Below is a creative piece on identity, written by HollyLouise13.  Holly Louise is a young Australian writer who is passionate about a range of cultural issues including domestic violence, mental health and faith/spirituality. She writes fiction, poetry and autobiographical fiction which are all inspired by lived experiences. To read more from Holly, visit her blog, Facebook and Twitter

The man glared at her, shaking his head, as though he owned the correct opinion and the right to disapprove.

She didn’t notice. But had she noticed, she would have shyly made eye contact and smiled; reaching out to her fellow Australian, as though she had something to prove.

What astonished her most, was how willing someone was to express anger, even hatred, towards her; and all because of a single piece of clothing.

‘It’s because you’re white, you have blue eyes, you’re clearly Australian.’

As though somehow she had betrayed them, her fellow Aussies. As though somehow, she deserved to be publicly intimidated and shamed. Once again, she thought, my identity invalidated by my faith. I am no longer a true Australian woman, even though I have suffered as one.

She didn’t like to admit how much these encounters bothered her.

Had her identity changed?

She didn’t feel any different, act any different, or believe anything new.

In her mind, she was exactly the same.

Once we choose to identify with a label; we are forced to accept, and become punished by, the stereotypes which it drags behind us.

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