How Do We Self-Identify?

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 10.17.30 AMFor this week's blog, I decided to try something different. Ever since I came out as multiracial last year (after identifying as African American for the first 48 years of my life), I have become really curious how #mixedrace people self-identify. Self-identity is the topic of endless conversation within the multiracial community. Do people identify the same as I do, vastly different, kind of close or something else entirely? So I decided to create a survey and I invited people to take it. The answers I received back were amazing! So amazing I thought the best way to showcase them was with an infographic.

As you can imagine, it was impossible to publish all the incredible responses I got. With 52 participants answering 15 questions, the infographic would have been about 20 pages! What I have done is take a sample of the best, added them to the demographic information and wallah!

I'd like to thank everyone who participated. People from various circles I hang out in (mostly virtual) came together and shared their experiences and thoughts about something that connects us. Some chose to remain anonymous, so you'll see the names below don't add up to 52.

  1. Michael Bennett is a published book author, actor, host, travel expert and entrepreneur. His memoir 7-10 Split: My Journey As America's Whitest Black Kid is available on Amazon.
  2. Kevin Hoy
  3. Allyson
  4. Yawna
  5. Laura Warren is a doctoral student in a Leadership Studies program and also a budding scholar on multiracial identity formation. She works full time as the Training & Development Manager for her Tribe's casino. Lauren is a mom and wife within a multiracial family.
  6. Michelle Threadgould
  7. Melissa
  8. Dr Antonia D'orsay
  9. Tara
  10. Dr. John Reed is a published book author. He speaks on self empowerment and he is passionate about helping people reach their full potential. His memoir, It's Not Always Black and White: Caught Between Two Worlds is available on Amazon
  11. Sarah Jenkins
  12. Michelle Maltais is a writer living in the Los Angeles area.
  13. Brandon
  14. Kayla
  15. Via Perkins is a multidisciplinary artist from the Boston area. As a writer and researcher of mixed-race identity, she has presented at the UMass Amherst Undergraduate Research Conference, and the Mixed Remixed Festival in Los Angeles.
  16. Mariya Khan
  17. Nastassia
  18. Joy Stoffers was raised in East Brunswick, NJ, by a Taiwanese mother and a Caucasian father. At the age of six, she wrote, illustrated, and promptly recycled her first short story. Since then she dreamed of becoming a novelist. She holds a BA in English from Rutgers University and an MA in Creative Writing from Newcastle University, UK. Harken Media published her debut novel, Whasian, on November 2, 2015. You can reach her on Facebook.
  19. Holly Chaney  is 41, and she works part time as a Certified Nursing Assistant.
  20. Daniel Young
  21. Greg
  22. Sarah Ratliff (me)
  23. Jewel Love, MA, is an MFT Intern whose approach to healing integrates wisdom from global cultures, gender exploration, sexual diversity, and world religions.
  24. Vicky
  25. Michelle is a Christian, a mom and foster parent with a background in social work. She is working alongside her husband as a leader in Youth Ministry at their church.
  26. Jamie Frayer is a freelance business support specialist with over 20 years of corporate experience including customer service, administrative support and business and people management. She also a reluctant writer.
  27. Odile Bernus
  28. Lea Bornian Bernus is a Frenchy, Writer, Translator, Creator. You can hire her on UpWork.
  29. Sarah Asia is a self-proclaimed loudmouth and advocate for self-identification for all mixed folk. She works to channel her energies toward the cultivation of a unified mulatto identity.
  30. Jay
  31. One anonymous participant is a 42-year-old female, schoolteacher in a suburb of Chicago.
  32. Renee
  33. Anthony
  34. Donetta
  35. Sandra
  36. Kristina
  37. Sonia Smith-Kang is the owner of Mixed Up Clothing where they aim to build friendships through fabrics.
  38. Eileen
  39. TaRessa Stovall is an author/blogger and identity rabble-rouser based in Atlanta. She writes "The Complexion Chronicles" column for Multiracial Media. A Seattle native, she has been involved in the Mixed-race identity and pride movements on and off since the 1970s. Her memoir-in-progress, SWIRL GIRL: Confessions of a Racial Renegade, will be published soon. Connect via her blog, on Facebook (TaRessa Stovall) and Twitter (@TaRessaTalks).
  40. Julien
  41. Gabriela Chase is the editor of Authorrising Zine, AUTHORRISING interviews and complies the political, psychological and the social of the people under the failed category of the 'mixed race'. She is also runs a online emotional archive for better interaction of mixed race experiences. You can find her on Facebook and Instagram.
  42. Lauren Lola is a writer from the San Francisco Bay Area. She released her debut novel, "A Moment's Worth," in 2014 and plans to release her second novel later this year.
  43. Anna
  44. Gabriela Renaud is a documentary filmmaker, based in the Ottawa/Gatineau region, in Canada. She is currently producing a documentary about cultural identity in multiracial families across Canada. This summer, I will go on a cross-country roadtrip to meet with around 20 people who have agreed to participate in the film.

I want to thank the graphic designer who created the infographic. Her name is Tricia Principe and she's as delightful to work with as she is talented.

And lastly, I'd like to give a shout out to The Topaz Club. I belong to many groups on Facebook whose members are mixed race and they've all been invaluable in my journey of rediscovery. However, in The Topaz Club, I have found a real sense of solidarity and sisterhood since joining a year ago. The only requirements for membership in The Topaz Club are that you need be female-identifying, two or more races and one of those ethnicities must be of African descent. Many of the participants in this survey came from The Topaz Club (some were anonymous).

Enjoy and I would love to know your comments! (For optimal viewing, I suggest you zoom out about three times.)

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In 2008 after more than 20 years in corporate America, Sarah and her husband, Paul bought an organic farm on the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico and are working toward sustainability. Today Sarah Ratliff is a freelance writer andthe co-author of Being Biracial: Where Our Secret Worlds Collide. With a special interest in politics and gender, race and LGBTQ advocacy writing, her writing can be seen on Guerrilla Feminism and Mixed Remixed. Sarah is also thepublisher of Multiracial Media, a platform of artistic expression for the multiracial community.