My first reaction, like many of you I am sure, was…
A white woman has been “living as a black woman.”
My first question, in all seriousness was “What does it mean to live as a black woman?” But soon enough, things were cleared up.
Rachel Dolezal was lying about her identity.
Not that lying about your identity is what it means to “live as a black woman.” She was just trying very hard to be a black woman. She was dishonest with people. She implied that she had an African-American father. Bruce / Caitlyn Jenner didn’t have the luxury of lying about his / her gender.
Rachel Dolezal told Matt Lauer that she has been this way since she was five, drawing self-portraits with the brown crayons instead of the peach colored crayons.
On the one hand, Rachel appears to have had a challenging and unusual childhood, so maybe that’s true. On the other hand, she has been proven to be a very unreliable narrator for her own life, so who knows what we should believe.
But here’s the thing. Rachel may be unusual. She may be unreliable. She may even be unethical. She might even be crazy…
…But I’ll claim her.