The commenter arainandagale had the excellent idea of writing a Freaks and Weirdos Manifesto after I wrote my Freaks and Weirdos post. In fact, she did write a first draft on her blog, and since it’s short, I will reproduce it here:
“We, The Freaks and Weirdos of this planet, Earth, do hereby decree our unwavering commitment to nonconformity. We establish, herein, that we will henceforth march to the beat of our own drummer, never to be deterred. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that people are people, so why should it be, you and I should get along so awfully? We don’t need NO education to tell us what to wear or who to love!
I have a dream, that one day little short-haired girls will play with little boys in dresses and they will not be ‘confused’ because they know they are loved, not for how they express their gender norms but for all of who they are.
When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary to Fuck The patriarchy and question all the bullshit on which it stands, one nation, under no god(s), undefinable, with respect and dignity for all!”
I like where she is going with this! However, I believe we can make it quite a big longer. It is my hope that anyone who is interested in this will provide their input, and here are my suggestions for how to get started.
I propose that the first thing this manifesto should do is define what we mean by “Freaks and Weirdos.” Here are my ideas on that subject so far: These words could really include a whole lot of people and if we include too many then it would get too broad. I propose that we stick to the gender-non-conforming, which includes feminists, gays, lesbians, bisexuals and also straight people who challenge what it means to be male or female. Obviously people who are trans-identified fall into this category, but I hesitate to use the word transgender because that word implies that a person naturally has to transition. We are writing from a gender critical perspective and so I prefer to say “gender non-conforming” rather than “transgender.” The point here, ultimately, is that transition is conformity and we are promoting living a life in the gray area, without conforming.
In the next section, I suggest we air our grievances. For example, we are subject to punishments for being ourselves, we are shown a limited way to be, we are told we are supposed to be just like everybody else even though we’re not, we are told we are wrong for being ourselves, we are brought to doctors and medicalized because our families regard our personalities as unacceptable, and we are hidden and erased instead of celebrated.
Finally, I suggest we set a course for the future. We will resolve to be ourselves, to not change, not fit in, not hide, celebrate ourselves and each other, and let the world know how great Freaks and Weirdos are.
If you are interested in this, feel free to leave your suggestions, tips, or entire paragraphs in the comments. No suggestions too big or too small!