I had a nightmare again this morning. It's kind of difficult to describe and pretty unintelligible to any other brain but my own. But basically, I have understood the dream to mean that I have been turning my back on my people, not standing up and saying 'I am', when I should. Twice recently I haven't 'come out' as Jewish when I should have. Once was when I was being the offered some potential work and the other time was when P. said his conspiracy theory about the World Trade Centre.
It is always hard to come out as Jewish because there is usually a process where I go from being considered a 'normal human being' to suddenly being seen as something 'less than human'. The 'less than human' thing changes, depending on who I'm coming out to. To some people, with no particular hatred, I will suddenly become a stereotype and people will suddenly perceive me in those terms. Or I become suddenly exotic. Or I become something to be feared and reviled. Suddenly I'm not just being taken for how I act or what I say, but as some kind of signifier of other things, a symbol.
I know it doesn't matter what P. thinks of me. He is just a fellow student and it's unlikely I'll ever see him after the course finishes, but I was afraid to say that I am Jewish because he sees us as bad people, bullies, perpetrators of the worst crimes against his people. I don't want to have to go from being a normal person - or should I say, a normal white person with a hidden mixed background - to a Jew and everything that means to him. But I will. And I should everytime - especially now. But it's hard and I probably won't - until I have another nightmare...

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