Part II The devastating consequences of “symbolic annihilation”

Media Diversified

“When You’re Strange”

by Zetta Elliott 


I felt like a stranger in my family—and in my country of origin, Canada—long before my father ever spoke those hurtful words.Orville Douglasis a dark-skinned, gay, Black man and no doubt his experience of discrimination in Toronto is informed by his identity, his personality, and—I suspect—his family (who seem not to have prepared him for life as a Black man in racist society). I am a light-skinned, mixed-race, straight, Black woman; I may not be as physically intimidating as Douglas, but I still know how it feels to walk the streets of Toronto and feel utterly invisible. If I hadn’t chosen to emigrate twenty years ago, I too might have internalized enough racist rejection to make a degree of self-loathing inevitable. I never wonder why I left, and I have no regrets. Had I stayed in Canada I…

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