Why Rachel Dolezal Is Not Caitlyn Jenner

For when you need to talk it out with someone #thisweekhasbeenhard

my name is elizabeth

In light of the recent revelations about Rachel Dolezal, the former president of a local NAACP chapter who was outed last week as white (the most riveting news story, in my book, since the Manti Te’o scandal of 2013), several people have asked me to help them articulate why her story is different from that of Caitlyn Jenner, the Olympic decathlete who recently transitioned from male to female.

I’ve hesitated to do this for two reasons:

– Racial and gender identity are both incredibly complicated concepts, which can make them difficult to discuss individually, let alone to compare and contrast.

– I am a cisgender Asian American woman. I am not trans and I am not black, so I recognize that mine is not the voice that most needs to be heard regarding either of these cases.

But since people have asked, and since this difference is something I feel…

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You Are What You Read by Martha Cecilia Ovadia

10298689_10104523891581853_7256973903379376739_nWhen it comes to my family, I’ve always felt different. One of my earliest memories from when I was really young was being told that I felt things too passionately—that I felt too much. What was never said but was implied was that I felt dissent too much, too often, too vocally. It made people uncomfortable. It made my family uncomfortable. When it came to understanding my faith/religious path, my family and I started diverging early on, never really meeting again—at least not for now.

When I was about five, I remember asking why women could not be priests. My mother brushed it aside and said we could be nuns. She was blind to the inherent misogyny behind the same Church that so many of her female family members had built (we come from a long line of nuns and Jesuits). I thought maybe someday I could be a woman priest. I…

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I Look To The Sky by Martha Cecilia Ovadia

I was10298689_10104523891581853_7256973903379376739_n formed by traditions. I was formed by religious rituals. I was a part of a religious community.

I no longer have traditions. I no longer have religious rituals. I am no longer part of a religious community.

I constantly have to tell myself the “no longers” when I feel the echos and ghosts of my past creeping up behind me, reminding me of not only who I was, but who I no longer am.

I sometimes whisper to my husband, “I sleep with ghosts…”

I do not just sleep with ghosts. I wake with ghosts. I sometimes even feel like a ghost. Why?

For me, the act of being Catholic was very much a part of my be-ing. To no longer have Catholicism as part of my be-ing leaves me feeling haunted.

My normal schedule when I was 21 looked like this:

6:00 am: Morning Prayer (Liturgy of the Hours)

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