One of our basic human needs is to feel like we belong. There are so many ways that we are othered in society, from differing abilities, body size to skin color and gender, it can sometimes be a struggle to see how we fit in. As part of the LGBTQIA+ community, I’ve seen this struggle up close and I was thrilled to discover the stories on Queers of the World. When I watched this beautiful exploration of how nature can mirror our queer identities, it gave me a sense of universal belonging.
“…it’s not like the trees or the plants would judge me for being queer or for doing something in an alternative way.”
The variations that we celebrate in plant and animal species are often labeled as different or wrong when they present in humans. Like Edwin says in the video, the text book image of an oak tree does not represent the bends and quirks of an actual oak that is living with storms and vines and nesting creatures.
“Like I heard of a little insect that could …feel taste with their feet, and that’s a pretty queer thing, I would say, from a human perspective.”
How we see differences matters. Acceptance matters. The full spectrum of life deserves our respect and, quite frankly, awe. As I explore my place in the continuum of sexuality and gender expression, I feel a sense of belonging when compared with the infinite combinations of life on this planet. I invite you to place your perceived differences in this context. To celebrate the variations of life and the spaces we occupy.
“Something that can really nourish me is to just go out and see the things that [do] not fit in, and also learn about different beings, because there’s so many weird beings in the world, that like, ‘how does this even work?’”