Hi, my name is Tessla Queen and I’m the portal keeper to Jelly’s World.
The first thing you’ll probably notice about Jelly’s World is that it’s different from anything that you have experienced before.
This is no accident. I’m both neuro-diverse and gender queer. My life experiences have always been through the lens of someone who doesn’t fit into society at large.
I don’t try to be difficult, but difficult is what you end up being when society has such a narrow view of what NorMAL should be.
I learned in high school how to mask my differences. This worked for my younger years. I had the energy to keep up appearances.
However, now that I’m older, I just don’t give a crap anymore about making strangers feel comfortable around who I am or how I live my life.
I believe a lot of people think they are more open to differences than they really are.
People say they’re okay around neuro- or gender- diverse people yet they don’t get what it is really like to exist in a society that considers itself to be the norm while everyone that falls outside the neat boxes of reality is labeled other or exotic.
Let me give you a few points to ponder:
Neuro-diverse people need community. It’s just that society cues tend to fall outside what we care about or understand. That means that it’s up to YOU to include us even though we may not go through the social hoops deemed necessary to gain entry to your social circles.
You can’t be an ally if you insist that I check certain boxes before you invite me to your events, groups or just to hang.
I’m different. I may not make you feel comfortable. I may not be entirely comfortable around you either. But, the reality is that I HAVE to put up with being uncomfortable if I want to survive in society. Is it so hard if I ask YOU to step outside of your comfort zone also?
Neuro-diverse people many times find it hard to be a social self-starter. We need allies who will include us in their events not just expect us to show up—which we won’t.
Oh, and if we do turn down certain events—keep asking.
It may take us time to feel that we are truly welcome.
As far as being gender-diverse. It also takes more than saying you’re an ally for me to believe you.
If you criticize me for changing my name, ask if a gender-queer child you know is just “going through a phase” or try to put my explanation of sexual orientation into a binary understanding you are NOT being a good ally.
Educate yourself so that your curiosity doesn’t expose your unconscious bias towards those who are different than you.
This brings me back to Jelly’s World.
Expect to be a bit off-kilter when you first experience Jelly’s World. Jelly’s world is my way of playing with ideas.
As I release dispatches over the coming years you will notice that I play with the idea that families can have many different forms, that gender-diverse people are more common than society might believe and that neuro-diverse people may just be the unsung protagonists who save the day when everyone else is stuck in the trap of society’s decorum.
You’ll also notice that Jelly dares people who are from a more conformist background to realize that the world isn’t just binary or black-and-white.
Jelly dares people to embrace ALL of life’s vibrant hues. Because when you get down to it, all of us are NorMAL in our own UniQUE way.
—Tessla, Queen of Smiles, Keeper of the Portal