A Rather Queer Year – By John Scott Holman
Posted on Friday, September 14 @ 08:11:33 EDT by Editorial Warning: Wrong Planet is a family-friendly site. However, the following article discusses adult topics involving sexuality and includes strong language. Parental discretion is advised.
??????queer ? adj. ? (kwir)I am queer.
??????1: a: worthless, counterfeit
??????b: questionable, suspicious
??????2: a: differing in some odd way from what is usual or normal
??????b (1): eccentric, unconventional (2): mildly insane: touched
??????c: absorbed or interested to an extreme or unreasonable degree: obsessed
??????d (1) often disparaging: homosexual (2) sometimes offensive
??????3: not quite well
Forget, for a moment, Chick-fil-a or that lovable character from Modern Family; focus, instead, on the definition printed above. What does Mr. Webster have to say? How do you measure up? Queer behavior would appear to be startlingly common.
?You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.? ~Alan Alda
Are you queer?
Do you ever feel awkward and phony while donning an uncomfortable social mask? at a funeral, perhaps, or on a first date? Do you secretly engage in harmless but potentially ?abnormal? private behaviors? Have you ever believed the intensity of your interests to be a bit, well, intense, almost obsessive? Do attractive members of the same sex make you feel hot and restless within the denim confines of your new pair of skinny jeans?
Do you know the feeling of being an outsider, a misfit toy, playing the part of someone else, day after day? If you do, indeed, then you are not so remarkable ? you?re as queer as the next human being! Humankind is a queer lot; sexuality is merely one reflection of our beautiful absurdity. Eccentricity and obsessive interests are characteristic of the autism diagnosis, yet in varying degrees, they are actually characteristic of homo sapiens in general.
While we?re on the subject of homo? er? sapiens, I should mention that I?m also queer in the popular and crude sense of the word ? I?m a guy and I like guys. If that makes you uncomfortable, I can assure you that I understand. I?ve spent my entire life bombarded by a daily assault of heterosexuality imagery; a constant suggestion of my social irrelevance. Yeah, you?re sexual orientation makes me uncomfortable as well.
Though prejudice and social pressure inspired years of self-deception, self-loathing, and heterosexual mimicry (a: worthless, counterfeit), I can no longer deny it – I practically pranced out of the womb striking poses to the tune of Vogue. I may not be the biggest queen to ever purchase a Judy Garland album, but there?s no mistaking basic nature ? I?m a queer (homosexual), a fruit, a flamer, faggot? whichever adjective is hurled across the bar by the drunken red-neck who will soon learn the meaning of ?lanky strength.?
I was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder one year ago. Six short months after my diagnosis I came out of the closet. After 25 years of claustrophobia, I no longer had the patience necessary to make my exit on quiet tip-toes, gently closing the closet door behind me. For many LGBT individuals, coming out is a process. Perhaps they tell a friend or trusted relative, then gradually the support of their confidantes brings greater courage, and they may begin to reveal their sexual orientation on a larger scale, and in a more casual manner.
Well, I?ve never respected conventional social protocol. Instead of enduring the typical, drawn out process, I chose to divulge my sexual orientation by writing an article? an article which drew? um? a decent amount of attention (gotta love the mass exposure available through social media). My family would doubtlessly have preferred a more private disclosure along with some time to come to terms with my little revelation, but hey, divas will be divas, and boys will be? appealing, with or without parental consent.
Aside from the gay, I?ve also got the Asperger?s. Unconventional? Governed by all-consuming interests (c: absorbed or interested to an extreme or unreasonable degree: obsessed)? Unconcerned with social customs, trends, and events (a: differing in some odd way from what is usual or normal). Yep, autism is a mighty queer condition.
An enormous body of anecdotal evidence suggests an unusually high percentage of LGBT among the autistic population, though few studies have explored the implications of a possible link. Is there a correlation between the mysterious and unique neurological wiring of the autistic mind and alternative sexual orientation? Or could it be that autistics like us, equipped with our natural resistance to social expectations, are simply more comfortable exploring and locating our role along the sexual spectrum. Let?s face it, sexuality is nowhere near as cut and dry as many would care to believe.
A friend once told me, ?There?s a little bi in every guy.? Since becoming deeply familiar with the autism diagnosis, I?ve come to realize that there?s also a little autism in every person. I cannot think of anyone completely absent of at least one recognizably autistic characteristic. This never fails to bring a smile to my face. That?s right ? like it or not, ?normal? is a fading concept rooted in a dying social mythology. We?re all a little queer!
This was made abundantly clear to me several days ago when I went on the most unusual date of my life! A very sweet and sexy guy arrived on time to take me to dinner. Common enough, right? Not so much?
My date eyed me over, then nodded in approval and informed me that we would be eating at the buffet adjoining the casino. He then turned the volume knob and I was horrified to hear Weird Al Yancovic?s most recent CD. We listened to Yancovic until we reached the casino. Thankfully the drive was brief. Between songs, he spoke almost entirely of his most recent dental checkup.
Over our meal, which I struggled to select from the massive smorgasbord, my date informed me that he recently graduated from the most prestigious school of magic in the country. Yep, I was out at the casino with a professional magician on his third month of overbite treatments!
After staring awestruck as he consumed enough food to force Michael Moore into a mindless, apolitical stupor, we headed downtown and began strolling aimlessly beneath the twinkling city lights. Somehow our wanderings found us standing unexpectedly among the crowd at a Montgomery Gentry concert. Homo or not, I still shouted the words to every song and though surrounded by rednecks, there was not a single hateful word uttered. We only stayed for several songs before wading on back through the crowd and onto the city sidewalks of earlier.
?You know,? he said, ?When I was a kid they thought I had something like you. Maybe I do. Either way, I like who I am and get along just fine.?
I dropped to my knees, shaking with laughter and more than a bit relieved. ?Thank God, you said that!? I snorted. ?I?ve been trying not to diagnose you all evening!?
Some people take comfort in labels. Some people do not. Gay? Straight? Autistic? Neurotypical? Caucasian? Disabled? ADHD? One thing is for certain; all labels will become utterly useless in the event of a zombie apocalypse, nuclear holocaust, the election of Mitt Romney, or some other global catastrophe of epic proportions. An education in the magical arts, however, might come in handy.
Dr. Seuss, that wisest of contemporary philosophers, once said, ?We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.?
Upon receiving my diagnosis I made a promise ? I would be uncompromisingly true to myself no matter what the cost. I had no idea what an incredible journey this promise would take me on. Never could I have truly estimated the cost or the reward.
Though my life was fully transformed in under a year by the application of two simple labels, I do not wish to be defined by autism or homosexuality. I can credit only nature for my extra helping of quirkiness and would sooner be recognized for my personal and professional accomplishments, struggling to gain the gratification of genuine pride, a feeling which is earned rather than inheritted.
This does not mean I am hesitant to reveal any aspect of my identity. Unappologetically myself, I still strive to live by the golden rule, and demand nothing more than respect and common courtesy. Gays must set examples of self-respect, confidence, and self-advocasy at all times? because you never know who may be watching. Homosexual youth are four times more likely to commit suicide than their heterosexual peers. One act of fearlessness and integrity could unknowingly save a life. For that reason I am out and will never go back in. Besides, maybe someday I?ll fall in mutual weirdness??
Anyway, I?ll stand by my man Seuss. Own your weirdness, embrace your inner oddball, and love without shame. If you fail to do so, you may unwittingly meet the simplest criteria within Webster?s definition of queer; not quite well.
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No Comments Allowed for Anonymous, please registerRe: A Rather Queer Year – By John Scott Holman
by 47x Friday, September 14 @ 12:21:30 EDT
(User Info | Send a Message) This was very enjoyable and fun to read. Some really good tips as well. Thanks 🙂Re: A Rather Queer Year – By John Scott Holman
by MrDubya Friday, September 14 @ 14:51:32 EDT
(User Info | Send a Message) Oh the places you will go…. Bravo. p.s. Keep writing, you’re doing it right.
Openly gay people don’t bother me. Although I am not gay, I seem to have the ability to pick up gaydar signals. Maybe this is an Aspie thing; or maybe it it just one outsider being able to recognize another outsider. I admire someone who has the strength of self to stand up and be who they are. What I have seen and experienced of society, I don’t want to be any part of it anyway.Re: A Rather Queer Year – By John Scott Holman
by SickInDaHead Saturday, September 15 @ 03:22:08 EDT
(User Info | Send a Message) The term “queer” was commonly used, then considered an insult, and now it’s back. They added Q to LGBT and I’ve been wondering what the Q was for. Interesting article.
I’m a gay Aspie as well… and I’m a writer. So, thanks for your article! I think that probably a majority of gay Aspies never get diagnosed because they attribute their strangeness and sense of isolation to being gay. In my case, I know that was the reason why I never saw my autism. All I knew was that it was painful enough to be gay in a straight world, but then to make things much worse, after I came out, nothing was any better. It took a friend who was studying psychology to identify my autism and suddenly everything made sense. Now, it’s just as hard to be autistic in a neurotypical world, but it gets better every day!
Wait… but… I thought you had a girlfriend before! And I thought you were really upset by the breakup!Re: A Rather Queer Year – By John Scott Holman
by PTSmorrow Saturday, September 15 @ 11:05:02 EDT
(User Info | Send a Message) I don’t understand all that fuss about sex and sexual orientation. Sorry, but i consider it about as important as other physical functions and not worth talking about. Re: A Rather Queer Year – By John Scott Holman
by Thom_Fuleri Saturday, September 15 @ 18:42:14 EDT
(User Info | Send a Message | Journal) It took me about seven years after diagnosis to come out, but I got there in the end… Social obligations got a lot easier when I realised that I’m not the only one wearing uncomfortable masks. With the exception of a few lucky people, pretty much everyone puts on an act, and when you realise that you find your own mask much easier to wear. And that you can decorate your own however you please.
Great story. And you tell it so well. I appreciate your honesty and your skill in the craft. Thanks.Re: A Rather Queer Year – By John Scott Holman
by Meistersinger Saturday, September 15 @ 22:43:35 EDT
(User Info | Send a Message) While I don’t agree with the lifestyle, I have learned long ago, “Judge not, lest ye be judged.” How you live your life is your business, and none of mine. Just don’t force your lifestyle on me, and I’ll do the same. If this sounds like someone with Asperger’s or even a “normal” person, then so be it! The word normal really can’t be defined, so I’m not even going to try.Re: A Rather Queer Year – By John Scott Holman
by Virginiarw Saturday, September 15 @ 23:50:18 EDT
(User Info | Send a Message) I am so happy for you! I am an undiagnosed Aspie… and I believe I am bi or pan but for the most part I’ve had attraction to the opposite gender… so I guess I haven’t seriously come out to anyone or felt the need to. Is that weird? haha… Is that queer? I have to say though it might be a little less stressful if people knew. I am lucky to know I would be accepted in my community and in my immediate family… but I feel like things might become awkward… and gosh am I used to awkward as an Aspie… so I guess I do put on a mask sometimes to avoid more awkwardness then I can handle. Which I can usually handle fine, unless I feel judged by the other for my awkwardness… even if they aren’t judging me I feel anxious about it because of the past. Thanks for your post!Re: A Rather Queer Year – By John Scott Holman
by godslittlerainbow Sunday, September 16 @ 12:05:17 EDT
(User Info | Send a Message) love gays, accepting them and I am a christian! I even have a gay pride flag! 🙂 Just be happy with who you are! Re: A Rather Queer Year – By John Scott Holman
by BobinPgh Sunday, September 16 @ 15:44:04 EDT
(User Info | Send a Message) For who asked above, the Q in GLBTQ is for Questioning – I guess now the people who wonder if they are GLBT are in that too. At another board I go to where there are a lot of gay men, there are an inordinate number of guys on “the spectrum” and those are just the ones who know about it. Meanwhile here, Jeffrey Deutch and John Elder Robinson – Definitely straight!Re: A Rather Queer Year – By John Scott Holman
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