Topic: Gender, Ethnicity, and Identity

Paul Graham’s paper claims that a person’s identity is defined by a variety of circumstances. These variables include, among others, our deeds, where we live, who we contact with, and how we see ourselves. Identity is something that we encounter more frequently, making it an inevitable component of our lives. Even though we are unaware of it, we come into contact with it every day. Realizing who you are is crucial. In fact, if you are able to recognize who you are, you are in a position to immediately make plans for your life that specifically fulfill the expectations you have for yourself. Knowing who we are doesn’t matter. Therefore, we should come out and embrace our identities as they tend to portray our expressive part of life. This assignment is a self-evaluation concerning both racial and gender identities. The assignment discusses some of my earliest memories and realizations about my identity. In this case, gender and racial identities. Further, the assignment reflects on these two aspects of identities and tries to evaluate if whether they have some influence on both my leisure and life pursuits.


Identities describe and express who we are, among other dynamics. The latter helps us define our actions and why we consider doing them. Paul Graham in his article “Keep your identity small” articulates that our identity is our vector in that it is a path that is defined by our actions and why we do them as purported earlier (, 2017). Graham further articulates that as direction, the latter helps one to define and chose from his available options. Identity sharpens us and further helps us understand the 6ws; what, who, where, when, why, and how.

Realizing and appreciating our identity is associated with certain aspects of life that are essential in life. For instance, when we acknowledge our ethnic identity, we are respecting and appreciating our ancestral origin, that is, culture, religion and above all, our ethnic group. While we understand our identities, we are building our network identity through the various choices we make. For example, choices about relationships, careers, and even our political affiliations. Therefore, understanding our identity actually helps us make wise decisions and also limits conflicts that may arise from our identity.

My earliest memories and realizations about my identity

Unlike my other friends, I could not sit back and pretend that identity did not matter to me when I joined college. In fact, in my first year at college I realized that this pretense had affected me a lot, particularly psychologically. As I can recall, I only had one friend whom we frequently interacted since we had known each other once I settled in the United States, and we also resided in the same neighborhood. She was not Philippine, and therefore we could only communicate in English. The only chance I got to speak some Filipino was when I was at home with my parents. This was the only time I could actually express myself confidently. However, as I moved to another milestone of my life, I understood there was no essence for the pretense but instead come out, express myself, make friends and above all, appreciate my identity as a Philippine immigrant as well as acknowledge my culture as a Philippine.

While my first month in college came to an end, I can articulate that I had at least made efforts of expressing myself however with little confidence. I had at least made friends with three other ladies who were of Philippine origin. On hearing them speak Filipino, I had to gather some courage and approach them, which henceforth turned out well to me I suppose. We discussed important aspects of life, and from this experience, I started embracing my identity which thereafter played an important role in shaping some dynamics in my future life.

What actually played an important role in defining my gender was this immigration. In this particular country, the United States, contrast from the Philippines embraced social diversity positively. For that reason, I had an opportunity to explore the rich culture of the United States among other things, the beautiful landscape, oceans, beaches and much more. On understanding how important aspects such as gender, race, ethnicity meant in this civilized society, I slowly began acknowledging mine too.

How gender and ethnic identities have influenced my life pursuits and leisure as well

Life Pursuits

I ought to identify that realizing my identity has had some significant influence on my life pursuits. After realizing that pretense could leave me regretting in future, I had to come out and express myself regardless of my shyness. Realizing my identity actually gave me the purpose of making meaningful choices that could be helpful in future. I can articulate that my race and gender were influential in shaping my nursing career. On interacting with my new friends and a few other Filipino ladies, I discovered that most Filipinos specifically ladies pursued nursing or professions related to health since the U.S paid handsomely in this specific field compared to our home country, Philippines.

Being an immigrant, I had earlier imagined myself living in a world with plenty of job opportunities. Fortunately, my imaginations became a reality once we moved in the United States. Here, I had a chance to explore a country with a rich culture where social diversity was highly acknowledged. I had to align and adapt to various aspects of life in this new region. I had to adapt to a new school life, new society embracing the concept of social diversity and above all, new experiences in life. Actually, realizing my identity was influential in dictating my life pursuits. It helped me at least choose a career related to my identity which I still embrace as I greatly love this particular course.


Gender, age, and ethnicity, in fact, all dynamics of identity define our lifestyle –leisure. Personally, I ought to identify that gender and ethnicity influenced my life. In fact, realizing my identity impacted my social life in one way or another, however, positively. As it is said, life is a pattern of living. Therefore, changes are inevitable when it comes to lifestyle. Realizing my identity gave me the purpose of engaging in school activities, participating in clubs and sports, going to parties with friends and also watching American movies to improve my English which was actually giving me a problem despite having been introduced to it back in the Philippines. Actually, realizing my identity made me enjoy an experiencers type of lifestyle where the only myself expression was the center for every decision I made (Russell, 2017). I was fast at grasping and adapting new ideas too. In this way, I was in a position to seek excitement and cherishing my new life.


In conclusion, I would articulate that realizing and defining our identities is an important part of our life. While we define our identity, we are promoting social diversity and appreciation of one’s culture regardless the differences. There is need to appreciate our gender and ethnic identities as they influence our life pursuits such as career choices. Also, they dictate our lifestyle, sporting among other aspects of leisure.

References (2017). Shape Your Identity or It Will Shape You. [online] Available at: [Accessed 28 Oct. 2017].

Russell, R. V. (2017). Pastimes: The context of contemporary leisure. Retrieved from:

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