Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Are You Neuroqueer? (Part 2) by Ib Grace

Maybe you read This Post Here and could relate to it, or maybe you almost could, but not quite, because the situation is a little different.  Because there are a couple of important situations I did not quite cover. And I want to. Because you might be Neuroqueer too, and welcome.

[Visual is the word "Invisible?" written in all-caps alone with question mark in white the middle of a black field, as if by chalk on a chalkboard.]

For you it isn't that you have a stigma situation going on that you worry about, or not all the time. Maybe it's more like this: you struggled through school feeling different and stupid and when they finally put a couple names on it, it was like a breath of fresh air.  Dyslexia? ADHD? Specific LD of some kind, a developmental or intellectual or mental disability or brain injury, perhaps something causing chronic pain, but not the kind that is apparent to everyone, so it took them forever to figure it out? It was a kind of liberation. You have felt alone, and now you might finally have some solidarity, some peers, some people who understand.

You're proud to say you're disabled, proud to say you're queer: nothing to hide. But you have to keep explaining yourself all the time, or else nobody will see you. You try to make the kind of eye contact that's like a secret handshake and it never works. Sometimes, people misinterpret it and kind of glare at you.

That can be on either or both intersectional location(s). Maybe you're femme and people assume you're straight unless you claim your space; maybe analogously even your queer disabled friends who get that fact already still have no understanding what you might go through as a dyslexic when they blithely make it be a whole book a week in the book club. Oh, just listen to the audio. As if that were so easily equivalent. Have they tried it? And yet part of you is grateful they even remembered, unlike the rest of the everyone, who crushingly fails to see you.

Tired, it can make you tired, and lonely, and this can also happen for all the people I remembered to put into the other article I was talking about when I was talking about medical stigmas on mental stuff.  Your disability is invisible and you feel unseen.  This is something I heard and this is how I know. I saw and heard, and so did many others who are here and who care about you. There are also other ways of knowing.  Seeing and hearing are two modes of recognition among many; in some ways, they are metaphorical.

[Visual is a vintage coffee cup on a red and white flowered tablecloth. The coffee cup says "Here's looking at you."]


But we are here and if you want us to see you we will see you and welcome you. You might be Neuroqueer or you might be a kind of ally in one or another aspect who wants to come with us and we can all recognize each other because this is good.  We are not alone, we are not islands.  We are in community and solidarity and love conquers all.

I invite you to recognize us here, and introduce yourself, and note yourself one of us or our friends as you may prefer, so that we may recognize you, and I will also invite you to write on here.  Soon I will write a more specific call for material for this site, so please be thinking if you would enjoy being a contributor.

Love,
Ib

14 comments:

  1. I am reading. I am learning. Thank you for writing.

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  2. I'm straight, but read as an obvious GLBTQ to most NTs because of my autistic traits. I go through phases of trying to be more feminine but it just never works, can't keep it up very long. Not sure how this fits in here, I think I'm not processing your writing style well at the moment. But it sure does seem maddening to be in a world where all this gender stuff that makes no sense to me is considered so important.

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    1. I do have a strange voice. Thanks for trying. The idea of NQ is really people shouldn't have to try to be what they are not, other people don't get to decide to "read" you, seriously, you should get to be what you are. Gender stuff is super important to people who have had to fight for it, fight for the right to be who they are and be allowed to live as they really are, but I think I see what you mean from your point of view, it would seem confusing and like a thing that could not possibly matter as much as it seems to. Also, from the point of view of people randomly reading things into you, the kind of mattering you are talking about is a different kind which is annoying and has to do with the kind of mattering that the other people for who gender fluidity matters are actually fighting against. So yeah... complex. Sorry bout the weirdness of my voice. I try to keep it readable... but this is how I talk... ;)

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  3. Im a (cispassing for my own safety among other reasons) nonbinary autistic dyscalculic with chronic tics and topographical agnosia.

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    1. And welcome to you! Hope to see you around more! xxoo

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. Kylie Brooks here. I am a trans woman of color who is Disabled in many ways and a wheelchair user.

    * Learning disability
    * Cerebral palsy
    * Severe to profound sensineural hearing loss (Deafness)

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    1. Thanks for coming! And thanks for your piece, which I'm about to put up now. Love, Ib

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  6. I ID as neuroqueer. Or at least, I do now that you have given me the word to use

    I'm a self-described AAA - that's Autistic, Asexual and Aromantic. Sometimes asexuals are welcomed in queer spaces, and sometimes we are not. I try to find the inclusive spaces but have learned to be cautious.

    Since asexuality and aromanticism are so erased, I tend to get read as (weird) straight. I also get read as (eccentric) neurotypical and (clumsy) non-disabled. While I'm proudly asexual and aromantic and autistic and disabled in non-autistic ways including cerebral palsy and a non-diagnosed non-verbal learning disability, constant explanation and disclosure have their constant risks. It's a relief to be able to come here and hide in intersectionland.

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    1. Nightengale you just made my day for a million days :) Love, Ib

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  7. I am still trying to grok neuroqueerness, having to pass as NT is tiresome and tiring, and my autism results in "genderlbeled" silly ass psych assessments being off. Always. Is that it?

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