I've been thinking about creating some sort of manifesto for this endeavor for a long time now. I started it months ago and let it stew. I knew I wanted to do something for the kickass outcasts--the people who embrace their true selves and uplift one another and fight for change, no matter how small. But I wasn't sure how to create a banner for us. A rallying cry. Something to look to when we're feeling beaten down and low.
Something clicked today and it finally came together. I don't know if this will resonate with you or not, but it's the core of what I'm hoping to accomplish here at Wandering Jotun: this community of outcasts and weirdos, all lifting each other up and creating the change we need.
So, I present to you, The Kickass Outcast Manifesto (image, with accessible text beneath).
The Kickass Outcast Manifesto
I believe everyone has the right to feel comfortable in their own skin, no matter what society says or how far outside “the norm” our bodies and identities fall.
I believe support and community are vital to our survival as individuals, especially if we belong to a marginalized group.
I know art and creativity are often the beginnings of revolution and massive social change, and we need these now more than ever.
I know those who benefit from a system will resist change, leaving those of us on the outside to enact it for the betterment of all.
Being an outcast provides me with unique worldviews and experiences. I’ve overcome challenges the status quo can’t dream of enduring. I fight every day for my right to exist, and fight even harder to thrive. I see beyond the illusory curtain society drops over my eyes and dare to imagine a future where all are respected and uplifted.
That future starts with me, here and now. It starts with baby steps and stumbles, finding and rejecting labels, destroying and creating my identity over and over again. It starts with a single hand extended, a simple smile, and it grows like seaweed: strong and sturdy, but hidden beneath the turbulent waters of social unrest.
I create my own communities, welcome other outcasts into the warmth of my acceptance. I support my comrades and allow them to support me in return as we walk together toward change.
My art may be subtle, but it is a tool to begin the revolution of the outcast, and show others they are not alone—so I continue.
My change may exist only a small scale, but the smallest ripples can affect the whole pond—so I continue.
My body and identity may be degraded and ridiculed, but allowing my inner truth to shine may encourage others to do the same—so I continue.
The path of the outcast isn’t easy. But it isn’t as lonely as we think, either.
I’m holding out my hand. Take it and let’s change the world.
Nonir is a queer pagan nerd and writes about various things in those realms.