June 28th, 2019
What is normal?
I think a better question is: what is normalized, and what should or shouldn’t be? Without even realizing it, a lot of us normalize behaviors in how we interact with people and how we present ourselves online.
I was talking to a friend yesterday, and it made me think about how we don’t always need to point out other’s defects and flaws in order to inspire positive change. For example: calling out a racist for being a racist rarely leads a racist to stop being a racist. However, leading by example — in this case, not participating in or encouraging racist behavior — can be more than enough to affect actual change, even if it’s gradual.
We all have a role in normalizing things that we want to see in the world.
As a straight, white dude, I share a lot about myself that I don’t think society has dictated as normal for straight, white dudes. By doing so, I hope to normalize healthy, “not normal” behaviors.
I’m a recovered alcoholic. I watch and obsess over the television garbage fire known as The Bachelor franchise. My dog is my best friend, and not in a controlled, trained manner. I regularly dress up in costume in my thirties. I am unabashedly passionate about pop culture, and comic books especially, and believe it means more than most people think it does. I very much so try to be an ally for people who are not exactly like me.
These things don’t seem like a big deal when they’re typed out on a list. But by living these behaviors and sharing it daily, we show that not everybody wakes up in the morning, puts on a red MAGA hat and walks out the door.
We can oppose things by being what we believe in, and by encouraging people who believe in the same things.
If you want what we have, normalize it. And if you want change in your world, then be it.