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robertogreco : identities   2

Generation Z: Who They Are, in Their Own Words - The New York Times
[See also, the interactive feature:

"What is it like to be part of the group that has been called the most diverse generation in U.S. history? We asked members of Generation Z to tell us what makes them different from their friends, and to describe their identity. Here's what they had to say." ]

"They’re the most diverse generation in American history, and they’re celebrating their untraditional views on gender and identity.

Melissa Auh Krukar is the daughter of a South Korean immigrant father and a Hispanic mother, but she refuses to check “Hispanic” or “Asian” on government forms.

“I try to mark ‘unspecified’ or ‘other’ as a form of resistance,” said Melissa, 23, a preschool teacher in Albuquerque. “I don’t want to be in a box.”

Erik Franze, 20, is a white man, but rather than leave it at that, he includes his preferred pronouns, “he/him/his,” on his email signature to respectfully acknowledge the different gender identities of his peers.

And Shanaya Stephenson, 23, is the daughter of immigrants from Jamaica and Guyana, but she intentionally describes herself as a “pansexual black womxn.”

“I don’t see womanhood as a foil to maleness,” she said.

All three are members of what demographers are calling Generation Z: the postmillennial group of Americans for whom words like “intersectionality” feel as natural as applying filters to photos on Instagram.

Born after 1995, they’re the most diverse generation ever, according to United States census data. One in four is Hispanic, and 6 percent are Asian, according to studies led by the Pew Research Center. Fourteen percent are African-American.

And that racial and ethnic diversity is expected to increase over time, with the United States becoming majority nonwhite in less than a decade, according to Census Bureau projections.

Along with that historic diversity, members of the generation also possess untraditional views about identity.

The New York Times asked members of Generation Z to describe, in their own words, their gender and race as well as what made them different from their friends. Thousands replied with answers similar to those of Melissa, Erik and Shanaya.

“It’s a generational thing,” said Melissa, the preschool teacher. “We have the tools and language to understand identity in ways our parents never really thought about.”

More than 68 million Americans belong to Generation Z, according to 2017 survey data from the Census Bureau, a share larger than the millennials’ and second only to that of the baby boomers. Taking the pulse of any generation is complicated, but especially one of this size.

Generation Z came of age just as the Black Lives Matter movement was cresting, and they are far more comfortable with shifting views of identity than older generations have been.

More than one-third of Generation Z said they knew someone who preferred to be addressed using gender-neutral pronouns, a recent study by the Pew Research Center found, compared with 12 percent of baby boomers.

“Identity is something that can change, like politics,” said Elias Tzoc-Pacheco, 17, a high school senior in Ohio who was born in Guatemala. “That’s a belief shared by a lot of my generation.”

Last summer, Elias began identifying as bisexual. He told his family and friends, but he does not like using the term “come out” to describe the experience, because he and his friends use myriad sexual identities to describe themselves already, he said.

Elias said he defies other expectations as well. He goes to church every day, leans conservative on the issue of abortion and supports unions, he said. He has campaigned for both Democrats and Republicans.

His bipartisan political activism, he said, was a natural outcome of growing up in a world where identity can be as varied as a musical playlist.

This is also the generation for whom tech devices, apps and social media have been ubiquitous throughout their lives. A Pew study last year found that nearly half of all Americans aged 13 to 17 said they were online “almost constantly,” and more than 90 percent used social media.

Wyatt Hale, a high school junior in Bremerton, Wash., has few friends “in real life,” he said, but plenty around the world — Virginia, Norway, Italy — whom he frequently texts and talks to online.

Their friendships started out on YouTube. “I could tell you everything about them,” he said. “But not what they look like in day-to-day life.”"

["as the boomers and millennials fight to the death, gen x and gen z will snuggle up to talk top emotional feelings and best life practices and I am here for it!!" ]
genz  generationz  edg  srg  2019  nytimes  interactive  identity  us  diversity  photography  socialmedia  instagram  internet  online  web  change  youth  race  sexuality  gender  demographics  identities  choiresicha  generations  millennials  geny  generationy  genx  generationx  babyboomers  boomers  classideas 
march 2019 by robertogreco
How I Learned To Stop Erasing Myself
"There’s a type of inborn initiative that comes from having never been obligated to answer questions about the meaning of one’s name that I was always envious of. Now, at 28, I’m slowly becoming myself."

"To be first generation means acquiescing to a lasting state of restlessness. It’s as if you’ve inherited not just your family’s knotted DNA, but also the DNA acquired from their move, from veritable mileage, from the energy it took your parents to reestablish their lives. I grasped early — perhaps one February morning as I warmed my feet inside the car while my mother scraped snow off her windshield, her rosy cheeks emerging through icy diagonals on the glass — that my parents were not from here but from there: Kolkata. There she was, removing snow with great purpose and rhythm as I spasmed with chills until I was toasty and warm. There she was, my Anglo-Indian mother, Dolores. She from there but now living here, wearing winter boots and a puffy coat. And me, her daughter who is from here, but also in some conveyed manner, from there too.

That distinction is one that accompanies me every day but one that I have been careful to never overly indulge. There’s only so much difference I can sustain without gutting all of my confidence. Without feeling lost. What tethers me to my parents is the unspoken dialogue we share about how plenty of my character is built on the connection I feel to the world they were raised in but that I’ve only experienced through photos, visits, food. It’s not mine and yet, I get it. First generation kids, I’ve always thought, are the personification of déjà vu.

While in some ways my name is one of the smallest kernels of who I am, I now know that something far more furtive is at play when one’s name is misheard, that the act of mishearing is not benign but ultimately silencing. A quash so subtle that — and here’s what I’m still working out — it develops into a feeling of invalidation I’ve inhabited ever since I was a kid. Nothing will make you fit in less than trying, constantly, to fit in: portioning your name, straightening your hair, developing a wary love-hate fascination to white moms whose pantries were stocked differently than yours.

And swapping between the varied pronunciations of your name: When I was growing up in Montreal, my French teachers would sputter the D with a tsk and at home, my father’s Bengali accent would round the Dh-oor sound. In my mind I always imagined his articulation written in felt marker, in bubble letters too. But the North American way of saying my name is the one I’ve come to know and use. Durrrr-gah. Like the hum of a machine capped by the gleeful sound a baby makes after knocking over her bowl of Cheerios.

The first-person essay is not one that comes naturally to me. Who is this “I”? Am I entitled to her? Is she my voice or is she the voice that is expected of me? One editor has urged me to claim the “I” instead of exhausting my rhetorical crutch: “One might say…” When I have a point to make, I’m tempted to sideline it or deceive myself of its ownership. To delight in anonymity. The way I see it, while all of these admissions sound grim they are everyday to anyone who was born accommodating — who’s read enough “I’s” in enough essays, but has never seen “me.”

To want and to write in the first person are two actions that demand of you: you. But this long and lanky “I” has never arrived at me freely. How can an “I” contain all of my many fragments and contradictions and more so, all of me that is undiscovered? Is this “I” actually mine to own? If you’ve ever been someone whose first self is what intrigues others, writing in the first person necessitates that you grow fascinated with yourself, which is exceedingly uncomfortable and wobbly territory for me.

More so, the very desire to write it all down, to trust that my experience and what I might share of it has merit, is a certainty that is a foreign prerogative. Often, I’ll be thinking aloud with friends or deliberating on ideas that have been simmering or on luckier occasions, ideas that have been connecting, and a friend will excitedly chime in, “You should write about that.” But the impulse to write it all down is at most secondary or tertiary, and generally, not even on my radar. “Everything is copy,” Nora Ephron famously said. Those three words toll and do inspire, but in my case, being held accountable for a voice that is perhaps not my own but is inferred because of my name or the color of my skin can be stifling. Not everything is copy — that’s what my parents would likely say. My first inclination is to let ideas sit and to overthink and wrestle with them. And then maybe, just maybe, draft an email to a friend where I blunder the original purpose of my note: to seek out a single person audience."
identity  names  immigrant  immigration  identities  2015  restelessness  migration  thirdculturekids  voice  durgachew-bose 
january 2015 by robertogreco

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