“Normal never got any of us anywhere”

Ivan Coyote has a great column at the Canadian paper Xtra, in response to a woman who emailed to tell her:

The author was a self-identified “proud lesbian,” and she had a bone to pick with me. She wanted to know why I wrote so much about being a butch and asked me if I had nothing better to do with my time and my writing than to separate myself from “normal lesbians.” She said that lesbians would never reach true equality as long as people like me were insisting on labelling ourselves and splitting up “her community.”

Ivan responded beautifully, about what it means to be “normal,” community and queerness.

Because the thing is, Eve, I don’t want your normal. Normal never got any of us anywhere. And I didn’t just become a butch when I found the word and embraced it. Even a cursory look through photos of me as a kid is evidence that I never was a typical, or common, or regular, little girl. Butch is what I have always been, and it fits me, and helps me find others like myself. I have always, and will always, surround myself with beautiful misfits and defiant, dangerously mouthy deviants.

Because these are my people. My people fight for the rights of all of us. We fight for the queers of colour, the disabled, the poor, the infected, the tattooed and the tarnished, and even for you, Eve.

Somebody told me recently that the real definition of community includes the person you don’t want to be there, too. That would be you.

So you and your normal friends can all rest assured: when the rest of us abnormal queers do finally win equality, we will make room for you, too. You can thank us for it later, if you show up to the party. Wear something special, though, because the rest of us will be fucking fabulous.

Read the whole thing here.

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