On Identity

It has struck me as a peculiar thing that each of us should choose our identities. Humans have a knack for identifying and labeling other things. We identify and label other species, the elements, planets, body parts, et cetera. We even identify and label other humans. When we aren’t aware of a people or culture’s label, we assign them one, often during the act of conquest. Years later, these labels become either derogatory or a badge of pride. These days it’s fashionable to choose your own identity, and then to change it as you desire. I guess it would be nice if identities were obvious and everyone could just use preferred labels and pronouns toward one another, but that’s not how it works. Close friends can memorize and inform on each others’ identities, but I find it absurd to expect strangers to do likewise, and worse, a tragedy that these should ever be a matter of legal enforcement. And that’s today’s two cents.

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Skyler J. Collins (Editor)

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Founder and editor of Everything-Voluntary.com and UnschoolingDads.com, Skyler is a husband and unschooling father of three beautiful children. His writings include the column series “One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” and “One Improved Unit,” and blog series “Two Cents“. Skyler also wrote the books No Hitting! and Toward a Free Society, and edited the books Everything Voluntary and Unschooling Dads. You can hear Skyler chatting away on the official Everything-Voluntary.com podcast.

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