The Benefits Of Passing

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Passing is generally defined as allowing oneself to be identified with a race, class, or other social group to which one does not genuinely belong. There are a variety of reasons an individual might choose to pass as another race or class. Many individuals choose to pass for economic security or even physical safety. Passing is an act that is often intentional or sometimes inadvertent. Some people choose to pass for a momentary event, while others make it a lifestyle choice. The act of passing may seem beneficial; however, it often leads to a barrier, a barrier of race, class and even family matters. One could only image the hurt an African American mother might feel if her light skinned daughter chose to deny her racial background and live …show more content…
African Americans and other minorities have been discriminated against in the United States for many years leaving them envious of their white counterparts. It was not that they desired to be white, but they desired to be treated with equality. This forced many fair-skinned offspring and people of color to “pass” as a white person in hopes of taking advantage of the opportunities that would have otherwise been denied to them simply because of their skin color. African American’s who could pass for white, often used this as a survival tool, especially during periods of racial segregation. Passing would allow those who were of African American decent to gain an education and employment opportunities. The act of passing would often force individuals to move away from their hometowns, leaving their families and friends behind. This would ensure that they would never come across anyone who knew their true racial origin. Although passing benefitted them, it was very difficult to leave their families and true …show more content…
Passing is no longer just African Americans pretending to be white. There are all different forms of passing that occur for a variety of reason. In our society, both men and women are expected to marry someone of the opposite sex, procreate and live a happy American life. But what if that is not what one desires? What if a man chooses to love a man or a woman choose to love a woman? What happens then? For many homosexuals, they water down these desires to simply please society. As unfair and sad as it is, they do not feel comfortable with whom they are simply because society disagrees. Individuals who are homosexuals might pretend to be straight for the sake of acceptance. Our current society, especially in the South, is extremely critical of anyone or anything that does not fit into their social norm. They do not like the idea of someone loving someone of the same sex. Homosexuals might pass as straight individual in order to simply prevent themselves from being physically harmed. Many see maintaining a straight appearance as essential for positions of power, or authority. They might also pass in order to keep people from judging them or making cruel

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