This story reminds me, too, of something I always talk about which was that I never met an author until I was like 25. Until then, I didn’t think I could be one because I thought being an author was for special rich people who lived far away, probably in New York, and had some secret access to that whole world. (This was before the internet.) So I can totally imagine how a non-white kid who only ever met white authors would think the way the girl in this story does.
Adults are models of possibility. We need to model all sorts of possibility for all sorts of kids, and can’t ever assume that they just “know” about things existing that they don’t get to see and experience for themselves.
Especially when you’re a poor kid or otherwise not privileged in some way or come from an addicted family, you tend to have people around you that have those same limited and limiting beliefs. I never had goals or ambitions modeled for me by the adults in my immediate family. No one ever said I could and should try things that I wanted to do and have dreams and take risks. I learned survival and getting by, and making do with what you have and staying safe. I was a poor kid, and got that. When I multiply my own experience by a factor of also not-white, I can start to catch a tiny glimpse of what the girl in Ellen’s story and kids like her are up against.
I can stand in front of kids and talk about my background of poverty, and the dysfunction I grew up in, and I do do that, to share my own struggle to achieve a goal. But when I’m talking to a roomful of not-white kids (and I’ve been to plenty of schools like that) I know it’s not the same as if they could see someone who looks like them telling that story. Thanks, Ellen, for sharing this.
Thank you to Sara for really understanding the importance of this issue and for caring enough to share it.
'oh gross it's dark chocolate i hate dark chocolate'
give it to me
it’s funny how providing accommodations to a disabled student is “unfair to the rest of the class” yet imposing a standard on a disabled student that is based on the capabilities of able-bodied students is fair and impartial, isn’t it funny how that works?
What if it’s a phase?
What if it is? That doesn’t stop you being asexual right now.
It may be tempting to hold back on accepting your asexuality in the hope that eventually you’ll ‘bloom’ into a sexual person. I’m not saying that might not eventually happen, but consider this: do you want to spend your life thinking of yourself as an undeveloped person, living for the dreamed of day when you’ll become whole? Might you feel more comfortable accepting who you are now as a whole complete valid person? Maybe one day you will “bloom”, and if and when you do, you won’t have lost anything by being comfortable in the mean time.
There’s no shame in identifying as one thing and then later identifying as another. Your identity isn’t meant to limit you. If you’ve moved on or changed, then by all means describe yourself differently. If you fear you might be different in the future, that doesn’t change which label is most useful to you in the present. There’s nothing wrong with change.