Hello, my name is Valaniece, I am of Hispanic and Italian descent, and I am a straight female.
When I think of who I am as a human being in this world. When I contemplate my place and my purpose. When I define my own identity never do I begin with that. Never do I begin with who I was born as. Why? Because that’s not me. Me being a female did not dictate my love of cinema. Me being Hispanic and Italian did not influence me to become a writer. Me being straight did not coerce me into pursuing comedy.
So I ask. Why do these things matter? Why is it so detrimental for us as a society to constantly force us to look at who we are physically as opposed to who we are as people?
By labeling and having to constantly spell out our born with identity, we then begin lumping one another into groups that meet a similar description. Why is that? Why all of sudden, since I’m hispanic, must that mean that I am representative of the hispanic community? I am only acquainted with my family, not the entire country of Dominican Republic. The same applies to my Italian background. I can guarantee you that my ideas, thoughts, and opinions, are not identical to those of the same decent. That my likes, dislikes, hobbies, and talents, vary from Italian to Italian.
Whilst in middle school, I was sitting in my math class. We had a visitor come in, she was a female, and she talked to us about media (if I remember correctly). Then she went around to talk to some the students, to get to know us. She came to me and she asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up. I’ve been answering this question the same all my life, “I want to be a filmmaker”. Then the visitors face started to glow with excitement. “Good for you, there aren’t enough females in the film industry.” I remember awkwardly smiling.
My opinion is the same now, as it was then, I really don’t care about there not being enough females in the film industry.
That is not to say that I think females should not be in the film industry, clearly I don’t believe this because I want to be one. What I am saying is that I didn’t wake up one day and decide to pursue film because I’m doing this for the female population. No. I want to be a filmmaker because I want to be filmmaker. I’m not doing this for anybody else. I’m doing this because someone lied to me and told me that I could be anybody that I wanted to be and this is what I chose.
I am not proponent of all women. I don’t know the entire female population, I don’t share the same opinions, or wear the same clothes, or look the same. I’m different. You’re different. He’s different. She’s different. We are not of separate groupings, we are of the same race. The human race.
Don’t look at me and say, “You go girl, be a female screenwriter”. That only perpetuates inequality. By making it a point to identify differences, we are letting injustices persist. Say to me instead “You go, be a screenwriter”. Let’s not make identity apart of everything.
I am not a friend to all females, and I’m not a friend to all hispanics and Italians. I’m a friend to those who share the same opinions, the same morals, the same personality. I’m a friend who like me for who I am. Not what I am.
We need to understand that injustices exist because people constantly feel the need to categorize one another.
So let’s try this again. Let’s actually remember to judge one another by the content of our character.
Hello, I’m Valaniece, I am a writer and comedian who has a love for film, I’m creative, energetic, and loud. That’s all you need to know, right now, because that’s the only part that matters.