Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Peeking Out

Originally posted on June 12, 2012


The picture above on my new blog post. Cartoon characters I did as fillers for the University of California newspaper, the Daily Cal, starting in my late Freshman year, around 1956. Looking back, this was a continuation of sketches, and the beginnings of a repertoire of characters who gradually accumulated backstories, qualities of who their characters were. There were influences of characters seen on television, in MAD comics (it had only recently shifted over to magazine format), some clichéd characters of bohemians (French influence), beatniks, and science fiction characters.

Peeking out? What if a side fiction in my autobiography is not a closeted sexual variation, but rather a more-than-your average ontological atypicality? That’s a euphemism for being part elf, and over the decades that identity remained largely unconscious, inferred, and yet gradually more clear as a bit of personal mythology. It explains so much. And what if many of us have a bit of the not-altogether-ordinarily-real as part of their makeup? How would society cope with this?

We have major trends happening about race, sexual orientation, and other categories presently negotiating their status, the stereotypes associated with their status, etc. “Coming out” may not just apply to homosexuals. What if it also speaks to the gradual revelation of partial identities in other ways? Why not sprites and elves?

So does one “come out” as a social ritual, or peek out for a while? Folks don’t know what to make of other folks who may not be ordinarily “real” in the way most folks think of those categories—degrees of ordinary reality in their makeup—not that many people think of these as categories worth thinking about. Just kidding. Or am I?

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