It's (usually) more complicated than that.
(Submitted by Silver Tyger)
How are you unusual? Alternatively, how are you average? (For some of us, the second question is shorter…)
It seems like no matter what I do, I’m the weird one. If I’m with geeks, I’m the only genderqueer feminist. If I’m with writers, I’m the only one writing superhero stuff and porn.
So, how am I average? I prefer guys, like most FAAB people (although I’m open to other choices, but that’s a different rant). I’m 5’5″ with blue eyes and brown hair. I don’t have any dietary restrictions, although I am a bit picky. I’m a geek, even if some of my geekdoms are unusual (Thundercats, Silverhawks, constructed languages). I like cats.
I’m asexual, or close to it. (I can, and occasionally do, find people attractive, but I don’t have any desire to act on it.) I’m genderqueer, and more likely to absently think I’m the gender I wasn’t assigned at birth than the one I was, though most of the time I default to not thinking I’m either. I also tend to walk really fast.
On the average side…well, that rather depends on what group I’m comparing myself to. Internet-wise, I’m pretty typical: just another fanfic writing geek who cares about social justice, is owned by cats, hangs out in the usual places, occasionally gets into Facebook arguments, plays video games, and gets lost in TV Tropes.
I’m very fortunate in terms of disempowerment: straight white cis male, reasonably well-off. My oddities are easily hidden in public.
On the other hand I was a cypherpunk back when that meant something, and still am. I quite often feel like the guy ranting on a street corner with twigs in his beard, telling anyone who’ll listen about how their phones are spying on them and how they shouldn’t trust even the friendliest-looking of big corporations to look out for their interests… except every so often I get proved right.
Hmmmm. I feel like I have the experience of being usual within groups and sort of unusual outside them, but not unusual on the larger scale?
Like, my family are all short. I’m the shortest one, but by a miniscule amount. Plus I spent time in Thailand as a kid and my parents have lots of Southeast Asian friends, and compared to them we were average. I’m not especially short for a human woman, and my mom is average. But for an American I am, and for a white American STEM professional very much so, to the point where a lot of stuff at work would be set up for much taller people, with longer limbs…I do have unusually small hands. Nine year olds regularly have larger hands than I do. (Something something precocious puberty, which is unusual but the norm for my family. And I guess is becoming more prevalent in the world at large, but we did it before it was cool, ok?)
Protestants are the majority of the religious people in the US (I think. My really quick read of some demographic data seems to support that indirectly?) but I was always a minority growing up, amongst Buddhists and Catholics in Thailand, and Catholics in the Boston area the rest of the time. (And then in New Mexico…and maybe Arizona? and Massachusetts again…except I wasn’t Protestant anymore so never mind…)
Now I’m Heathen and there aren’t many of us…but we’re not that rare. I don’t think I’m very unusual for a Heathen. In fact I have a pretty common “faith journey” story, and people on mailing lists are frequently posting what I think before I can.
On the other hand, Slacktivites very often post what I think before I can. You all have such lovely minds!
And on the places where I hang out on the internet I’m quite usual, which is very nice. I consume and occasionally write fanfic! Including porn! And especially gen that focuses on worldbuilding and minor characters and stuff that’s left in the shadows of the main story! (Or porn that focuses on that! That’s good too!) I like fanart! I like fandom jokes!
When I first went on the internet I thought I was a heterosexual person, and had warm fuzzies about being an ally. Not so much, as it turns out. Which is fine and good, and I get to hang out in places that are friendly and sensitive to lots of folk who can be unusual in a lonely way in their families and communities.
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