The Difference between Finding Normal and Celebrating Difference Essay

Submitted By hayley_blanche
Words: 560
Pages: 3

Hayley Valestin
May 4, 2014
Final Essay
In Clare’s writings he uses words such as “ordinary” and “familiar” to describe his lived experiences inside his own body and identities. There are a few reasons he does this. One reason he uses these words is to draw comparisons of how society sees us. He is also trying to frame himself and how he sees himself as central. I think the point Clare is trying to get across is that everyone at that conference would have been ordinary or familiar in that group. Everyone there would have been queer and disabled. If everyone were queer and disabled, then everyone would be ordinary and familiar. In that moment with what would have been a room full of people in wheelchairs, crutches, service dogs, and queer, crippled people there was a shared knowledge that having a disability was not tragic or pitiful (516). I also think that he wants everyone, even if they are not queer or disabled, to see the queer and disabled as familiar. He writes that he wishes for a world in which asking a question like “What’s your defect?” would not be obnoxious or strange. He hopes it would be so familiar that it wouldn’t be a big deal. Clare also discusses the difference between finding normal and celebrating difference. By this he means that he doesn’t want to make a new “normal”. He doesn’t want to “find normal- that mythical center against which everyone is compared- and make it our own” (520). He rather get rid of the concept of normal all together and have everyone be comfortable in their own bodies. The celebration comes from getting rid of “normal” and being comfortable in our different bodies. It is important to celebrate difference rather than finding normal in our everyday lives. Although sometimes it can be demanding or even uncomfortable there are some things one can do to celebrate differences. Clare tells us how he spent years hating his tremors. One way for him to celebrate his difference would have been to show it off. Not hide the tremors. He needed to stop hiding his desire to play piano or be a dancer and play the piano…