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Snarf

White Lady Pretending to be Black

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Give me the quote where she said she didn't feel as though her parents were "actually" her parents please. Because what I saw was that she refused to clarify if she was talking in metaphors or talking literally.

 

If she did claim that, it is a stupid claim. Facts don't get superseded to metaphors. "Parents" refers to either the people who birthed someone or to the people who raised someone. The word "parents" doesn't mean "someone I know and like" or "someone I want to be like". Even if it did mean that, pretending to not know the people who others might naively think of as "parents" would still be a lie. Even if she thinks that this person is her father, and those other people shouldn't be labelled as her parents, it would be very unlikely she'd completely fail to understand the question when asked about those other people. Unless she does not actually speak English, only metaphor, she has no excuse.

 

And even if she wants to be considered through this metaphor in her everyday life and that's something other people should do for her, presenting the metaphor as though it were a true fact on an official government document is a different scenario, and it seems like a lie to me.

 

(Necessary question for clarification: are you interpreting her as saying that the people who raised her lied to her about who gave the sperm or who had the pregnancy? I don't think you are, but your comment can be read both ways.)

 

Yes, her biological parents are white. A lot more goes into being parents than simply biology, and she did not believe that they met that criteria. The person was not her "official" parent in the eyes of the government, but we should probably not define family through the government

This is the man who raised her.

http://media.hotair.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/rd2.jpg

Telling lies is bad, rule of thumb. Transpeople should disclose their transgender status when they're talking about gender issues, because they'll have different backgrounds than women. At the least, they shouldn't outright deny that they are trans if someone asks (assuming no threat of imminent danger or anything like that). It is valid for people to want to know if someone else is transgender. People who are curious about that are still okay people.

 

"Forcing" lol okay, nice loaded language. Advocating someone voluntarily do something is different than saying they should be made to do so by force.

a) Trans people can be women.
B) It is not loaded language, your rhetoric makes it sound like they HAVE TO disclose, because EVERYONE deserves to know this person's gender.
c) Telling lies isn't all that bad in certain circumstances. Please go tell queer people in the closet who claim they're het to come out because lieing to people is bad.
 
 

She might have dysphoria, but it seems extremely unlikely. First, she hasn't even claimed she suffers from dysphoria, so this is literally just blind speculation. We probably shouldn't come to any conclusions based on blind speculation of that sort. Even entertaining such speculation is going to bias our thinking. Second, there are many known cases of gender dysphoria. "Race dysphoria" would be a problem entirely new to us which lacks the significant amounts of evidence proving its existence that gender dysphoria has. Third, even if she has dysphoria, her form of dysphoria could very well be different than gender dysphoria in how it is best treated. Perhaps her dysphoria is the result of her mutable beliefs about black skin and white skin, rather than due to any intrinsic underlying aspects of her personality.

1) you're making blind assumptions that she does not suffer from dysphoria. It's much more likely that she does indeed, or at one time experienced dysphoria, or else she would not have become black.

2) Racial Dysphoria is not new.

3) Your reasons for the difference between racial and gendered dysphoria is actually the definition of blind speculation. The two are indistuingishible - "I expereience extreme dissatisfaction with my body, ie my melanin or sex, and feel I am not bound by my body."

I literally did not say that. Please learn to read ok

Then what is your purpose in citing examples like Napolean?

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I forfeit this conversation because continuing it would be worse than winning the argument. I feel like you're playing with sophistries and intentionally misunderstanding me. I'm too tired for this. Bye.

Edited by Chaos
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I've been trying to think through this difference as well, because on one hand it seems like there is one and on the other hand it's hard to articulate why/what that is.  I think the difference might be related to historicity. Blackness, as evidenced by very light-skinned Black people, seems to have a relationship to history that gender doesn't.  What I mean by that is that Blackness seems to imply something about one's lineage, culture, etc. in a way that gender doesn't.  Maybe not the best example, but we can think about Fanon's "train passage":

 

“Look, a Negro!” It was an external stimulus that flicked over me as I passed by. I made a tight smile… I was responsible at the same time for my body, for my race, for my ancestors. I subjected myself to an objective examination, I discovered my blackness, my ethnic characteristics; and I was battered down by tom-toms, cannibalism, intellectual deficiency, fetichism, racial defects, slave-ships, and above all else, above all: “Sho’ good eatin’."

 

I don't think that someone who isn't "really" Black can really have that type of association, which might explain why people don't take it seriously when white people say they're Black because everyone originated in Africa.  Transgenderism makes sense because the "defining" characteristics of the gender binary's Man and Woman aren't really defining at all.  It's simply pointing out how the real body doesn't match the fantasy of the cisheternomative body.  Blackness, on the other hand, refers to the body only as an intermediary to historical fears, associations, and anxieties. There is kind of a "here and now" - ness about gender that doesn't really seem to exist for race.

 

I might just be completely off here, it was just something that came to me as I was reading this thread.

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I've been trying to think through this difference as well, because on one hand it seems like there is one and on the other hand it's hard to articulate why/what that is.  I think the difference might be related to historicity. Blackness, as evidenced by very light-skinned Black people, seems to have a relationship to history that gender doesn't.  What I mean by that is that Blackness seems to imply something about one's lineage, culture, etc. in a way that gender doesn't.  Maybe not the best example, but we can think about Fanon's "train passage":

 

“Look, a Negro!” It was an external stimulus that flicked over me as I passed by. I made a tight smile… I was responsible at the same time for my body, for my race, for my ancestors. I subjected myself to an objective examination, I discovered my blackness, my ethnic characteristics; and I was battered down by tom-toms, cannibalism, intellectual deficiency, fetichism, racial defects, slave-ships, and above all else, above all: “Sho’ good eatin’."

 

I don't think that someone who isn't "really" Black can really have that type of association, which might explain why people don't take it seriously when white people say they're Black because everyone originated in Africa.  Transgenderism makes sense because the "defining" characteristics of the gender binary's Man and Woman aren't really defining at all.  It's simply pointing out how the real body doesn't match the fantasy of the cisheternomative body.  Blackness, on the other hand, refers to the body only as an intermediary to historical fears, associations, and anxieties. There is kind of a "here and now" - ness about gender that doesn't really seem to exist for race.

 

I might just be completely off here, it was just something that came to me as I was reading this thread.

I'm abit confused as to why history is tied to blackness and why it wouldn't apply to her.

a) Either it is in regards to ancestry in that a black person is likely a decendant of a slave, at which point it's horribly reductionist and essentialist because of different histories (ie, not having slavery in your ancestory)

or B) in that the history effects blacks today, in which she'd feel the same effect, such as the hate crimes she's had to deal with her whole life.

 

On a related note, "Look, a negro!" is my favorite Fanon passage.

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On a related note, that's simply because we ALWAYS tie history to blackness, but we never do for queerness or gender, for whatever reason. It's weird that we don't.

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I'm abit confused as to why history is tied to blackness and why it wouldn't apply to her.

a) Either it is in regards to ancestry in that a black person is likely a decendant of a slave, at which point it's horribly reductionist and essentialist because of different histories (ie, not having slavery in your ancestory)

or B) in that the history effects blacks today, in which she'd feel the same effect, such as the hate crimes she's had to deal with her whole life.

 

On a related note, "Look, a negro!" is my favorite Fanon passage.

This is the issue I'm trying to work through as well.  I don't think it's about being a descendant of a slave, but rather the feeling of being tied to a history of slavery.  Potentially looking back and noticing how your parents, grandparents, etc. either could have been or were slaves.  

 

On a related note, that's simply because we ALWAYS tie history to blackness, but we never do for queerness or gender, for whatever reason. It's weird that we don't.

I think this is related to what I said before.  The fantasy of the "perfect" cisheteronormative body is very much "here and now", whereas the fantasy of the "perfect" Black body seems to be the historical image of the slave.  The way society structures Blackness seems to indicate that you can't "perform" Blackness in the same way you can perform maleness or femaleness. 

 

As a sidenote, I'm not sure if "transracial" people feel the same type of psychological harm from being "read" as white as trans* people do from being read as the wrong gender.

 

Again, this is just me trying to articulate the feeling I'm getting about gender and race. It almost feels like if we say that transracialism is just as legitimate as transgenderism, then blackface could become the analog of drag. 

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This is the issue I'm trying to work through as well.  I don't think it's about being a descendant of a slave, but rather the feeling of being tied to a history of slavery.  Potentially looking back and noticing how your parents, grandparents, etc. either could have been or were slaves.  

 

I think this is related to what I said before.  The fantasy of the "perfect" cisheteronormative body is very much "here and now", whereas the fantasy of the "perfect" Black body seems to be the historical image of the slave.  The way society structures Blackness seems to indicate that you can't "perform" Blackness in the same way you can perform maleness or femaleness. 

 

As a sidenote, I'm not sure if "transracial" people feel the same type of psychological harm from being "read" as white as trans* people do from being read as the wrong gender.

 

Again, this is just me trying to articulate the feeling I'm getting about gender and race. It almost feels like if we say that transracialism is just as legitimate as transgenderism, then blackface could become the analog of drag. 

And she feels that her true parent is a black man, and that her family heritage is back, so she can look back and notice how her parents and their parents had ancestories dating back to slavery.

 

Why can't you perform blackness? It seems like either you can perform blackness because it is tied to culture, or it's tied to oppression and the image of the slave which is fucked up. It's antiblack to say that you HAVE to be this within civil society.

 

I also don't understand why they wouldn't feel the same psychological harm.

 

I'm not defending transracialism, just merely arguing that Dolezal definitly wasn't fucked up and perhaps we need to question the foundations for what we consider race and gender.

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If she's actually Black inside (like Jenner was actually a woman inside) then I see no reason to think she wouldn't have the same internal anxiety that Fanon described. Arguments excluding her therein therefore presume the invalidity of any internal claim to be Black, which is the same logic used to exclude trans(wo)men.

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I'm fine with either; actually, I'm fine with trans* people, but there's an ongoing debate over transgender(ed) vs transsexual -- so definitely stick to trans*.

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She might have dysphoria, but it seems extremely unlikely. First, she hasn't even claimed she suffers from dysphoria, so this is literally just blind speculation. We probably shouldn't come to any conclusions based on blind speculation of that sort. Even entertaining such speculation is going to bias our thinking. Second, there are many known cases of gender dysphoria. "Race dysphoria" would be a problem entirely new to us which lacks the significant amounts of evidence proving its existence that gender dysphoria has. Third, even if she has dysphoria, her form of dysphoria could very well be different than gender dysphoria in how it is best treated. Perhaps her dysphoria is the result of her mutable beliefs about black skin and white skin, rather than due to any intrinsic underlying aspects of her personality.

1) you're making blind assumptions that she does not suffer from dysphoria. It's much more likely that she does indeed, or at one time experienced dysphoria, or else she would not have become black.

2) Racial Dysphoria is not new.

3) Your reasons for the difference between racial and gendered dysphoria is actually the definition of blind speculation. The two are indistuingishible - "I expereience extreme dissatisfaction with my body, ie my melanin or sex, and feel I am not bound by my body."

I literally did not say that. Please learn to read ok

Then what is your purpose in citing examples like Napolean?

 

a. Check your ableism à la "blind"

b. 1. No warrant as to why only reason to "become black" is dysphoria

2. Oh come the fuck on-- compared to the vast literature base for gender dysphoria  racial dysphoria is relatively new and unstudied.

3. YOU ARE THE ONE WHO IS SPECULATING THAT SHE HAS RACIAL DYSPHORIA, which is a relatively undocumented phenomenon in the first place. 

 

I'm honestly confused-- do you disagree with the statement that racial dysphoria 'lacks the significant amounts of evidence proving its existence that gender dysphoria has'?

 

à la napoleon shit-- Honestly, if you actually read what Chaos was saying, it's clear that he's not saying being trans* is being a mental illness, he's pointing out the fact that there is a scientific basis for gender dysphoria that doesn't exist for Napoleon-dysphoria (or whatever). His argument (which I'm not sure if I agree with) is that without some sort of strong grounding for what is trans*, we have a slippery slope.

 

 

On to other thoughts <3 --

Y'all seem to have gone into this conversation assuming that Chaos was saying something offensive when I honestly believe he was trying to engage in a discussion about this transgender vs transracial distinction. 

 

I also think we should be very very wary of the "This is a message board" excuse, I get that it's online and thus "doesn't matter", but the words that we say *are important* independent of the context, and I think particularly on a forum where I feel I have the opportunity to discuss issues like these, our words matter. I've made this argument before (like when people were advocating "shanking" people or whatever), but in sum, I think we should be careful about what we say-- even on cross-x.com.

 

I'm just a bit vicariously frustrated through Chaos on how this conversation has played out.

 

Edit:

Also, extend through Chaos' request for a quote on the parent thing, i'm just curious.

Edited by Miro
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And she feels that her true parent is a black man, and that her family heritage is back, so she can look back and notice how her parents and their parents had ancestories dating back to slavery.

 

The issue is that both of these are objectively false. Her father is not a Black man, which can be easily verified.  I think it's a very different experience to want to be Black versus to look back and be able to literally tie your ancestors to slavery or look back, see how your ancestors looked, and know they would have been considered property.  

 

Why can't you perform blackness? It seems like either you can perform blackness because it is tied to culture, or it's tied to oppression and the image of the slave which is fucked up. It's antiblack to say that you HAVE to be this within civil society.

That's kinda my point.  Just about any "essence" we can ascribed to Blackness, such that one could be "performing" Blackness, is tied to a historical image of the Black slave. Just think of the Black stereotypes you might see in movies, or what the media is really referring to when it says "thug".  Colloquially, when people say "acting black" they mean something like that.  That's because the fact of the matter is that there is no "here and now" to performing Blackness.  Blackness doesn't really imply a particular type of performance; Blackness is not homogenous. You can still be read as Black, by police etc., without doing any of those things.  Blackness's social existence is rooted in this historical reality in a way that I don't think gender is.  That's why some light-skinned Black people might not identify as Black, they don't feel tied to that historical reality.  Darker skinned Black people might still not identify as Black (a la Raven Simone) but that's because they don't want to be tied to that historical image, even though they will still be read as Black. 

 

Perhaps it's because race can, in some way, be tied to the body whereas gender can't really, given that the traditional "essences" of gender break down when actually analyzed, that I want to say she can't really be Black. I'm more using this to sort through my thoughts than anything else.

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I'm finding it interesting how every left-wing article I read is lambasting her, but If i mentally substitute Rachel with Caitlyn then they become very cringeworthy.  I don't see how race isn't performative, especially considering it doesn't really exist biologically (or at least not in the way that we construct it), i.e., we see Obama as black when he's really "half white,".  The way race is constructed in our society is often based on "passing value" (what race you assume someone is just by looking at them), and not ancestry, although cultural heritage comes from ancestry, and cultural heritage is often intertwined with race. Hmmm. Honestly, I'm still not sure how i feel about this, although I do think a lot of the rather savage left-wing criticism of her is unwarranted, or at least doesn't need to be so nasty

 

 

Also all of this is accurate and better said than i could say it

 

 

à la napoleon shit-- Honestly, if you actually read what Chaos was saying, it's clear that he's not saying being trans* is being a mental illness, he's pointing out the fact that there is a scientific basis for gender dysphoria that doesn't exist for Napoleon-dysphoria (or whatever). His argument (which I'm not sure if I agree with) is that without some sort of strong grounding for what is trans*, we have a slippery slope.

 

 

On to other thoughts <3 --

Y'all seem to have gone into this conversation assuming that Chaos was saying something offensive when I honestly believe he was trying to engage in a discussion about this transgender vs transracial distinction. 

 

I also think we should be very very wary of the "This is a message board" excuse, I get that it's online and thus "doesn't matter", but the words that we say *are important* independent of the context, and I think particularly on a forum where I feel I have the opportunity to discuss issues like these, our words matter. I've made this argument before (like when people were advocating "shanking" people or whatever), but in sum, I think we should be careful about what we say-- even on cross-x.com.

 

I'm just a bit vicariously frustrated through Chaos on how this conversation has played out.

 

 

Edited by feldsy
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So it looks like the internal link to any transracial claims has been severed - she openly identified as white in a reverse-racism lawsuit against Howard university, and she's not since made a claim to feel like she's Black internally (whatever that might mean or be unpacked as, she hasn't made *any* such claim). I think Jonah is right that most of the attempts to distinguish being transracial from trans* are ineffective and don't hold water, but those questions no longer appear to be raised by Dolezal or her conduct.

 

@Miro - I'm not gonna spend a lot of time on this, but if you're feelin vicariously angry you should be angry at chaos, this kid came at me viciously and personally. We've banned people for far less than the posts that are still standing. It's possible to give a charitable reading to his post, but even a charitable reading doesn't justify the repeated personal shittalking - "this is just a forum" was my polite way of saying "that scale of response is fuckin ridiculous", not "cross-x is an unimportant place". After the first post, I also PM'd chaos and literally said "sorry if the post had such an impact - not my intent to hurt your feelings". He responded "lol" and then posted more shit here. In light of the olive branch I offered and the ugly viciousness of his behavior, I don't think it's fair to defend his conduct.

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I mostly agree with Reed, but I don't fully get his critique of identity politics.  I understand his critique of race as a "thing" (arguing that race cannot simeoultaenously be a social construct and real), but what the hell does he mean when he says "note, race politics is not an alternative to class politics; it is a class politics, the politics of the left-wing of neoliberalism. It is the expression and active agency of a political order and moral economy in which capitalist market forces are treated as unassailable nature. An integral element of that moral economy is displacement of the critique of the invidious outcomes produced by capitalist class power onto equally naturalized categories of ascriptive identity that sort us into groups supposedly defined by what we essentially are rather than what we do"

 

why do academics insist in writing in bullshit academese.  Sigh

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I mostly agree with Reed, but I don't fully get his critique of identity politics.  I understand his critique of race as a "thing" (arguing that race cannot simeoultaenously be a social construct and real), but what the hell does he mean when he says "note, race politics is not an alternative to class politics; it is a class politics, the politics of the left-wing of neoliberalism. It is the expression and active agency of a political order and moral economy in which capitalist market forces are treated as unassailable nature. An integral element of that moral economy is displacement of the critique of the invidious outcomes produced by capitalist class power onto equally naturalized categories of ascriptive identity that sort us into groups supposedly defined by what we essentially are rather than what we do"

 

why do academics insist in writing in bullshit academese.  Sigh

It's the standard argument that racial animosity is used to justify economic exploitation; whites are less likely to rebel against Black exploitation when they think it's deserved.

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Snarf and Chaos are back at each others' necks? Good to see some things never change.

 

On a more serious note, as a (non-binary) trans person I feel like it's probably worth it for me to throw in my two cents here. Something that bothers me most about the comparison between Rachel and transgender people is that Rachel is consciously pretending to be something she isn't whereas trans people are being true to their authentic identities. If she actually truly believed herself to be Black then the conversation might be a little different, but that isn't the case. Ultimately there's a difference between doing something out of fascination or personal gain as opposed to doing it because it affirms to yourself and makes visible to those around you who you really are. (Note: not all trans people can afford to transition and even some who do choose not to for various reasons, and medically transitioning should not be seen as a prerequisite to being "authentically trans".) If you happen to think that trans people are just "pretending", then I would like to sit down with you and have a nice, long talk.

 

I'd like to talk briefly about transition-related medical gatekeeping as long as I'm here. I firmly believe that the ability to transition should be made more accessible and that we need to get rid of some of the cis-conducted gatekeeping that bars trans people from potentially lifesaving treatment. Transgender youth comprise a disproportionately high percentage of people who commit suicide or who become addicted to alcohol or drugs. Laws on what constitutes acceptable documentation for surgery vary slightly from state to state, but the one that I'm most familiar with is that you need two psychologists, each of which must have a PhD, to agree on treatment along with "living as the chosen gender" for a period of two years. Part of the problem here is the assumption that you need two more full years before you can really be sure of your gender, whereas most people who are looking into transitionary medical services are people who are already fully aware of their identities. It's also worth noting that "living as the chosen gender" without undergoing hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or other surgeries can sometimes be fatal. Non-"passing" trans people are--once again--disproportionately more likely to be murdered. In 48 states (last I checked), the "trans panic defense" still stands as adequate legal defense for people who commit violent crimes up to and including murder. Providing transition-related services is often literally lifesaving.

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Snarf's PM was basically a big "I'm sorry you feel that way" which put all the blame on me. Not an olive branch. And even if it had been an olive branch I wouldn't have believed him because of his repeated past rudeness and poorly grounded accusations that I am a bigot. That is why I lol'd.

 

In 48 states (last I checked), the "trans panic defense" still stands as adequate legal defense for people who commit violent crimes up to and including murder.

 

Horrifying, I didn't even know that had ever been a thing, let alone that it was still around.

 

Laws on what constitutes acceptable documentation for surgery vary slightly from state to state, but the one that I'm most familiar with is that you need two psychologists, each of which must have a PhD, to agree on treatment along with "living as the chosen gender" for a period of two years. Part of the problem here is the assumption that you need two more full years before you can really be sure of your gender, whereas most people who are looking into transitionary medical services are people who are already fully aware of their identities.


Let me first say I'm significantly inclined to agree with changing such policies.

That said, I'd love to see the numbers on how many people if any "change their minds" or whatever. Too bad this area is understudied, probably those numbers don't exist. Even if that data was amassed, dealing with confounds for counseling drop-outs might be too difficult given the necessary small sample sizes, you've got money, religion, social influences, bad psychologists etc.

In the absence of such studies, how do we know there there aren't some potential transpeople who've changed their minds about their identity? I see nothing suggesting that such a minority does in fact exist, but that's indirect somewhat weak evidence. The reason I ask this question is to get at a different related point. I feel like identity is something that can in fact be misunderstood and can indeed change over time. Identity is complicated and humans don't have perfect self awareness, we're actually often very bad at understanding ourselves.

(This is not some attempt at making a dumb conservative talking point, to be clear: if it feels that way, take into consideration that there are some people in the world who are attracted to others of their gender who nonetheless don't believe they're gay (or bisexual). I'm not interested in rooting for sports teams, political parties included; I'm interested in finding out what is true and useful.)

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Let me first say I'm significantly inclined to agree with changing such policies.

 

I'll chime in for just a second, don't really want to stay in this mess of a thread for very long.

 

On the note of being watched as you "live" as your chosen gender for 2 years, I think the main problem is that healthcare, psychology, and the general state workers who deal with this kind of gender study on the individual signifies that there is a particular and correct way to perform a gender.

 

Right? Like, when a psychologist and state worker who are authorized to check in on you see that you are not wearing (assuming a binary MTF transfolk here) a sundress during your walk in the park but rather jeans and a t-shirt, they have the power to discontinue your time under the study and call your performance unsuitable/incorrect.

 

That's a huge problem. When you see a normative female (assuming fully functioning sexual organs that the hospital assigns to that body) who wears an Aerosmith t-shirt and ripped black jeans, you and a psychologist probably have no doubt that they are performing a female identity (whatever that word means anymore), although potentially different from past norms. Psychological barriers to transitioning transfolk like this are wrong to assume that there is some mystical brightline of who are and are not performing gender correctly.

 

Note: This comes kinda full circle back to the time old question of what constitutes man/womyn/female/male/queer body, which I have no answer to.

Edited by Lantern360
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On a more serious note, as a (non-binary) trans person I feel like it's probably worth it for me to throw in my two cents here. Something that bothers me most about the comparison between Rachel and transgender people is that Rachel is consciously pretending to be something she isn't whereas trans people are being true to their authentic identities. If she actually truly believed herself to be Black then the conversation might be a little different, but that isn't the case. Ultimately there's a difference between doing something out of fascination or personal gain as opposed to doing it because it affirms to yourself and makes visible to those around you who you really are. (Note: not all trans people can afford to transition and even some who do choose not to for various reasons, and medically transitioning should not be seen as a prerequisite to being "authentically trans".) If you happen to think that trans people are just "pretending", then I would like to sit down with you and have a nice, long talk.

I'm a bit confused as to why you think she doesn't truly believe she's black. She went on the Today Show and said that exact thing, that she is black.

Edited by RickAstley

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I need to double-check my sources but her open identification as white during the lawsuit that Snarf mentioned seems to be evidence to suggest this claim. Again, if I'm wrong and she truly does feel black then things get a bit more complicated. I've seen interviews where she claims to be black, but I was not sure as to whether it's best to interpret that as a conscious lie or an expression of her internal truth.

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I need to double-check my sources but her open identification as white during the lawsuit that Snarf mentioned seems to be evidence to suggest this claim. Again, if I'm wrong and she truly does feel black then things get a bit more complicated. I've seen interviews where she claims to be black, but I was not sure as to whether it's best to interpret that as a conscious lie or an expression of her internal truth.

Here are a couple key quotes from her that I feel need to be expressed here:

 

 

“Another aspect would be that I, as a -- from a very young age, felt a spiritual, visceral, this feeling of central connection with black is beautiful, you know, just the black experience and wanting to celebrate that. And I didn't know how to articulate that as a young child, at the age of kindergarten or whatever, like you don't have words for what's going on. But certainly that was -- that was soaked in. It was totally conditioned to not own that and to be limited to whatever biological identity was thrust upon me and married to me and so I kind of felt pretty awkward a lot of the time with that.”

 

Dolezal said on "Today" that she self-identified with being black at the age of 5. She told host Matt Lauer that she began “drawing self-portraits with the brown crayon instead of the peach crayon, and black curly hair.”

 

In regards to the lawsuit:

 

 

A report on Monday revealed Dolezal had unsuccessfully sued Howard University, a predominately black school, on claims of racial discrimination. Dolezal, who graduated Howard in 2002 with a Master of Fine Arts degree, said she was seven months pregnant at the time and felt as though she was treated unfairly in being denied financial assistance and a teaching position. She said a school director said “other people need opportunities for the teaching position and you have white relatives so….they probably can afford to finance and assist you.” 

She added: “I don't believe in reverse racism. I really don't. You know, there's no such thing as racial non-white supremacy. It's not like I said, 'Oh, like, Howard University is racist.'”

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/16/rachel-dolezal-opens-up-being-black_n_7598974.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000047

Edited by RickAstley

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