Michele O'Mara

Are you normal?

Filed By Michele O'Mara | November 08, 2009 1:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: coming out of the closet, gay people, lesbian, normal

Imagine that all humans were produced on a production line of various human production factories around the world. Would all of the non-heterosexuals just be plucked right off the conveyor belt and tossed in to a pile labeled defects?

Most of us, gay or not, are raised to believe that non-heterosexuals are some sort of alternate human design (the design without the standard human feature known as heterosexuality). And this design is considered a deviation from the "normal" human design, which suggests that non-heterosexuals are defective. Or worse yet, not normal.

As far as I can tell, normal is actually a self-appointed status. Not surprisingly, there are many self-appointed-"normal" people with whom my views differ. It doesn't matter that I think these folks are not my kind of normal because they get to define for themselves what normal is. Furthermore, these self-appointed representatives of normal are not looking for the approval of non-heterosexuals for their beliefs anyway! Imagine that - they don't care what I think. What a novel idea.

Imagine that one day something unexpected happens in this pile of defective humans. One brave defective human being stands up, brushing herself off, and she climbs back up on that conveyor belt. She doesn't ask. She doesn't sneak. And she doesn't force her way there either. She stands up confidently, moves toward the production belt, and steps back on with grace and dignity.

After all, is it really normal to pretend we are something we are not? Are we really defective, or are we just acting like it because others decided we are?

Upon seeing this brave woman reenter the world of humans with such confidence and pride, others begin to follow suit.

Is it normal to silence our truth so that other's are not uncomfortable by the reality of who we are? Is it normal to pretend that who we love is really not an important part of who we are?

After hundreds of thousands of men and women begin brushing themselves off and steadily placing themselves back on the conveyor belt of life, the powers that be begin to realize what is happening, and in a moment of brilliance they decide, "We need these humans on the production line with the others." Realizing, "While they are different than we had expected, it turns out there's nothing functionally wrong with them, and because there are so many of them - they too can find happiness and joy in this life by partnering with each other!"

This brilliant discovery propels this production company into the highest tech, most elite human production company around - with human production rates at least 10% greater than their competitors. Before long, other production companies catch on, and soon, what once was considered a defect, is now embraced as business as usual. All because of one brave woman who stood up, brushed herself off, and entered the conveyor belt of life with confidence, grace and dignity.

To the extent that we believe we are not "normal," we are not. To the extent that we believe we are "normal," we are. No one else can determine this for us, they can only determine for themselves what is normal and then project it to the world around them. Our sense of normalcy, of wholeness and self-respect, is a function of how we see ourselves, not how others see us.

Our feelings of self-worth and self-confidence grow from deep inside us where our truth resides. We can not strengthen our feelings of self-worth by pandering to another's truth. We will instead strengthen their self-worth at our expense! We must find our own truth, whatever that is, however that looks, and we will be strengthened by the expression of this truth.

If you do not believe you are normal, who is going to? If you do not believe your relationship is normal, who is going to? If you apologize for who you are, what you are, and the relationship you are in, who is going to view it as something deserving of respect and support? We've got to first take responsibility for how we treat our own relationship and figure out how to improve ourselves before turning our lens to others and holding them responsible for how we feel about ourselves.

Now brush yourself off and get back on that conveyor belt of life where you belong!


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Excellent article!

"Normal" is relative in every aspect of life. Mainly, it's the majority. And, unfortunately, the majority considers the minority freaks! For example, most of us go through life with fairly normal noses, but the poor kid with the large nose hears "schnoze" a lot. There are so many! "Four eyes!" "Thunder thighs!" "Blubber butt!" "Flat ass!" Any extreme or difference is seen as bad, undesireable. And yet, these differences are the very things that DEFINE us, make us unique, and set us apart. It's a matter of nature. It's a matter of DNA Everyone is different!!

Wake up, folks! Embrace differences! Celebrate them! That little four-eyed blubber butt may be the genius that will discover the fountain of youth! The flat-assed schnoze may cure the common cold! And that defect homosexual may be the one to lead America back to glory!

'Normal'...

I'm asexual, intersexed and transgender. My childhood was so bad that I have PTSD from it. Recounting just some of it left my two therapists in tears. Yeah, I have numerous issues. But I still managed to have a full 20 year career in the US Navy. I still managed to find a job that many are envious of and do it quite well. If you was to ask anyone that I've worked with if I'm 'normal' they would all say yes. If you were to ask my freinds they would also say yes but would most certianly say "I don't know why she's normal but she is" if you were to ask me (and you are) I would say I'm so abnormal in so many ways and yet I can act normal. Because thats what I do to fit in. Thats what a lot of us do to fit in. We act as the group dictates as 'normal'.

When you get right down to it. Humans are herd animals.They naturally congregate into groups of similar acting units that strive for homogonization of the group. They ostrasize those that do not act similarly.

And so far in my life, I have yet to find two people that are 'normal'.

Normal.

By its nature its relative, as was pointed out, but it is not a self proclaimed concept.

I seek to be anything but normal, in general, and yet, I am fond of quoting "I am a perfectly normal member of my species."

In the US, if you are not a straight person, you are not normal. If your family is not composed of a male and a female parent set and you do not have a pair of children, you are not normal.

I had 5 kids.

If you have a granddaughter before the age of 40, you are not normal. This one surprised me, lol.

If you are LGBT, you are not normal. Unless you are in a group of other LGBT folks, in which case you are normal.

If you have a job, you are normal. If you own a car, you are normal. If you were born in your country of residence you are normal. If you are worried about healthcare and the economy, you are normal.

If you vote in elections, you are not normal. If you talk about politics, you are normal.

If you watch pornography, you are normal. If you talk about it, you are not normal.

Normal is, in the most simple of terms, nothing more and nothing less than being typical. Ordinary. Commonplace. Everyday. Familiar. Common.

Its defined as such, as well -- its what people understand normal to be, and it is an extremely powerful part of society -- not just out society, but the idea of society itself, the very nature of it.

Community is built on normalcy. It is built on the dull, the drab, the humdrum, the prosaic and pedestrian experiences when shared with the rest of the world.

It is a changing, shifting, developing, leading concept that is both weapon and shield, weal and woe, a singularity that defines entire peoples.

It is the usual, the habitual, the customary and the accustomed, a panoply of the run of the mill, expressed as this is what *I* have in common, in kind, in similarity to *them*.

And by that measure, all people are normal, for being people is, of course, normal.

Everything else is merely abnormal.

To me, normal has always been synonymous with average, with middle-of-the-road, with mediocre. Normal is the centerline of the bell curve. I never wanted to be any of these things, and I have not been normal, in any sense of the word (ask anyone who knows me!).

Guess what? It has always been abnormals like me who defeat stasis. It is from us that new things arise. We are the ones who can bend the rails so that the train goes in a different direction. And we are busily doing just that.

If you aren't a Norm, then you exist to challenge the Norms. So do it.

I'm normal for a Zoe Brain.

In other ways.. not so much.

All my research on what happened in 2005 has shown just exactly how unusual it was. Dichogamy - natural sex reversal - is rare enough in humans, with a lower limit of 1 in 100,000, and an upper of 1 in 50,000.

But ~99% of those are from female to male. That means male to female dichogamy is 1 in 1-10 million, we think. The numbers are so low we have no good estimate.

And all of those cases happened at normal pubescent rates, explicable by hormonal changes alone, even if we're not sure how. Over 2-7 years. Except for mine, which happened at about 10 times that rate, causing drastic weight loss and metabolic chaos that nearly killed me.

Normal? Not as such, by any reasonable definition.

But then, how "normal" is it to have your blog voted the best Australian Blog not owned by Rupert Murdoch (3rd overall) in the Webbies? How "normal" is it to have your blog archived by the National Library as of "lasting cultural value" and with "national significance"? How normal is it to be a Rocket Scientist, a sometime military analyst and architect of Naval Combat Systems? How "normal" is it for any woman to be doing her PhD in her 50's, while parenting a pre-teen boy?

You know, I never wanted to rock the boat. I didn't want publicity, or a high profile, or to be noticed. I just wanted to have a "normal" life, but maybe do something to make the world a better place in the process. That's why I pretended to be male for so long, just because my body was masculinised. My life was in the toilet, it felt so horrid, but I could salvage a victory from the colossal train-wreck by helping others.

Then it got better. I'm still learning how to deal with that. Adversity, persecution, those I can cope with. Kindness though... I fall apart. I've been doing a lot of that lately, I've been so fortunate.

beachcomberT | November 15, 2009 7:04 AM

Some of my straight friends have trouble believing this but it's true -- I learned every so-called gay sexual technique when I was in a heterosexual marriage in my 20s. So was the sex "normal" then but somehow became "abnormal" when I came out to gay life after my divorce?

James Murphree | February 28, 2010 10:47 PM

my wife says she is in love with another woman and has moved out. she is living with a woman. shoud i get a divorce