In January, 5 months ago exactly, when I made my â€œHappy birthday, David Bowieâ€ tweet, I said someday Iâ€™d have to find time to post about how David Bowie was â€œa massive part of how I didnâ€™t lose–and learned to love–my authentic, Autistic self in the face of normal societal pressures and some of the wiring that is typical if one is AFAB and Autistic.â€
And today itâ€™s someday.
It’s an incomplete list and all bullet points, but that’s because Iâ€™m attempting to keep it short, because I know I can go on when itâ€™s a topic I care a lot about. Trying to pretend I can play it as cool as he did…
- He saved me from forming silly typical rules in my brain about gender things.
- He gave me a different view on sexuality so, even when I only knew one could be gay or not-gay, I didnâ€™t think I was imagining that I fancied all sorts of people.
- He helped me see that there was something glorious in not being like everyone elseâ€”not mirroring the h*ck out of mainstream aesthetics.
- He made me believe I didnâ€™t need to be like everyone else to be successful and beloved.
- He made music I could love enough that it led me to connect more to music in general and connected me to all the music that has saved me.
- His personas and knowing he used personas for public things helped me engage more in the acting that helped me do performative neurotypical-ness. Iâ€™m not ashamed of being Autistic and wouldnâ€™t change how I am, but the world sure would. And performing emotions and socialising the typical way has been sadly necessary in this world.
- And his personas and how he used them also helped me sort out how to do my creative stuff more healthily and somehow also with a little more authenticity. (Like Oscar Wilde said: Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.)
Iâ€™m lucky to have grown up in a home where I was introduced to him when I was still a toddler. Even if my parents were nowhere near as outside the norm as he was, my brain cleverly latched onto his appearance and his vibeâ€¦And I was able to believe I was who I felt like I was, and not who the world told me I was supposed to be. Forever and ever, Iâ€™m a Blackstar.
ps Keep your eyes open. I have it on good authority that bits about my next creative release will start trickling out later this month.