Purdue Identities Project Nobody should have to be invisible. #BeSeen

#BoilerIdentities FAQ

#BoilerIdentities is a video campaign meant to bring to light the often hidden diversity of Purdue’s campus. People hide parts of their identities for all sorts of reasons, and PIP is a broad inclusion initiative geared at increasing awareness and resources for campus diversity.
Our identities comprise the way we see ourselves, our fit within the world, and our group memberships. Most of us have various social identities, with some identities being dominant at one time, while less important at others (think of student versus sibling). When our identities are well understood, shared, or accepted by those around us, we tend to feel safer and happier and thrive.
An invisible or concealable identity is a social identity that may be able to be hidden from others. While invisible identities vary, the one commonality among them is that identity holders often conceal them out of a fear of stigma—or a negative belief from others about what that identity is or means. To protect themselves invisible identity holders often don’t talk about their concealable identities or even try to hide them.
There’s nothing wrong with keeping parts of your life private. However, when you feel you can’t express part of who you are, that can have very negative consequences. Research shows that when people have to cover up key parts to their identities, they suffer emotionally, academically, professionally, and even romantically. If you chose to conceal, you can. But everyone deserves to feel safe being seen.
In short—no. While it should be every person’s aim to allow others to feel safe in disclosing their identities if they choose to do so, it’s often best to not try and get someone to “come out” with an identity they might not feel safe telling others about. Asking someone whether they have an identity you think they might have can come across as labeling, which will nearly always result in both parties feeling misunderstood.
If you have an identity you think others might not accept, chances are you’re looking for signs of acceptance. When those around us make fun of minoritized groups; use racial, sexist, or homophobic language; or otherwise make it clear that only a certain “type” of person can make it on the A-list, we often take steps to make sure we seem to fit in. You can make an environment identity-inclusive by making sure that you monitor your language and the topics you discuss, even if you think that those around you all share the same primary identities. Chances are, there’s more diversity in your group than you realize. Practice being accepting of differences—explicitly. And gently stand up to those who say or do things that put others down.
Yes! Sign up on the Purdue Identities Project Website to tell your own #BoilerIdentities story. It doesn’t matter if your story sounds the same as—or radically different from—others on the site. If you have a concealable identity, this is your chance to be seen. Recording your own video also lets others with identities like yours see people like them who are comfortable and open with identities that are often hidden. Sign up to get involved by recording your own video or engaging in other activities here: www.tinyurl.com/PurdueIdentities. (Recording concludes Fall 2016).
#BoilerIdentities is a voluntary project, with participants choosing to join for no reason other than to help others understand their identity. If your identity isn’t listed, chances are that nobody volunteered to share their identity-related story. Sign up to get involved by recording your own video or engaging in other activities here: www.tinyurl.com/PurdueIdentities or reach out to identities@purdue.edu. (Recording concludes Fall 2016).
The Purdue Identities Project (PIP) is a broad inclusion and diversity initiative sponsored by the Provost’s Office as a part of the Diversity Transformation Award program. All Diversity Transformation Award projects were meant to increase and retain diversity on campus while increasing the quality of life for all. PIP works to increase resources and information for and about all minoritized identities, with a focus on those that are often overlooked: invisible identities. 


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