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When I look in the mirror, sometimes I see a tired mother, a person eager to improve herself, a woman who is aging. Sometimes I see beauty and sometimes I see faults. Depends a lot on my mood and what I've been doing that day.

I try to both avoid and embrace race. As a white woman, I have privilege. I've thought a lot about rejecting privilege; I'm probably rarely successful doing so. Do I say to the guard, "Don't assume I'm not a terrorist because I'm white - here search my bag". I've never said that, but maybe I should. I strive to be antiracist and am often angry and at a loss for words when someone makes racist jokes or comments or even more subtle statements based on stereotypes, assuming that I agree because of my perceived race. I often feel so shocked that I can't come up with an effective response - my response tends to be one of outrage, but I would like it to be a stimulating response, something to provoke a questioning of assumptions in the other person. Someone on the defensive is not likely to look at themselves critically.

I am a bisexual, former queer activist living in a heterosexual world. I live with a man, we have a child together, everyone assumes I'm straight except for those who know me well enough to know better. I used to be more visibly queer, with buttons, etc, but feel awkward proclaiming myself that way. Not because others will know I'm queer, but because it just feels awkward to wear buttons as I get older. Not an activist only out of laziness and a complete and total indulgence in mothering.

I'm in a glorious relationship with dp, loving my dc, always looking for new ways of seeing the world. I like to travel, both so that I can see new things and learn about other cultures, but also to experience being "other" - an experience that can be uncomfortable or even scary at times, but mostly helps me be a better person.

I live in a multicultural neighborhood, but mourn that the groups here are segregated in their activities. However, I also recognize that this segregation may be essential if different cultures, languages and traditions are to survive. If the melting pot all melts together, life may get less interesting.

Most of my ancestors are Northern Europeans. There's also a missing link in our geneology. On my father's side, we trace back to the South, but not to the actual plantation whose owners' bear our last name. There are some in my family who've done a lot of geneology and know the "secret" and they don't want to pass it along. White sharecroppers - why would this be such a huge secret to a family that grew up very poor and white in the South? Descendants of slaves who passed as white? I may never know.

I often wonder how I can help my white ds grow up to be a responsible anti-racist white man. I look forward to the rest of this activity and hope to grow and change through participating.
 
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