I am terrified of appropriation.
I don’t mean that in the sense of say using AAVE, although there is an element of that. I don’t mean that I’m scared to be called a hipster or a fake whatever. I’m not even scared of claiming my own at times, when I need to.
I am scared that my identities, who I am, the ways I define myself, are costumes. Illusions so clever, so complete, that I managed to fool myself as well as others with them.
I’ve mentioned this before when discussing my own gender feels. Life hasn’t stood still long enough for me to really examine my feelings further regarding that aspect of things. I’m lucky enough to have surrounded myself with a community who will support me no matter what my ultimate gender identity ends up being and if feel the need to do a thorough examination sooner rather than later, so for now I can wait. Or is this just the excuse I tell myself as I avoid my fear of taking on a label, an identity, until I am completely sure that it belongs to me.
To my knowledge, I’ve never taken on an identity that didn’t belong to me.
I’ve been curious about my past heritage, but I don’t think it entitles me to claiming those cultural identities and is rather an interest in knowing my history. I discovered my ADHD before diagnosis, but even if I was able to fool the doctors and the tests, I can’t fake my reaction to the meds. There are enough people among my friend-list who would think nothing of tearing me to shreds, were I in the wrong, to act as a safeguard. I know all this.