This is my post for the August Carnival of Aces. The topic is Deviant Identities.
cw: gender, school
This post is a bit rambly and disorganized. Kinda like my brain.
I don’t really understand identities. Labels make sense – they are words that can be used to describe things, and to search for communities of like-minded people. Identities, on the other hand, are strange to me.
I’ve never been particularly attached to any identity. When I found out about asexuality and aromanticism, it was great, I had these new concepts that explained things about me. But they didn’t explain everything about me, and no collection of labels or identities ever will.
I don’t “identify as” anything. I feel a bit strange whenever I read posts by people where they say something like “I identify as a _”, or “this is a large part of my _ identity”. What even is an identity?
I’m a person. I have a consciousness. I experience things from my perspective. That is completely unique to me. Nobody else experiences things from my perspective. What is there to identify as? A unique consciousness? I guess I identify as a unique consciousness. Great, now I’ve found a title for this post! Moving on…
My Many Deviant Features
Fun stuff. I get to collect all my weird features in one place! This might end up being really really long and I only have a month to finish up this post, so I might not get around to mentioning ALL of them… And I’m going to call them features instead of identities, because I’m weird like that.
Non-binary / Agender
I’ve never been attached to a gender. When I was little, before I could even walk, I remember someone saying to my parents that I looked and acted like a boy, and they sounded surprised by this, as if this isn’t supposed to happen.
A few years later, I remember my parents tried to get me to wear dresses by giving me little gold star stickers on a chart. But I liked playing in the mud and climbing trees, and dresses just weren’t very suitable for that, so their plans didn’t work very well and they eventually gave up.
Uh, wow, gender. What is that even? Why is everyone so attached to it? I used to think that people were just following gender roles like good complacent little robots. And then I found out about transgender people. The existence of trans people kind of poked a few holes in my complacent robots theory, and I eventually decided to go online to learn more. I found the Wikipedia page about it, where it stated “Transgender people have a gender identity or gender expression that differs from their assigned sex.”, along with a link to their page about Gender identity, which I clicked on.
My brain: “Whoaaaah…. gender identities are an actual THING?!?!”
That realization blew my mind. Everything suddenly made sense. This was only a few years ago. I spent most of my life being utterly clueless about gender. I still am, but at least now I know that I’m the one that’s clueless, and that there really is a thing that people have that makes them attached to gender, other than society’s silly little rules. Growing up under a rock sure makes for some interesting moments. Autism probably helps too.
I mention the gender thing because I think it’s a good example of my general utter lack of ‘identifying’ as anything.
(I’m going to leave out all the trauma and confusion I went through at school with regards to dresses and skirts being a compulsory part of the uniform, and everyone somehow insanely thinking it’s totally fine to just dump everyone with similar body parts in the same room to get undressed for PE. I’m not even going to attempt to begin to cover that because it’ll get really long and depressing. And that’s just one of many reasons I was absolutely miserable at school.)
Speaking of school…
I’m completely against it being compulsory. It’s fine if kids can choose to go, but not if they are forced. I like the concept of Self-Directed Education as an alternative.
It was 12 years of torture, and I picked up more mental problems to unlearn than anything actually useful. It’d be great if more people could be spared that in the future.
Aro / Ace Stuff
I think quoiromantic and quoisexual make the most sense to me. I like the concept of Pan-(something) as well, though I’m not sure how much of that fits, given that I presumably need some kind of attraction to qualify, and I’m not really sure how attraction works. I mean, it’s possible for me feel some attraction to a person, it doesn’t happen with very many people though… but what kind of attraction? No idea! What does it mean? I dunno!
… is a possible explanation for a lot of the stuff I’ve described above. Maybe. Either way, it’s an interesting thing to look into nonetheless.
This page has some interesting comments and research quotes about the causes of alexithymia.
I’m very likely autistic, but I can’t be bothered to contact any phone numbers* to find a psychologist who will test me. I also don’t want to take an IQ test, because I’ve gone 36 years so far without knowing what my IQ number is, and from what I’ve read, part of the autism test is an IQ test. Since I’ve kept my ignorance up this long, I might as well go all the way, right? I’ll get some kind of achievement at the end, something like “spent entire lifetime not knowing own IQ”, and I’ll get points for it, probably.
* phone calls are stupid and awful, and how is it possible that they still exist even after the internet has been around for this long?
Random Thoughts About Job Title Identities
Isn’t it funny (and a little creepy) how people identify as their job title?
“I am a software engineer”
“I am a doctor”
No… that’s not what you are, that’s what you do… if you stopped doing that, what would you be then? Even if you strip all the identities, and the labels… you’d still be a unique consciousness.
I am a unique consciousness… and so are you! 🙂
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