QUESTION: How much does representation really matter?
I shared a little bit about not wanting to be the “token” in any given situation on Instagram not long ago, and I still have thoughts about what this really means. Whether the token deaf person, or the token sick person, or anything else. Although I fear tokenism in my profession, I often forget the importance of representation too.
Is it better to represent in the face of professional tokenism… or to retract, redact and blend in instead? Which serves us more societally? Do we need people to stand up and represent, even if that boxes them into a category they don’t want to be in? Or do we show more by assimilating more?
I don’t have the answer, of course, but I’m inclined to say it’s a bit of both. I definitely look to actors, artists, and activists in popular media for representation… but I wonder how often they feel typecast into only one thing?