What is identity? Identity is commonly looked at as a person's own uniqueness, individual characteristics, and one's own portrayal of "self"Ã¯Â¿Â½. A group can also have an identity. This happens when all of the people in the group have one common factor in their own identity. Many things may contribute to the formation of identity. A person's age, culture, socio-economical status, social life, area of residence, ethnic background, and religion may all form an identity.
Many times groups have felt the need to repress their true identity from the pubic because of the worries they have about being put down. When these groups finally do get enough courage to come out with their true identity they often times are in fact laughed at and discriminated against such as the gay and lesbian communities. Other times groups express their real identity and their identity becomes a catchy trend. Are symbols once used to express a true identity only a catchy trend in today's world? The articles Coming Out and Crossing Over: Identity Formation and Proclamation in a Transgender Community, Dreadlocks: The Hair Aesthetics of Cultural Resistance and Collective Identity Formation, Navajo Women and the Politics of Identity, and Ethnic Transformation in Rural California: Looking Beyond the Immigrant Farmworker, all support the thesis that many symbols used in expressing identity have been lost and are now just a trend.
In the article Coming Out and Crossing Over: Identity Formation and Proclamation in a Transgender Community Patricia Gagne write about how transgendered people "come out"Ã¯Â¿Â½ and express their identity. Usually this is a long process due to feelings of embarrassment. The article answered the question of why transgendered people dress the way they dress"ÃÂ¦"appearance is a central component in the establishment and maintenance of self and identity (Stone 1975)"Ã¯Â¿Â½ (Gagne, 1997: 116).