Zachary Welsh’s Thoughts on Nick Walker’s Neuroqueer

With the reading by Nick Walker, readers are introduced to a new vocabulary term that they may have previously never heard of before. That being “neuroqueer.” The term itself is both a verb and an adjective, and as described by the author, “as a verb, it refers to a broad range of interrelated practices. As an adjective it describes things that are associated with those practices or that result from those practices.” In terms of the actual definition of the word, it is described as “a neuroqueer individual is an individual whose identity has in some way been shaped by their engagement in practices of neuroqueering. Or, to put it more concisely (but perhaps more confusingly): you’re neuroqueer if you neuroqueer.” Readers are also told that neuroqueer individuals are oftentimes people who like to subvert definitions or concepts. The author also provides a list to readers of qualifications that an individual defined as “neuroqueer” must meet, including “being neurodivergent and approaching one’s neurodivergence as a form of queerness,” having conscious awareness, “actively choosing to embody and express one’s neurodivergence,” “engaging in the “queering” of one’s own neurocognitive processes,” undoing ones cultural conditioning, being neurodivergent, and “working to transform social and cultural environments in order to create spaces and communities – and ultimately a society – in which engagement in any or all of the above practices is permitted, accepted, supported, and encouraged.” While I doubt the term itself is meant to do any harm, one must consider if classifying an individual as “neuroqueer” can create a larger gap between individuals in our society when we are already facing these kinds of difficulties. What do you think of the term and the way it classifies individuals? Do you think it does more harm than good? 

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