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Ava The Vampire
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#1
Old 10-28-2017, 03:01 PM

What are your opinions on "transracial" people?
(AKA, people who "change their race"?)

Do you think it's possible for someone to change their race?
Is it offensive when someone changes their race?

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#2
Old 10-28-2017, 05:50 PM

Yes it is possible for a person to change their race. However this possibility, and how difficult it is, will be greatly determined by wider sociocultural and political factors. These same factors will also play a telling role in whether this transition is offensive or not. Race, after all, is a sociocultural and political construct. However this observation comes with the massive detail that this ascribed identity has a massively constitutive role in contemporary society.

Last edited by Crimson Fang; 10-28-2017 at 05:54 PM..

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#3
Old 11-02-2017, 06:52 PM

I don't think it is possible - and while I myself cannot take personal offence (as I'm white) - I do know that there are many POC who have voiced concerns and called out those identifying as Transracial.

I also read a really cool article about how the term trans racial used to refer to someone who was one race, but grew up living with another.

Okay - found it again! Here

They also make good points on why transracial, as it's used here, is wrong.

Last edited by 2Femme; 11-08-2017 at 08:37 AM..

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#4
Old 11-04-2017, 02:44 AM

I don't know how I feel about transracial people...

I mean, at first, I feel offended, being biracial myself, but lately, people have been challenging me with, "If you're not mad at transgender people, why be mad at transracial people?"

It made me think really long and hard. People who use injections to make their skin darker or who wear wigs and get perms to make their hair curly... I mean, is that not the same as someone going under the knife for gender reassignment?

I am offended when someone claims they are black, when they were born white, to be offensive when they believe it's only for cosmetic purposes. I get offended when people appropriate black culture because it's "exotic" and "cool" without doing their research and learning about black history first.

I don't get mad when people want to be black. I think being black is cool and I wouldn't change my ethnicity for anything. I think it's great that other people want to be black too. But, being black is so much more than just a skin color or a hairstyle. It's more than just a title. I would hope that anyone who does decide that they want to be black understands that.

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#5
Old 11-22-2017, 12:09 PM

My adoptive sister is at last part Mexican. (we were both adopted though, just FYI)
So I grew up with white parents, and black, or other PoC nannies (Indian, Pakistani, etc, but mostly Haitian or Jamaican women).
They taught me stuff about their cultures from "back home."
I learned to love Soup Joumou, which...if I remember right was a celebratory meal for celebrating the freedom of Haiti from the French. They taught me slang (and some swears) they taught me a little about their religions (slightly off-brand Christianity, little bit of Haiti or Jamaican culture thrown in there).
My sister didn't really grow up "mexican" and has told me she considers herself "white" and doesn't want anyone to know her heritage. (the only reason I'm sharing this is because I'm 99% sure no one would be able to track her down and tell her I said anything, if you do happen to know her, please don't, we don't like each other already)
We did however grow up with Mexican and other cultures stuff all around us. An ivory Buddah passed down from family, a Sugar Skull gifted to my sister by her biological parents (she didn't like it though so it was set behind some stuff on a display shelf my parents had for all their nick-knacks....they were both journalists who traveled the world. My dad was at the Seoul Olympics way back when. I have a little button for it.) I think they held great respect for the people in the places they traveled. I hold no regrets about keeping some of their nick-knacks. But sometimes I worry about displaying them because I don't want someone to accuse me of trying to steal from another culture. For example, I was gifted a kimono in kindergarden for being friendly to the Japanese girl in class who spoke absolutely zero english. we would draw pictures and share them back and forth. her parents appreciated it and gave me a child sized kimono. I want to display it on my wall because its beautiful, but I don't want someone bitching that I'm not Asian.

I don't think I would ever call myself anything but "white with a little bit of Cherokee" (my biological grandmother was Cherokee). But I usually just say white. Even though I know if I wanted I'm closely related enough to the tribe my grandmother was in that I could try to 'join in.'
But...I don't really have a desire to. Ultimately they kicked my grandmother out because she birthed a blue eyed blonde haired baby. So... -shrugs-
I don't mind reading information about other cultures, and one day I hope that our cultures/races have blended together so much that we can all do what feels most comfortable for us, but I think IDENTIFYING as a different race than you are is...at the very least, weird, but it is also disrespectful a lot of the time.
Some people who do it do it because they 'fetishize' the idea and think that their life would be different or better. And I don't fault them for that. But, at its core isn't it just a more permanent version of "blackface" especially when they promote stereotypes about the race they claim to be?

Just some sleep deprived thoughts.
ty for your time

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#6
Old 11-22-2017, 09:54 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by monstahh` View Post
My sister didn't really grow up "mexican" and has told me she considers herself "white" and doesn't want anyone to know her heritage.
This is one area where I am more comfortable at the notion of a person being "transracial." Not that I am comfortable with anyone being made to feel this way. I can't speak to your sister's situation as prior to this post of yours, I was completely unaware you even had a sister. However there has been a trend where people with stigmatized identities will change their racial identity when given the opportunity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by monstahh` View Post
I don't mind reading information about other cultures, and one day I hope that our cultures/races have blended together so much that we can all do what feels most comfortable for us, but I think IDENTIFYING as a different race than you are is...at the very least, weird, but it is also disrespectful a lot of the time.
I imagine it can be disrespectful in a great many contexts as you identify. Especially with your comment regarding cultural appropriation. For myself I think it would depend on the context.

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#7
Old 11-23-2017, 02:17 AM

Personally,

As a kid in high school, I used to lie about my race and tell people that I was Indian. I straightened my hair, dyed it black and would wear salwar kameez to further convince people. I picked Indian because my god family is Indian and I believed that I would be treated better in high school if kids thought I was Indian and not black.

I am half black, half German, and I've told people that I am literally everything under the sun that I could pass for. I believed that being black meant you'd be "ghetto", "loud", "angry"... I didn't like that, so I would lie about my ethnicity and lo and behold! People treated me differently.

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#8
Old 11-23-2017, 06:42 AM

are you familiar with Rachel Dolezal?

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#9
Old 11-23-2017, 12:45 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crimson Fang View Post
This is one area where I am more comfortable at the notion of a person being "transracial." Not that I am comfortable with anyone being made to feel this way. I can't speak to your sister's situation as prior to this post of yours, I was completely unaware you even had a sister. However there has been a trend where people with stigmatized identities will change their racial identity when given the opportunity.
I suppose. I just don't understand it fully. :< mom took us to Mexico one year so my sister could try out real mexican food, my sister was not amused. Its not like anyone knew we took a trip to mexico, it was just supposed to be a cruise. but my sister, not amused. I guess neither me, nor my mother really thought it was that bad. At the very least where we grew up. If she was ever bullied for her skin color or anything, *I* was never told because I would have kicked their asses (and also she was OBSESSED with tanning so for the longest time we just thought she was doing ok about it).

I also want to note that aside from my previous post, I've never "outed" my sister as part-mexican before, because I did understand that she...at the very least resented her birth parents (she has 9 older siblings, whom her parents kept, whereas I was the oldest child of a single mother).

I don't talk about her much because we don't get along.

But yes, I guess in that light (your post above, sorry may have gotten sidetracked...meh deleted some stuff that wasn't really relevant) I can see why she does it. If it grants you privileges you otherwise would not have, I can see someone doing so. "Passing" is something that can be greatly important as to not make yourself a target for racists and jerks.

Also my sister was well-beloved by her peers as far as I can tell. I don't think any of the people she knew at least when I knew her, would have had a problem with it.
We grew up in a mostly Jewish town. :/ With some WW2 vets. So I thought?? I dunno I thought people would have understood.
I guess someone somewhere along the way made her feel less than human for it.
:( Which makes me very sad, to be short.

ps if none of this makes sense i woke up from a bad dream and took pain meds before bed because i'm waiting on surgery and gallstones suck
so...ask my to clarify anything if you want.

Again though, I wish we could all just meld together and not have race be an issue at all. It breaks my heart that people would think* they have to change their race to fit in.

*only using word think because cant think of better word because brain-jelly...maybe feel or be afraid or think thats the only solution??

Also I worry a LOT about cultural appropriation.
One of my friends is all like "omg you should get dreads!!" and my response was "I don't want to offend anyone" and she looked like I slapped her in the face (she is a proud biracial woman who does locking for a living. People travel hours to have their hair done by her).
I was just so worried that someone would accuse me of trying to steal from another culture. That's never my intention. My intention is typically to appreciate. And I can appreciate it from over here, looking at all the pretty/different/historical/etc things these different people want to share on the internet. I don't feel the need to emulate it, its not mine to do w/ as I please.

also talking through this did actually help me understand a little (hopefully the pain meds don't make me forget), thanks for bringing that up, Crimson.

& Ava as well, thank you for sharing your story. I'm sorry people treated you differently because of your race :(

Last edited by monstahh`; 11-23-2017 at 12:51 PM..

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#10
Old 11-23-2017, 06:13 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by salvete View Post
are you familiar with Rachel Dolezal?
Yes. I wrote about her here when she was first found out.
I was a little offended at first because I felt like she was romanticizing being black and being black in America is no joke.

Rachel Dolezal was trying to be "discriminated" against for being white, then when she lost in court, she decided to become black. It's almost as if she was trying to prove that she knows what discrimination is. Which, she doesn't. Just because she decided to become black doesn't mean she understands the struggle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by monstahh` View Post

Also I worry a LOT about cultural appropriation.
One of my friends is all like "omg you should get dreads!!" and my response was "I don't want to offend anyone" and she looked like I slapped her in the face (she is a proud biracial woman who does locking for a living. People travel hours to have their hair done by her).
I was just so worried that someone would accuse me of trying to steal from another culture. That's never my intention. My intention is typically to appreciate. And I can appreciate it from over here, looking at all the pretty/different/historical/etc things these different people want to share on the internet. I don't feel the need to emulate it, its not mine to do w/ as I please.

also talking through this did actually help me understand a little (hopefully the pain meds don't make me forget), thanks for bringing that up, Crimson.

& Ava as well, thank you for sharing your story. I'm sorry people treated you differently because of your race :(
I feel like cultural appropriation is fine to a certain degree...

For example, World Hijab Day. Where women on different campuses wear hijab to support their muslim peers. I mean, technically, it's cultural appropriation, but at the same time, it raises awareness and gives other people the chance to experience what it's like to be in someone else's shoes for a day.

I don't have a big problem with white people wearing dreadlocks, dreadlocks don't belong to any one race, I believe they were technically invented by 18th century India. Then Jamaica took it and made it their own. I also don't have an issue with white people trying to make their hair curly or their skin dark, as long as they do it with the intention to make themselves feel good, and not because they want to spread negative stereotypes about black people.

I guess when I was wearing salwar kameez, that could have been considered cultural appropriation, or wearing henna on the hands or things like that. But I mean, it really shouldn't make anyone upset because I was wearing salwar kameez in honor of India and the salwar kameez I had was made in India, so I never thought it would offend anyone to wear it.

I think cultural appropriation can be okay but it really depends on the intentions.

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#11
Old 11-26-2017, 10:46 AM

Dreads were actually developed much earlier than that from what I'm told. The Celtic people had dreads, Native americans had dreads, etc.

So while I know it has roots in other cultures as well, most people just think 'black hair' today, and generally, especially black people with dreads get discriminated against for hiring (especially in right to work states). So I just feel like at least right now its not an appropriate time to wear dreads. We first need to make sure our black brothers and sisters can wear them without stigma, IMO.
Remember when everyone started dying their hair and their was a huge issue with people getting hired because of that? That changed because people basically said, fuck you i'll find a job elsewhere, and they did because more businesses relaxed their dress codes. But some left in the clauses about dreads or natural hair. Which I think is incredibly unfair. White people dye their hair funny colors all the time now and its rare to see them declined for a job. Hell I've seen TV anchors with purple in their hair recently. o-O
But no one with dreads... [thinking]

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#12
Old 12-01-2017, 02:53 AM

Edit: I am pretty much editing my entire post for better clarity.


Quote:
Originally Posted by monstahh` View Post
I suppose. I just don't understand it fully. :< mom took us to Mexico one year so my sister could try out real mexican food, my sister was not amused. Its not like anyone knew we took a trip to mexico, it was just supposed to be a cruise. but my sister, not amused.
If she really is determined to avoid identification as Mexican, her not being amused can make sense. With marginalized ethnic groups we often find members wishing to distance themselves from the stigmatized identities. This can also result in the person in question sharing negative feelings towards the ethnic identity in question. For instance among Indigenous peoples who have undergone colonialism we will find instances of people who share in the activity of negatively stigmatizing their identity. This happened here in New Zealand with many Maori feeling that their Maori "attributes" made them "primitive", "backwards" or "uncivilized." This was outside of legislative efforts as these undercurrents have continued on into current political discourse. While the overt form of it is much less common now, we still find mention in the political dialogue of Maori being "uncivilized." At this point I would hasten to mention I am not at all placing any blame on Maori who continue to the perpetuation of their stigmatization. There were numerous political factors which contributed to it. That is where I would place the primary source of cause. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I hold that ethnicity, and race, are sociopolitical constructions. I would also add that it is not purely "Inidgenous" peoples that experience that. We have also witnessed it happening in places such as China and among immigrants.

The notion of passing itself is also not so recent. Cross-culturally we have seen this being worked into societies. In Rwanda for instance, prior to their colonialism there were means through which one could change one's "ethnicity". This came from it not being perceived purely in biological terms, but rather economic factors played a role. There was a process through which one could accumulate the necessary "capital" and ultimately go from being Hutu to Tutsi. We have seen the same dynamics playing out in Western Sudan and even in the Western World. Especially given our recent the concept of nation really is.


Quote:
Originally Posted by monstahh` View Post
But yes, I guess in that light (your post above, sorry may have gotten sidetracked...meh deleted some stuff that wasn't really relevant) I can see why she does it. If it grants you privileges you otherwise would not have, I can see someone doing so. "Passing" is something that can be greatly important as to not make yourself a target for racists and jerks.
It's not even entirely that. Through enculturation and embodiment people can acquire these stigmatized views themselves. It isn't so passive though and through active effort people can resist it. For instance with people attempting to "reconnect" with their "ethnicity." It can be quite sad to hear about people feeling their heritage has been stolen from them because their parents refused to expose them to it as children. Especially as it is common for this to happen because the parents truly believe they are doing what is needed to secure a positive future for their children.


Quote:
Originally Posted by monstahh` View Post
Again though, I wish we could all just meld together and not have race be an issue at all. It breaks my heart that people would think* they have to change their race to fit in.
I definitely agree with the sentiment here. I don't know if we need to get rid of it. But it definitely needs to be something which is not used to disenfranchise people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by monstahh` View Post
ps if none of this makes sense i woke up from a bad dream and took pain meds before bed because i'm waiting on surgery and gallstones suck
so...ask my to clarify anything if you want.
If it makes you feel any better my thoughts are usually muddled and I don't use meds. I do hope you are feeling better now though. I am not sure how long the recovery process is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by monstahh` View Post
I also want to note that aside from my previous post, I've never "outed" my sister as part-mexican before, because I did understand that she...at the very least resented her birth parents (she has 9 older siblings, whom her parents kept, whereas I was the oldest child of a single mother).
I think that is incredibly considerate of you as well. Especially as you mention you don't get along as it is. From a more hypocritical and different perspective, I can understand her resentment. I have no interest in meeting or knowing who my biological father is, but if I found out he had children he had raised I would be very resentful.

Attempting to tie things together, as I don't have any idea who my biological father is. I grew up knowing nothing about him. As such, being White, I had no reason to think about my ethnicity. I perceive myself as Pakeha, I have always been perceived as such, and therefore I am. Upon learning, as an adult, that my biological father is Maori this consequently had negligible impact on how I identify. Even when a friend and co-worker made the assertion, it was one which I out of hand rejected. I have no connection either in my lived experiences now in my social relations which could establish me as Maori. I have never had to face the stigma. While it is an increasingly mocked phrase, I have had privilege as a Pakeha. This is something which I feel I would effectively be denying if I was to claim myself as being Maori. Indeed this is part of what makes the case of Rachel Dolezal so offensive. Criticism which has been rightly directed at her for the way she erases the reality of racial discrimination and marginalization that black people face in U.S.A. Indeed Ava has already astutely made that argument.
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstahh` View Post
Also I worry a LOT about cultural appropriation.
One of my friends is all like "omg you should get dreads!!" and my response was "I don't want to offend anyone" and she looked like I slapped her in the face (she is a proud biracial woman who does locking for a living. People travel hours to have their hair done by her).
I was just so worried that someone would accuse me of trying to steal from another culture. That's never my intention. My intention is typically to appreciate. And I can appreciate it from over here, looking at all the pretty/different/historical/etc things these different people want to share on the internet. I don't feel the need to emulate it, its not mine to do w/ as I please.
Once more agreeing with Ava, intent and impact definitely matter. Ava's brilliant example of World Hijab Day as being a positive instance. I would also offer our national's sports teams use of the Haka as another positive example. Indeed we have seen this spreading to Pacific Island teams as well. the Cook Island, Tongan and Samoan teams also utilize their cultural displays in their pregame rituals. However I also agree with you that there has been a really negative history. In a later post you identify this. Indeed the problem has been that the marginalized group in person faces sanctions for the cultural display, whereas when someone from the hegemonic ethnic group does so they get affirmation. This is really problematic. Another area where this has been troubling has been where people can actually profit off of this appropriation. Companies and corporations have managed to find ways to turn a profit while the marginalized groups in question are still sanctioned for it.

Last edited by Crimson Fang; 12-02-2017 at 12:46 AM..

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#13
Old 12-01-2017, 09:43 PM

Neanderthals they started off the whole dreadlocks thing. They always get forgotten about.

Martina Big springs to mind on this topic...whatever the hell is going on there.
I can understand why people may want to distance themselves from being from certain races, due to stigmatisms and be more like other races because of the ever chaning beauty standards, but at the end of the day you are what you are.
Finishing my post with this.


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#14
Old 04-30-2019, 03:17 PM

As far as I can understand there is only one way to become "transracial". You have to already have the genetic coding for that race.For example you can not define yourself as a TransNativeAmerican with 0% native american in you.

I think the biggest issue with trans culture these days is because people seem to think "I am X because I say so". You are not X because you say so. There is a lot more to it. There is a lot of deeper psychological data that needs to be involved.

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#15
Old 01-27-2020, 09:54 PM

It is important to recognize that race is a social construct. This is not to say it is a free floating concept, as some trans racial arguments might try to portray it. Racial embodiment happens within historical and cultural contexts. Stigmatization and inequality can mean this carries quite disastrous consequences for people from more marginal communities. Health, employment, education and other key social indicators reflect how detrimental this can be.

 


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