphobic. Not purposely or to be mean, just didn’t understand or CARE to understand, and that’s kinda mean in a way. Another reason I studied was because college was when I really started questioning myself. January freshman year was when I really said (Pause and speak out and proud with annoyed tone underneath) OH SHIT I MIGHT BE GAY (Short silence). I almost dated a guy in high school. I started to like him, we were very good friends. But when he started to get close I suddenly hated the idea of, being with a dude. I just thought I didn’t wanna date, ever, since I only knew you could only date men. But my was I (Queen tone) fascinated with girls. There were a few girls I found myself very intrigued by, some even my closest best friends. Only in my future, after abandoning the high school reality and moving away do I know I may have liked someone, maybe a couple, but like like, the real deal LIKE. I know now that dating is normal with any gender, so now the thought of dating a girl sounds so much more appealing than dating a boy instead of not dating at all. Missed some good chances in high school.

My first girlfriend was all right, but we couldn’t hold the relationship for many reasons. She wasn’t right. Funny how my first and only relationship was with a woman. Only in the later days of research did I feel less guilty admitting that women were absolutely fudgin gorgeous. (Ryan style) Now looook, don’t get me wrong, men are still, (search for a word…) decent. I’ll sneak a stare here and there. I still happily oogle at hot celebrities all the time. Let me tell ya, Marvel Studios has casted some very good looking men for their movies. (Sarcastic) Still don’t understand all them unnecessary shirtless scenes in almost every movie. Gotta show respect for DC too, I mean Jason Momoa is also pretty (Silence, OK Hand sign). I’ve also (Heavy sarcasm and emphasis) APPARENTLY got a thing for men in Power metal bands, mostly the Scandinavians. That mysterious land above Europe has some wonderful sound and wonderful dudes. So I’m still being asked “Why are you so happily envying these “Attractive men” yet you don’t want to date one? That’s very WEIRD of you.”

 

I’m a junior in college studying psychology and fine and performing arts now. Since I switched from Pre-vet to psychology, I’ve been finding out just how WEIRD the human mind, brain, and behaviour really is. My new obsession with psychology has made me fascinated in the WEIRD and making the unnecessary WEIRDs become normal. Everything I just talked about was so WEIRD to me for the longest time, but over the course of just a couple years it was made so normal. Me finding the LGBTQ resource center on Mizzou saved a lot of my sanity. I very much remember that I immediately thought everyone in that center or associated with it was WEIRD, some by looks and some by actions and some by identities. Now, being outside the center in the world where not everyone is openly and proudly queer is cool WEIRD. Quite amazing how the human mind can do a perfect (Arm motion?) 180 on its perception of normality, huh? WEIRD, the adjective, is just a difference you don’t quite understand. Normal is just a setting on a washing machine because other settings are just WEIRD. Today I call myself a (Pause, Page turn) Pansexual Homoromantic. I can be attracted to any gender yet only wanna date women. Take that simple labelers! In all honesty, I’ve found attraction to many different people, some people whose gender I didn’t even know. However, I only really dream of finding a wonderful woman to spend life with This is probably not a confirmed thing as I have found out that sexuality and attraction is very confusing. Everything is freakin’ confusing, still freakin’ DARE I SAY WEIRD. Only very recently did I start questioning my gender, and no, I really don’t know if I’m sure what I identify as anymore, but I’ve got time to figure that out. Just 24 days ago at Pride Month Kickoff 2019, I took home a mini genderfluid flag because, Yakno, maybe I’m just not feminine every day, but I can’t really decide and my thoughts change often, but hey There’s a flag for that. I never could question anything back home in St Louis so I guess I had a bit of a late start, but so do a lot of people. Sometimes being labeled as WEIRD oppresses your ability to discover yourself. Because every human is very different from the next it just means difference is normal, it’s normal for absolutely no one in the world to be EXACTLY like you. When you really think about it, humans are actually very normal, it’s the individual mind that makes the world WEIRD. Different is normal, not the other way around. This has been one WEIRD speech. Thank you for coming to my TedTalk.

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