05 December, 2010

late night germs

I got this weird comment on a really old YouTube video called "More about Asperger's and looking normal." Sometimes I get comments where I think English isn't their first language, or maybe it's just related to their disability, but either way the person seems to just be responding to things like the title of the video or some random word mentioned in the video, and just saying how they feel about that thing. I certainly don't mind this or anything, it's a lot less annoying than people who will do shit like getting in an argument with me over whether I really have ASD, based on some line that they willfully misinterpreted in the video.

Anyway, this video is actually just documenting the beginning of my realization that I didn't need to try to play a role to cover for being different, and explaining that I had come to this conclusion by meeting people with severe disabilities and realizing that a lot of them they were pretty cool, and if the scariest thing I could think of was that I might look sort of like them if I wasn't careful, I had a pretty good life.

But this guy's comment is about how he has Asperger's and he looks normal and he wants to date a girl with Asperger's who is pretty and looks normal. When I saw this comment and saw what the word normal meant to this guy--obviously something very innocent, unless I misread it--I felt like maybe I overdo the whole "I don't look normal and I don't want to look normal" thing. Because for some people normal just kind of means good or whatever. Sometimes I even use it that way. ("I'm sorry I'm being so annoying." "No, you're totally normal.")

But I really don't like to be told I look normal. Is that normal?

I think for me being told I look normal is like--well, it's not good because it feels like I'm not being given any space. Like just because I look a certain way to you right now doesn't mean I always will. Maybe someday I will look less normal. I want room to react and move the way that feels right. This means that for me it's nice to think of myself as "looking disabled." This doesn't mean that I have to always or even sometimes look like someone that other people can easily recognize as disabled. I'm disabled so by definition I look disabled, since I look like myself. If I think of myself as "looking normal," then it's only sometimes true. Or it's a feeling instead of just being.


  1. Somebody said that I seemed pretty normal for a person coming from my high school (it was a highly artsy and open-minded place, so I did not have as big a problem fitting in). I said, "Wait until you get to know me."

    When I don't know people well enough, it definitely helps to save the quirky talk for later. Like for the first few weeks of college, I stuck to the general conversational topics like "Where are you from?" "what high school" and such. Then later on, I can be more open about my oddities in a channeled way.

  2. Whenever I'm told I seem normal, I always feel like they're denying my huge past of being made fun of for looking and acting different, like my past as a weirdo misfit wasn't real. But it was. And if I look normal now, it's only because I've spent years working on figuring out how to appear that way, and only so that I didn't get picked on or otherwise hurt.