Inspired by brave personal accounts from both meperson and sinnamin.
A good deal of my work deals with people who are outsiders. By and large they are not happy stories, although I like to try and put something positive in them.
Because the truth of being an outsider, as I have experienced it, is very far from the romantic version I fear will be presented as a result of this collab. I don't wish to dismiss those who are happy not following the crowd - in our conformist society it requires a lot of bravery to be different! - but I have spent a lot of time, probably too much, wondering what things would've been like if I had been accepted by my peers as a child.
That probably sounds whiney and self-pitying. It probably is. But that's how I feel.
Being an outsider is to feel angry and hateful towards 'everyone' - a blanket term I used for anyone I termed to be 'normal.' The source of my anger was childish confusion - I couldn't understand why my peers didn't like me (all I ever got was that I was 'weird,' whatever that means). I would be lying if I said that anger has disappeared.
Being an outsider is to feel lonely.
Being an outsider can lead to despair. I don't mean general unhappiness, I mean actual black despair, a feeling that things will never change and never get any better, so why go on?
There's nothing romantic about it.