I was recently taught, in class, the formal definition of the word “deviant.” It’s a word with connotation, but it still describes me. I obviously wasn’t, like, a criminal growing up or dressing in a fursuit or anything that people usually call deviant, but I was, and am, deviant. Because, despite the negative connotation it usually has, the actual word just refers to an individual exhibiting traits that differ from what the general society considers “normal.”
However, I don’t accept this definition because I don’t think anyone really knows what “society” means. I certainly don’t know what it means. Society is just a word people use to describe some giant over the hill that tells everyone what to say and what to wear. It puts chains on the wrists of us and our loved ones. No one agrees with society, but they either humbly accept its regulations or throw them out the window.
I find this confounding. I mean, I haven’t spoken to anyone who accepts “society.” Everyone believes that they exist, in some way, on the fringe, the cusp of what the rest of the world has infatuated themselves with. Why? Is this the sign of the times? Is it the fault of social media or some other social scapegoat? Have we cerebrally created the average person? A person who exhibits the whole of human existence? Then we just ruefully cast them away from ourselves as we claim independence from the general other.
It has come to my attention that the contemporary conception of society is fake and everyone is deviant. No one wants to be exactly like everyone else, but as we collectively develop this conception of the general society, we develop inhibitions and appeal to the abstract notion. This is wrong.
We must accept our deviance and love it within ourselves. The things that make us unique are what make us beautiful and prevent the homogenized society so often referenced from being fully realized. To develop this admiration is the first step in finding love within ourselves, and being able to spread that love across the world.
Guest columns are written by The Sentry staff writers to give them the experience of writing an editorial and the platform to share their stories.