December 4th, 2013

me: ooh!

Topic Meme: Day 2

[personal profile] redsixwing requested: feeling "other," handling the isolation of otherness?

I’ll tackle the issue of why I felt/feel “other” in a different post, as this was a popular topic. The biggest influence on my ability to handle that feeling was discovering the internet.

It started out with (which was closely linked to the beginning of attending weekly club nights in LA and getting really into industrial music - a community of self-identified "others"). I discovered talk on the Unix machines in the USC library and learned the wonders of instant messaging. I joined various mailing lists. Suddenly I had swathes of people with similar interests that I could chat to, not just the ones I occasionally happened to be lucky enough to share a classroom with. It expanded my world enormously.

But the most significant discovery was LiveJournal. I started my journal in 2001 and apart from a few weeks’ holiday here and there, I’ve kept it up continuously ever since. (The transition to Dreamwidth has kept my ever-shrinking non-fandom LJ community from collapsing entirely.) The DW/LJ community is the one I rely on not only to squee with me over cat pictures and SPACE and films, but to listen and advise when, say, I have a problem I can’t seem to resolve or am experiencing the white-hot rage induced by microaggressions. I’m not as keen on Twitter or Facebook as they don’t provide the same sense of continuity as the others. Because their format is so much briefer, I find it difficult to keep up the level of attention that would be necessary never to miss anything there. With my journal community, even if I go away for a week, I can still come back and catch up with everyone and not feel like a topic has “gone stale” the way it does on Twitter or FB (within 24 hours). I know that it's here, and that while the identities of some of the participants have morphed over the years, it’s something I rely on to keep the loneliness of otherness at bay.

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