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I’m an outsider.
Have been my whole life. I’m pagan, pansexual, polyamorous, gifted, mentally ill, neo-socialist, vegetarian, feminist, a night owl… in short, often not sure if I’m even human. I know what it feels like to be excluded and discriminated against and hated. I know that it feels powerful and hopeful… and, much of the time, awful.
I write for outsiders.
It might seem a contradiction. After all, we’re taught that outsiders are those who favor individuality over conformity – and that’s the way of it most of the time. But not always.
I know what it feels like to meet that one-in-a-thousand (or more) person that gets me. When I meet someone like that, I’m filled with joy – and relief – to be just a little less alone. To be an outside insider once in a while.
I’ve written a few books, and I’m in the process of publishing them. So I’ve really been thinking about who I’ve been writing for, who I’ll connect with, who is my tribe. They’re the other outsiders. I want us to connect, to understand that we don’t have to be alone in our differences. To be outside insiders together.
But, of course, that makes me think about the ones I call the inside outsiders. You know the ones I mean. The fundamentalist Christians, the white supremacists, the homophobes who insist that they’re the ones on the outside, the ones that no one understands… usually in large groups of like-minded individuals. They pretend they aren’t mainstream in the most mainstream of ways.
Well, you know what? I write for them, too.
Because, every once in a while, they get stuck in the minority. Every once in a while, they get a taste of what it’s like to be despised and uncomfortable. And, every once in a while, they like it. They like that powerful feeling of not giving in to everyone – even if they do it from the inside out instead of the true outside.
I write for them, too, because the one thing that unites us is that we’ve all been outsiders at some point. Whether it’s almost every day of our lives (except when we can connect with those rare individuals who get us) or a few seconds in a lifetime. We’ve all been on the outside, and we all need to be on the outside, for our own good – and for the good of our world.
I might despise their intolerant ideals, but I don’t hold the inside outsiders in contempt anymore, even if they hate me (and they do). Because now I recognize that we all yearn to be different but connected.
I write for the freaks who wear it proudly every day – and the freaks buried deep and scratching at the soil.
For individuals and groups. For insider outsiders and outside insiders.
I write for outsiders. Which means…
I write for everyone.