So that’s a little pseudo-code-humour-way of writing Define Yourself, because I got to thinking.
Watching the Summer Games Done Quick 2019, I experienced garbitheglitcheress, a speedrunner with the following twitter description:
“Valerie 🛡️ | romhacks and other obscure games mainly | 27 | she/her 🌈| | #actuallyautistic | 💜 | alt: @garbialteress”
Followed by the pinned tweet:
“Hello, I’m GarbitheGlitcheress; I go by garbi, garb, or Valerie mainly. I’m a trans girl who likes speedrunning retro/more obscure games, and romhacks. My stream priority is creating a good and nice community where people feel welcome.”
It got me thinking about how we define and describe ourselves. If confronted, what do we consider to be our identity? And not even that, but our condensed identity; what do we say to make a short, manageable presentation?
garbi has some very defining descriptions in her presentation, and the three words that stand out are speedrunner, trans, and autistic.
I’m not questioning the validity of any of those terms, but why they’re front and center.
Speedrunner would explain that the content of the account will be speedrunning-related material.
The other two, I’m having a hard time understanding, and I do believe that’s the reason is my inexperience with the topics. On the topic of autism, I’ve been professionally declared on the spectrum, so I have some autistic tendencies, but I also believe that the term and declaration is being used over-liberally to just explain that we as humans are developing behaviours and psychologies that just differ so much from what we were doing 100 years ago that it’s a suitable catch-all. So I’m not untouched by the subject, but I still don’t understand it.
I’ve also never experienced bigotry, judgement or any form of negative consequences of my sexual preferences or identity, even though I’m not exactly a straight cis male, so I’m very out of touch with how important such an issue can be for a person. But why would it be a defining feature, unless it’s a situation that involves personal or sexual relationships?
Is that the primary feature of you? Is that what you do, what you enjoy, and what you are as a person? Why would it be so important that it’s necessarily and introductory item?
If I were to condense my introduction, I would pick things that I do and enjoy, not social conformities. I might use words like “martial artist”, “developer”, “gamer”, “photographer”, but I have a hard time seeing myself starting with “mostly straight”.
Unless it’s a dating app.
To me it resonates as a need for non-conformity. Similar to the stereotype-joke that people that do crossfit, or are vegan, can not start a conversation without including that information; that it’s so important to them that you know this part of their life. To me, unless we’re on that particular topic, that’s just a call for attention. If the conversation is about sexuality, recipes, diet, fitness, or anything related to the topic you’re defining yourself with, then fair enough. But otherwise, it just sounds like a scream for attention over the fact that you’re different than the majority of the population.
And not even population, actually, but the culture that you’re living in. Or when was the last time someone made a big deal over ladyboys in Asia being transvestites or transexuals? Whereas in western culture, it’s more uncommon. However, I would suggest not rare or controversial enough to make it a notable issue.
I guess my life has been very privileged, since I can not relate to these topics.
Or I just find them such unimportant parts of a person that I simply can not understand the behaviour anyway.