“‘Non-binary’ is the best way for me to name that I am nothing and everything at the same time,” Harrison—who is the author of the forthcoming Belly of the Beast: The Politics of Anti-Fatness as Anti-Blackness—tells me during a recent Zoom conversation. “If I could, I would just be Da’Shaun, that n***a, that bitch.”
We may look back at self-expression as the terrible deadening conformity of our time. It doesn’t mean it’s bad and it doesn’t mean it’s a fake thing. It’s gotten so that everyone does it—so what’s the point? Everyone expresses themselves every day.
We’re all self-expressing. It’s the conformity of our time. They’ll look back and say, “My God! It’s a bit like they all wore the same hats in the ’30s. They were all self-expressing.”
That’s the thing we can’t see. It’s not to say you can’t make art if you want to do it, but it’s not the radical outsider. It’s not the hipster cool outsider. It’s everything. It’s conformity.