Maybe I don’t need to make a long, super-intellectual post around it; maybe I just need to say it out loud over and over again and stop being afraid of the inevitable hate.
Because I didn’t realize quite how strongly I felt about this until I saw one of my friends getting shit about it just now.
People with mental illness are allowed to fetishize and romanticize mental illness.
People with disabilities are allowed to fetishize and romanticize disabilities.
Trans* people are allowed to fetishize and romanticize trans*ness.
We are all allowed to fetishize and romanticize the experiences of living in our own bodies and minds, including both the pleasant and the unpleasant aspects. We are all allowed to squeeze as much joy as we can from the things that hurt us.
Being fascinated with sometimes-unpleasant experiences that mirror your own is a really important route to self-acceptance, especially for those of us who work in art and story as our ways of mapping reality.
We live in rough territory. We must not deny anyone’s right to *play* in the spaces that make up their own lives, to roll around in it and create and make beautiful the things that hurt.
Yes, there’s a fine line. Just like having your own boobs doesn’t give you a free pass to stare at someone else’s without asking, it’s important to be careful working with highly charged emotional material that’s connected to another person’s experiences.
But writing and art done with respect doesn’t silence voices; it gives voices to the silent. If you can, as much as you can, embrace the atrocity exhibition of your own life until you get excited looking in the mirror. It inspires others to do the same - and helps everyone breathe a little easier.
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