Comparison of transracial and transgender identification?

So I'm sure most people are now aware of Rachel Dolezal, the white woman who chaired a leadership position in the NAACP, all while claiming she was a black woman. Apparently some people do identify as the race different than the one they are, which I was unaware of.

My intial reaction is that this is bull. You are the race you were born as. But is it possible someone can feel like they aren't the race they were born as? The overwhelming sentiment I've read about Rachel Dolezal has been negative. Should we accept someone if they want to be black or Asian or white, when they aren't?

I can understand transgender more since sexuality, attraction, and how someone 'feels' can be vague, leading to hetero-, homo-, or trans-sexual people. How is it 'bad' if someone feels they are a different race?

Is there hypocrisy in not accepting transracial identifiers? Thoughts?


Most Helpful Guy

  • "Race" as a construct doesn't really hold any rational meaning. What that REALLY implies is the genetic origin (also called "population" if I remember the term right) and the `culture` associated with that given genetic origin. So technically unless you're actually of African descent, identifying as that race is just humbug.


Have an opinion?

What Girls Said 2

  • There's way more to the story than her just thinking that she's black. When I first heard the story, I thought she was conducting a social experiment of some sort.

    I honestly think this woman has some sort of mental disorder that causes her to play victim. She made false claims of being attacked for her skin color. She lied about her race to gain advantages in her career & whatnot. There's honestly no reason for her to do those things.

    • Without commenting on the legitimacy of Dolezal's story in particular, do you think transracial identity can be a legitimate thing in other cases?

    • What some people don't understand is that culture is not a biological construct, like gender, sexuality, & race is.

      If a white baby is adopted by a black family & is raised in a black community around black peers, he's probably going to identify more with black culture.

      If she wanted to wear her hair kinky curly because that's the way she likes it, & if she wants to support the NAACP as a white woman, that's totally fine. But playing off the disadvantages of being black AS A RACE is wrong.

  • She's just trying to fit in.


What Guys Said 2

  • Ok what if "identified" as Native American to get their benefits like no sales taxes? It's a slippery slope and race is no subjective. Sexuality is and I can see how someone could feel that they're a different gender, but I really don't understand the thinking behind being a different race

    • I agree that using a race for nefarious reasons is wrong. I'm hung up on the idea of truly believing you identify as another race, not just physically but culturally. As if you identify with a certain different community.

    • See my belief is while some sort of hormonal or genetic change could cause a bilogical man to "feel" like a woman and vice Versa, I think someone saying they're a different race has more to do with them identifying with a culture, which really has nothing to do with race.

  • Transracial isn't a real thing, just dont. What Rachel did was completely offensive and I can bet you that she never experienced body dysmorphia