What is Identity? – by Tashya Kimacia

What is Identity? – by Tashya Kimacia

The question seems straightforward enough, the answer is anything but…

What is the most important part of your identity? Is it your race or ethnicity, your sexual orientation, your class status, your religious affiliation, your age, your cognitive abilities, your political beliefs? Or does your identity differ depending on who you are around, the music you listen to, what clubs you are in at school?

Society aims to place us all in neat little boxes and stamp us with a title. This title is your key into the world – but, it only opens certain doors, so let’s be careful not to explore too much. Let’s not go far outside our reach, otherwise we might actually be individuals, each different from the other, able to co-exist in society with different opinions, political preferences, sexual preference and even religion. But again, we are part of a much bigger problem. We are the problem, because as far as we are concerned, we are that society!

The answer to the question above depends on a variety of factors. It nudges you to think on a surface level in singular terms (I am female) but also sparks an inner curiosity on the meaning of identity, beyond the basics.

This could lead to a beautiful journey of self-discovery and simultaneously terrify you as you learn to unlearn everything you thought you knew about yourself. You will eventually reach the conclusion that ‘self- identity is the recognition of our potential and qualities as an individual; especially in relation to social contexts’- Merriam Webster.

Sad to say that this will not happen overnight – nowhere near actually. It’s the gradual and rather tedious journey known as self-discovery. In the meantime, I will pose the question again ‘who are you?’ and I hope one day you will be able to confidently answer. Good luck!