Has your identity been doubted?
Mine sure has.
“Black people don’t have freckles!”
“Are you sure you’re Black? You’re lighter than me!”
“What ARE you?!”
From being born with a light golden skintone (genetics) to being raised in a 99.99% small white town (my parent’s choice) I’ve had the white majority question my validity. I didn’t fit the stereotype of the “drama filled Black girl” so that meant I couldn’t possibly be a part of the diaspora.
What’s more hurtful is when fam doesn’t view me as “Black enough.” I once had someone in a natural hair group I was a part of insist I didn’t belong there simply because the majority of my FB friends—people from high school—were white. Cousin’s asking me “why do you talk like that?” People thinking I’ve sold out for having a white partner.
Race is just one part of an identity. A social construct yes, but something each of us have to checkmark on the census, job applications, and other important paperwork. And depending on how we look, we also have to deal with daily instances of racism and/or microaggressions, not to mention the potential for danger.
Gender is another important part of identity that so many have constantly questioned. As a cis woman, it is my responsibility to help stand up for non binary and trans folks when others try to invalidate them.
Faith is yet another aspect of a person’s identity. Just because there may be a majority of something, that doesn’t mean it’s right. There are ways to believe differently than others, yet still respect them. For example, not letting one or two verses of text allow rights to be taken away from a whole community.
There are other characteristics people think about regarding their identity, and sometimes things change.
What do you do if someone challenges who you are?