Identity is the answer to, “Oh yeah? You and what army?” playground taunt.
Also used to denigrate which then turns around to become empowerment. [Queer identity was strong example of that from 25+ years ago. I recently called myself libtard ahead of time for a similar reason in a political discussion group to similar effect which preempted and diffused their future use of it and allowed a semi-rational discussion to take place for a change]
Yet that is defensive identity.
Then there is willing clansmanship without overt coercion. I call them all sports. Choosing teams.
Once I considered myself openly “beyond such things” until that was turned into a team and I had to acknowledge that they weren’t wrong about that. So now, I keep it to myself and let it speak through my actions as it were.
I now allow nearly all identities someone wishes to place upon me to be placed upon me and I use rhetoric (although not sophistry) to diffuse and allow them the decision to remove it themselves through the realization that they made a category error by placing me in the one of their choosing.
I am a white male American human citizen of Earth. I know this because people tell me I am. They do not form the core of my identity but I accept it may have formed an implicit bias that is difficult to consciously control.
I was taught to say “I’m just human”, which bristled against me a little because I’m a Timelord. Yet there is freedom to accepting the identities others put upon you as valid _from their perspective_ without fighting it. I treat it like roleplay while also remaining honest.
[and when I say “you” in the above, that is an error because I mean “me” and erred in temporarily Universalizing. This could be perceived as passive-aggressive on my part, a way to attempt to make the reader feel as if there is something not-right with them for *not* adopting my words as their own. This was not my intention but I don’t edit because I have to let my mistakes sit there sometimes rather than attempting to erase history]
odd/interesting as I’ve thought the same. In high school (1980s 4 me – not that I identify but I do for disclosure and as part of my battle against ageism by preempting discovery by disclosing), I identified as bisexual as there were only three known options to me at the time, and bisexual was the only one of the three that made rational sense.
Then in 1990 I learned about asexuality (I thought “Isaac Newton” as prototype) and pansexuality (a friend identified as such) at my liberal arts college. I tried pansexuality as an exercise routine and discovered that asexuality was far less drama in my life as a choice for identity.
This is interesting: I was in the middle of composing an additional thought but when you replied, I copied my words into Notepad so I could read what you wrote instead to see if what I wrote would still be valid.
We both chose the describe our choice as “solid”. I feel rarely understood at this moment.
I got one of those “woah, I think maybe we found “the secret of something significantly important here” feelings right now, like I wish EVERYBODY understood this about themselves, which might bring them some semblance of peace upon their personal quandries.
But then I have to respect their journeys dang it. Still, I’ll poke them now and again and sometimes it turns out they were just waiting for SOMEONE to give them permission to speak of such things.