This ended up being a long post on fb so I am also putting it here where long stuff should live.
This is an article about what it is like to be the only representative of a minority and be in the role of either putting up with wrong ideas or taking on the responsibility to educate and how taxing that role is. I get it. I appreciate those who are inside taking the effort to teach me who is on the outside. But this is a cerebral understanding, I don’t feel it. I am a White Female that has loads of privilege. I try to learn what I can and spread the information because I feel that role comes with the privilege I have. I am not an activist so I don’t have the ability to take on huge chucks before I wear myself out and become useless and I have learned to live with the little I can do.
I am searching my head for places where I can identify the feelings she expressing of being in that role but I am not finding any. I am white so that pretty much greases that path so there is no friction and nothing to grab onto. I am female but I can’t think of a time that has been a big deal or much of a difference for me. I am learning how to see it differently so I can stand up when there is an issue but it isn’t personal for me. That path is relatively smooth as well. I am well educated and grew up with at least more than just enough money. I am learning now what it is like to not have money and even that is skewed due to savings and such. There is a little traction on this path but still pretty smooth.
The only place I can find that even remotely puts my in the same ballpark is being a geek growing up in the land of the mundanes. I have been the token geek. The author talks about how difficult it is to represent her entire race and her entire gender etc. I get that, but I don’t find it difficult like she does. I rather like it. I like presenting an understanding of my culture and oddness to people that want to listen. It is a role I am comfortable with. This leaves me wanting to support where she is coming from but feeling like I can’t because I have such a different experience with the same things. I suspect it is because I am in the role rarely and she has to face it over and over and over. To boot, my outsidiness is getting mainstreamed and my minority status is wearing away because people are flocking to geekdom (SDCC is on CNN for goodness sake). And I am somewhat bummed about this (as well as grateful).