Fighting for identity is something that is very much in my life. ~Ang Lee
We question who we are everyday, do we not?
The questioning of self and others in how we view the world in which we live in is called identity.
We have stages of identity; however, most of our identity is given at birth. I am born to a white family of Polish, French, German and Native Indian ancestry. I am a daughter, sister, mother and deaf. All those 'labels' are identities. Sometimes we question those identities - were they assigned to us which we 'had' to accept or did we ease into the identity?
I read Far from the Tree written by Andrew Solomon. It is a fantastic book, although his alacrity for the outcome of the listed minorities is a bit fatalistic.
Our vertical identity is what we inherit from our families such as in my case of being a white female American of mainly European ancestry. We inherit language, culture, traditions and values in a vertical lineage.
What throws the nice 'normal' human beings out of sync is the ability of humans to develop a horizontal identity. We can embrace those who are like us the most even if we already have a family. I am raised to embrace my horizontal family of the Deaf community, ASL and all that it emcompasses.
Once we deviate from the 'norms' which we were born into, we gain a whole new family. We are doubly blest to be able to find others like ourselves and survive outside of our vertical families.
It is always possible to love and embrace both familial lineages. I am blessed.
My view of a horizontal lineage - it is richer to have more in terms of identity - one what is healthier to obtain and achieve rather than be held back. Held back just because you are different. Held back just because you are 'abnormal'.
I say, when is normal ever truly normal in terms of nature? Andrew Solomon wrote and researched well.
A people must have dignity and identity. ~Andrew Goodman
To Be Whole
Currently I am an ASL teacher at a local college and at an high school. I received my Masters in Sign Language Education from Gallaudet University. At home, I am an activist within the community, Northwest Indiana. My son is in first grade and my daughter goes to E.C.L.I.P.S.E. ASL Preschool. Change begins with you and change is effective with a team.