What is this?
Fly Your Freak Flag High (FYFFH) is a collaborative art project and social movement. The FYFFH project makes the phrase "fly your freak flag high" real by encouraging people to make actual freak flags and fly them in parades, either at events or on their own. We also have an online community and a super sekrit FYFFH game.
We recognize that everyone has something freaky about them--everyone is special, different and unique in some way. That's why we aim to reclaim the word "freak" as a compliment, not an insult. We've got to stop being embarrassed or shy about our freaky bits. Our freaky bits are what make each of us unique, fabulous and tremendous. It's time to stand proudly in our full, complicated, compound selves--and that means honoring and celebrating all those freaky bits that we (or others) have a hard time with.*
The FYFFH project enables exploration and appreciation of our complex, multifaceted selves with the eventual goal of building a whole society (heck, a whole world) full of conscious, satisfied people. Our theory: if we can fully appreciate our own selves, we can also appreciate others; and once we can appreciate others, we can start working together in an honest and powerful way to build the kind of world and the kind of future we all want to live in. Join us!
Why do we have to fly our freak flags high?
Let me share with you the Freak Flag Manifesto:
- Freaks are, by definition, different.
- Different is good.
- “Freak” should be a compliment, not an insult.
- Everyone is a freak in some way, in some place, to someone. “Normal” is a myth. Diversity is strength.
- We all need to discover, honor and celebrate our freaky bits by “flying our freak flags high”.
- We are each more happy and successful when we embody ALL that we are.
- If you “speak your freak”, you can release and heal from shame, embarrassment or fear of social disapproval and be more active, powerful and effective in the world.
- We gotta be freaky together: the more we see each others' freaky proclamations, the more we'll find powerful, meaningful connections and alliances--some familiar, some potentially new and surprising.
- If we can fully appreciate our own selves, we can also appreciate others; and once we can appreciate others, we can start working together in an honest and powerful way to build the kind of world and the kind of future we all want to live in.
- Freaks can change the world just by being themselves.
Where did the Fly Your Freak Flag High (FYFFH) project come from?
This project and the accompanying website is the brainchild of Julia Dvorin (that's me, talking about myself in third person). I came up with it over lunch with a friend one day, while I was talking about the science fiction and gaming cons I was going to. I started poking fun at myself by saying "yeah, I'm really learning to fly my freak flag high". And then I thought to myself: wouldn't it be cool if I had an actual freak flag to fly? What would it look like? And where would I fly it? That random idea grew into the FYFFH project. Since I'm also an artist and sociologist, with an interest in collaborative process and a background in web design and social media, I decided to create a collaborative art project with an online social component. There's a lot more to come here as the project evolves.
I've always been interested in the theory and practice of identity work, especially around stigmatized identities. For a long time I thought I'd study identity work as an academic (I got my MA in Sociology and wrote a thesis on identity work in women with cancer), but then I suffered through a serious disillusionment with academia and quit grad school. In the years since I have worked hard on surfacing and embracing my own creative, multifaceted freaky self, and felt the stronger and more alive for it. The FYFFH project is my way of paying it forward by enabling this same valuable creative self-exploration and self-appreciation in other people.
FYFFH was also inspired by the fabulous WDYDWYD? (Why Do You Do What You Do?) project, as well as the feminist and queer/gay pride movements.
*Just to be clear here, the kind of freaky I'm talking about honoring and celebrating here on this website is the PG-13 kind. I personally support any kind of freaky counterculture deviance as long as it involves mutual consent and respect for each others' personal boundaries and bodies, as well as respect for the environment and for current definitions of property laws--but for the purposes of this project, we're talking about things that are unconventional, not illegal.