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What Made You Weird?

I was reading through Coilhouse Magazine today, and came across an entry asking "What made you weird?"

"For many of us there is an event, a circumstance or a series of both that altered us in a specific way, making us strange, odd, whatever you want to call it enough to seek lives less ordinary. It’s different for everyone - Nadya, for instance, was inspired in part by Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation video’s military look and overall stompiness. For there were several components and so I present you a partial list of What Made Me Weird."

And here is my list.

My name
A logical place to start. Fawn Belle LaRoche. Oh, what a DEER name. "Fawn, a deer, a baby dear" was sung at me ALL THE TIME. You've no idea how much I HATE The Sound of Music because of this. People called me Roach, Buck, Frog, Cockroach, French Kiss, Smoke a Roach, even Thong (and you can be sure I hated hearing the Thong Song sung at me, too). The name that started it all. And of course, no one could pronounce it right.

Cartoons and Nickelodeon
I wasn't allowed to have an imaginary friend, despite having no real friends, so I always daydreamed myself a character in my favourite cartoons (Tail Spin, Darkwing Duck, The Littles, Gummi Bears, Alice in Wonderland, TMNT, the Wuzzles, and so on). I was raised by Television because I wasn't allowed to have any books I REALLY wanted. You Can't Do That On Television, Snick, Nicktoons, Eerie Indiana (which was a Fox show, I think. I still watch that today- I own the box set)...

My middle and high school art teachers
Mr. Berdie, Mr. Mahanke, and Ms. Day were the best art teachers I ever had and really encouraged my artwork. Mr. Berdie made me feel like I was the best art student, even though my work was never picked to be in showcases, and I never really saw the other students' art until the end of the year, which is when I noticed that my art sucked compared to theirs. Mr. Mahanke and Ms. Day were amazing, and they gave such great criticisms and opened up new worlds of art (like sculpture, and jewelry-making- my high school was the only one in the county with professional jeweler's courses). They introduced me to artists like Isamu Noguchi, Louise Nevelson, and George Segal.

David Bowie, Mr. Bungle, Man or Astro-Man?, Stereolab, and Voltaire
Music, of course, is a key factor in my growing up, and I fell for the music that nobody else knew. Except for David Bowie, the man who sung "As the World Falls Down" to me every night in my head. He was the only man for me. And of course, I loved other music. I was introduced to Mr. Bungle and Man or Astro-Man? when I was 15 or 16. My friend Josh introduced me to Mr. Bungle, and they soon became my favourite band after buying their second album (Disco Volante). He then introduced me to the album Experiment Zero, by Man or Astro-Man? and I was hooked. Shortly after, my best friend's sister Gwen gave me a tape of her favourite band Stereolab, saying it was the kind of music to hang-out to, do laundry to, read to. The kind of music that doesn't make you feel alone, even if you're the only person in the house. She was right. They were so cool. My other favourite bands then were Pizzicato Five, Peter Murphy, Two-Mix, Bjork, Mila Jovovich, and Tori Amos. I made a mix tape of my glorious new music, and tried to share it with my art class (we can bring in music to listen to while we work). Nobody liked it, and before the first song (one by Stereolab) was over, the tape was back in my bag, never heard by anyone but me.
Voltaire is a story in itself; you ought to know that by now. My best friend Josh died and I picked up a magazine and read a review for Almost Human, Voltaire's second album. Mom wouldn't buy it for me, so I scrounged up the dough and bought it myself. I was instantly in love, and couldn't remember for the life of me just who David Bowie was ;)
I tried to get mom to listen to the more "parent friendly" tunes, but she just scoffed at it. Not even my first roommate liked any of the stuff I picked up.

Homophobia and other Rumors
Even though I wasn't, and I don't know exactly how the rumor got started, everyone in middle school thought I was gay, and hated me because of it. Any time I was on the brink of becoming one of the 'cool kids,' the popular bitch would step up and whisper in the ear of the 'cool' person I was talking to, and the air turned to ice. "She's a lesbian." Of course, I was also the only girl in my class not having sex or dating anyone. Even the geeks were doing it. There were other rumors, but one really WEIRD rumor that started about me, and I might have my tenth grade world history teacher to thank for this (as awesome as he was anyway), was that I was a communist. I think it was because I expressed a liking for Marxism. It looked good on paper, I said. I knew it wouldn't really work, but I earned the nickname Pinko anyway.

My magazine and comic book collection
My floor was always littered with magazines. Newgrave, Carpe Noctem (both where I first heard of Voltaire), girly magazines like the curve-friendly Bust and Jane magazines. Adbusters, Fango, Rue Morgue... and comic books. I had inherited most of my single issues from my Dad and my uncle. My uncle got me into X-Men. Dad got me into... whatever he had given to me. My own comics included Slave Labor Graphics (Johnny the Homicidal Maniac and Lenore- discovered during the uprising of Hot Topic), and Vertigo (Sandman, Transmetropolitan, and so on). And Sailor Moon. Nothing I could really talk about to anyone, because I was more into the girly or anti-hero comics, and everyone else was into Superman and Spiderman :P

My friends and Rocky Horror
Post-high school friends, I mean. The friends I had in high school thought I was weird and on drugs. Nobody believed I wasn't, except the pot-smokers who offered and were okay that I didn't. Post-high school friends like Zabrina, who let me live with her, introduced me to Sam and Sean, and Emily, and together, they helped me break out of my shell. They introduced me to the goth club, and inspired me to paint. Zach, my first boyfriend, introduced me to independence and the world of medical research. My second boyfriend got me into the Rocky Horror Picture Show. I played Rocky, Trixie, Columbia, Crim, Scott, Magenta, and Janet. And I decided I shouldn't put a barrier on who I can love and came out as being bi.

Asking questions
This made me both weird and cool. I asked questions to my church, and in elementary school. I didn't get answers. I was scolded for my questions. I realized very quickly that questions were dangerous tools. I stayed quiet for a while, and in high school, I began raising my hand again. It wasn't accepted at first, but I stood my ground and stayed brave. Well, one year, my questions landed me in summer school (the teacher just plain hate me, I guess- said I was disruptive). But in summer school, I flourished! I was praised for my intelligent questioning, my hard-hitting questions. And I made a great friend (Michelle), whose brother made an even better friend (this is Matt- my first love). Michelle talked about me to her family as being "the only other smart girl in class." And I realized that I really was smart. Even though I do some stupid shit. I never stopped asking questions.

Not my Parents
Unlike most peoples' stories, I don't think my parents played any key role in my weirdness. Mine discouraged it. I can only thank them for the use of both sides of my brain (mathematics and the arts). My dad's bedtime stories came from the encyclopedia. And he was a whiz at maths. My mom always told me to be unique and to think outside the box. But what she really meant was "be just like I was when I was your age" which meant be an artist, a hippie, and most specifically, NOT a cheerleader preppy girl. When I finally was able to think outside the box, I had completely obliterated the need for a box metaphor at all... because the box is just another boundary. And that went outside HER box, and she began trying to push me down. Discouraged me left and right. And began to take it back. "Why do you have to be so different?"

So, that's my story.

What makes YOU weird?


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jul. 29th, 2009 04:30 pm (UTC)
The test I did on facebook said I am 40% normal so not being weird, I can't really comment.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )