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Racial Fluidity

Rachel Dolezal Speaking at Rally

Rachel Dolezal Speaking at Rally

By Aaron Robert Kathman (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Is Transracial a real thing?

In a world where it seems identity crises are becoming the norm rather than the exception, there's another movement that has been taking shape. This is called "racial fluidity" or sometimes "transracial", which means that someone feels they are a different race than what they were born as. And now there are movements to further the cause, such as "Transracial Lives Matter".

You may have heard the story of Rachel Dolezal. She was a civil rights activist who claimed she was black but was later outed by her parents as being Caucasian. Since then, she was allegedly ostracized by both communities and unable to find employment. She claims the world thinks she was living a lie (and then admits that she was). But in her words, she always felt she was a black woman trapped in a white body.

You might wonder, what does it mean to feel that you should be a different race? How does one 'feel' if they are Asian, as opposed to if they are Native American? How would you know what the other race is supposed to feel like? Obviously there are cultural differences, but this isn't about culture -- it's about race. I just wrote a different article about how I don't understand when transgenders say they were born the wrong gender. In the same vein, I have a hard time understanding what it means to feel you were born the wrong race.

Instead, I suspect it's a matter of people not having strong identities. There are those who struggle accepting themselves, and also in finding their own identity and place in the world. Some may feel that they more strongly identify with people of different types than them. They may feel closer connections and understandings to people who are of a different race, gender, creed, etc.. And rather than using those connections to enhance their own identity, they change their identity to try to be accepted by those who they identify with. This thus creates the feeling of being 'trapped' inside their own body.


This is just a theory, but it makes sense. You don't often hear about people saying they were born "the wrong height" -- you just hear people say they wish they were taller or shorter, but that's the end of it. Because while there are a lot of societal issues surrounding gender and race, there are very few surrounding height (basically it's just better to be tall if you're male, and short if you're female). But who knows, if the line isn't drawn somewhere, maybe next year we'll end up with a debate about how "TransStature Lives Matter". I don't say this to minimize the importance of the issue -- just to demonstrate that anyone can feel like their body "doesn't belong" to them for almost any reason, if they are not happy with their current identity. But in the big scheme of things, if people with identity crises aren't hurting anyone, then who am I to judge?

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Big Ed is the Chief Editor for Bigatorial.
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