I’m beginning to explore the significance of neurodivergence to me and my work. Thank you to Rachel Clive for introducing me to the phrase/concept of neuroqueer during my time in Glasgow. Here’s a few images and quotes, to gently start the ball rolling on this exploration, in the context of Queer River.
‘I coined the term neuroqueer in a paper I wrote for a grad school class in the Spring of 2008. Over the next several years, I played with it in further grad school papers, in private conversations, and in the ongoing development of my own thoughts and practices. The concept of neuroqueer, or of neuroqueering (I’ve always seen it as a verb first and an adjective second), increasingly came to inform my thinking, my embodiment, and my approach to life. …just like queer, the adjective form of neuroqueer can also serve as a label of social identity. One can neuroqueer, and one can be neuroqueer.
‘Neuroqueer is both an identity and an ethos, an adjective and a verb. It’s meanings are varied, but all converge around an intersection of neurodivergent theory and queer theory. In the same ways that queer theory is opposed to cisheteronormativity, neuroqueer theory appears to oppose neuronormativity (the societal forces that privilege neurotypicality over neurodivergence).‘
‘The neurodiversity paradigm is a specific perspective on neurodiversity – a perspective or approach that boils down to these fundamental principles:
1.) Neurodiversity is a natural and valuable form of human diversity.
2.) The idea that there is one “normal” or “healthy” type of brain or mind, or one “right” style of neurocognitive functioning, is a culturally constructed fiction, no more valid (and no more conducive to a healthy society or to the overall well-being of humanity) than the idea that there is one “normal” or “right” ethnicity, gender, or culture.
3.) The social dynamics that manifest in regard to neurodiversity are similar to the social dynamics that manifest in regard to other forms of human diversity (e.g., diversity of ethnicity, gender, or culture). These dynamics include the dynamics of social power inequalities, and also the dynamics by which diversity, when embraced, acts as a source of creative potential.