We often exclude ourselves.
One of my professors, a Brooklyn Native, told my class how she befriends and interacts with members of her Puerto Rican culture who weren’t born in the continental US. She spoke about how much fun they have together.
As the only American, she is often asked about cultural norms and policies, but she is never made to feel excluded about it. She acknowledges that she has a different background than her friends, and includes herself as a part of the group nonetheless. Her friends are accepting of the differences and similarities among them.
She told our class, that the judgement and exclusion we feel others have about us is usually comes from our own thoughts.
“You exclude yourself,” she stated, if others are devaluing you because you don’t look or behave exactly like them, “Who are they?”
“Who are they to tell you what Your Identity is!” You define that for yourself, whether it’s cultural, religious, gender etc.
I sometimes feel disconnected from social groups, not being quiet enough or black enough or fun enough, so this was a revolutionary concept to me.
I’m ready to get in where I fit in, or even better get in where I might not fit in.