Describe a time in your life when you had to put on a ‘mask’ metaphorically to hide your identity.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that a really interesting projection on this particular idea would be to analyze the narrative of people who are homosexual and feel the need to "come out of the closet."  To a great extent, those who are "closeted" discuss how they have to wear a "mask."  To be homosexual in a society that does not readily acknowledge or does recognize it as something "wrong" or "deviant" is to wear a mask.   Individuals who are homosexual, bisexual, or transgendered struggle under the weight of this mask because it weighs upon them.  To recognize that their very being is deemed inappropriate or unacceptable is something that compels them to wear a mask, subjugate their own identity in the name of social acceptance.  The symbol of a mask is a good one to convey how difficult life is for someone who is "closeted."  At the same time, it helps to bring out how concealment is part of their daily existence.  It might be interesting to examine the narratives of individuals who have had to live in "the closet" to find points of discussion about what it is like to wear a mask in order to conceal one's own true identity.

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