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John Byrne
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Grumpy Old Guy

Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 09 February 2024 at 6:04pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

This term is new to me, tho my predictive spellchecker recognizes it, so apparently it’s been around for a while.

The basic idea is that an individual self-identifies as belong to a race with which s/he has no actual biological connection.

Intriguing. I need time to process this one.

Opinions?

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Mark Haslett
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Posted: 09 February 2024 at 6:35pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Don't mind me, I'm just hiding my ten foot pole somewhere that I won't find it.
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Paul Wills
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Posted: 09 February 2024 at 6:51pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Don't mind me, I'm just hiding my ten foot pole somewhere that I won't find it.
--------------------------------


Edited by Paul Wills on 09 February 2024 at 6:52pm
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Bradley Dean
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Posted: 09 February 2024 at 6:59pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

My ex, a Deaf Korean American, and I adopted two boys ( one Deaf and one hearing). The boys were exposed to American culture, Korean culture, and Deaf culture. 

My white hearing son, thinks of himself as white, doesn't feel like he is Deaf doesn't feel like he is Korean, though he has respect and a deep understanding for both. My white Deaf son, thinks of himself as Deaf and white and loves Korean culture but doesn't think of himself as Korean. My ex and I have had conversations with the boys about how they are welcome to be a part of his Korean family traditions and culture but they are not Korean. 

The little I have heard about transracial doesn't feel quite right. Even with a lot of exposure, research, experiences, etc I don't see how someone can really understand what its like to be that race they are not born into. Sure they can be a great advocate and supporter but to take on that identity and call yourself transracial feels wrong and more like cultural appropriation. 
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Michael Casselman
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Posted: 09 February 2024 at 7:09pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Hmm. Who's really to say if being transracial is cultural appropriation, yet being transsexual isn't just a matter of sexual appropriation?
Oh, the linguistic gymnastics we go through to project our 'identity'...
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Michael Penn
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Posted: 09 February 2024 at 7:28pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Would identifying "with" as opposed to "as" a different race be uncontroversial? Is "with" somehow lesser to the identifier than "as"?
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John Byrne
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Posted: 09 February 2024 at 7:28pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Dave Chapelle (and right away I’m in trouble) has said that for a cisgender woman, seeing someone like Kaitlyn Jenner must be like a Black person seeing someone in blackface.

Ouch.

Yet it underscores the complexity of these matters. So when someone who has no Black ancestry says they are Black, where does that leave us?

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Jose Zulueta
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Posted: 09 February 2024 at 7:45pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Hmm. That's a tough one, JB. 

For some reason, when I hear "transracial," I think of someone who had grown up believing to be of one race, but then discovering later on that they actually belonged to another race. So, this person would then have lived a transracial life up to that point. 

But if this person were to consciously identify with another race, then a term that sounds more accurate for me is "crossracial." Which is, to reach across different races.  
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John Wickett
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Posted: 09 February 2024 at 7:45pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

"Even with a lot of exposure, research, experiences, etc I don't see how someone can really understand what its like to be that race they are not born into."

Generally, I agree with you but I think there are MANY exceptions.  I worked with a woman who was removed from her parents' custody at a very young age (so young she doesn't remember them), and was raised by white foster parents who eventually adopted her.  

Her last name is Bacharach, which is German, but she is dark skinned.  She grew up knowing very little about her family, including her own racial makeup, but she believed that she was of mixed race, and that at least one of her parents was black.  Consequently, in middle school and high school she started to identify as a black woman, and was accepted by everyone around her as black.  As an adult she married a black man.  So for 20+ years she lived as a black woman, and experienced all that entailed.

Then last year she found her biological family and discovered her mother was Mexican and her father was middle eastern.  After she and her older brother were taken from their biological parents, the parents split up, and her mother married a Mexican man.  So she has several half siblings who are Mexican Americans.

She has grown to love her biological family very much, but she doesn't see herself as Hispanic because that aspect of her identity is something she was not aware of, and had no connection with for the first 38 years of her life.  She still feels like a black woman who was raised by white parents, and feels an affiliation with both races.  Moving forward, I would not consider it appropriation for her to identify as something other than Hispanic, even though she now knows those are her roots.

Racial and ehtnic identity can be a complex issue.  As I understand it,  the term transracial applies to more than just the Rachel Dolezals of the world.


Edited by John Wickett on 10 February 2024 at 6:57pm
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Mark Haslett
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Posted: 09 February 2024 at 7:48pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Chapelle's comment only works if we agree both that A)"someone like Kaitlyn Jenner" is a legitimate category and B) that that category consists of non-women pretending to be women.

Those concepts are not givens in this kind of discussion.

But I agree with the point JB is using Chapelle's comment to make-- this is a complex issue that is underscored by many other complex issues.

(I guess my ten-foot pole jumped into my hand, grabbed my shoe and is shoving it towards my mouth).

Edited by Mark Haslett on 09 February 2024 at 7:51pm
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Conrad Teves
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Posted: 09 February 2024 at 8:28pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I for one think tribal associations are the leading cause of Human strife, and it would be better for everyone if we learned to draw the circle around everyone.

The worst parts of human history are all lined up for repetition if we don't.

Edited to add:  Acknowledging, remembering, and celebrating your heritage is completely different from forming an "us" group and a "them" group. 


Edited by Conrad Teves on 09 February 2024 at 8:30pm
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John Byrne
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Posted: 09 February 2024 at 8:31pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I died inside, just a little, the first time I heard “cultural appropriation”.
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