For most of my life, I thought being normal was a club that most people belonged to, except me.
I was an outlier.
A weird little kid on the fringes.
A kid who rode his bike around the streets with his dog in a box on the back.
A kid who’d rather watch freight trains rumble past than kick a footy.
A kid who was too short, had to wear glasses, who couldn’t spell, made too many mistakes, hated sport, was always getting into trouble for daydreaming, failed school, couldn’t get a job, realised he was gay, and the list goes on.
I thought there was no place in normal society for people like me.
I was secretly glad, as I didn’t want to be normal anyway.
And in the last 6 years since I released Being You is Enough, I’ve got to know so many more outliers and they far outweigh any so called normal people.
In fact, I realised normal is not a thing.
It’s an illusion.
There really is no one dominant ‘normal’ group as we’re led to believe.
Media and advertising is not a reflection of what life is really like.
The world is made up of a rainbow of people, who think different, feel different, look different and act different from each other.
And that also means there’s a rainbow of awesome kids.
And we should be seeing and celebrating them as they are.
Normal is not a thing, so we shouldn’t be aspiring to it and making our kids either.
I’m reminded of the boy at one of my school talks who looked like he was an outlier too. He stood up front of his whole class and stared down two of his bullies and with a shaky, yet determined voice said, ‘I bet you didn’t think I’d have the guts to come up here. But here I am, here I am’.
Every kid deserves to be who they are.