Covering: The Identity Project
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The concept of “coming out” is fairly recognizable as a social phenomenon. It usually entails a person of a marginalized identity revealing a previously hidden identity to those around them. A person’s decision to come out is often a reoccurring and lifelong process. What is often not examined, and what I chose to examine through my project, was the delicate balance marginalized people often face when deciding if and when a specific situation is safe to come out in. Covering refers to when a person does not deny their marginalized identity but is very particular about who they expose themselves to, in an attempt to conform to society as best as possible. Through in-depth video interviews with people of varying genders, sexualities, gender expressions, race and disabilities I was able to understand the implications that arise from actively covering an aspect of one’s identity on a daily basis. My goal is to provide a platform where people can reveal their authentic selves and inspire others to do the same.