The former Eastern Washington University professor appeared on the Tamron Hall Show earlier this week to discuss what her life has been like since she was outed almost six years ago, explaining that she feels like her point of view has been misinterpreted by the masses.
“What I really wish is [that] people could see me more for ‘who’ I am [rather] than the ‘what,’” Dolezal told Hall. “A mother, an activist, and an artist, that’s really who I am. When it comes to race and identity, I’ve always identified racially as ‘human’ but have found more of a home in Black culture and the Black community and that hasn’t changed.”
Dolezal said she still chooses to identify as someone who is transracial, even though she can’t find work. “I mean I’m still the same person I was in May of 2015,” she continued. “I’m still doing the work, I’m still pressing forward, but it has been really tough for sure. Not having a job for six years, having to create my own job and find my own ways to provide for my children through braiding hair, through grant writing to bring funds into marginalized communities and Black-owned businesses and nonprofits, through painting, through doing pep talks on Cameo.com. So it’s definitely been a long six years but I really strongly believe that as a person you have to just continue to be who you are and you can’t change you who you are.”
As the interview went on, Dolezal further explained how her job search has been going, saying that the “negativity” encompassing her identity has prevented her from getting jobs that don’t ask for a degree. She has two, including a Master of Fine Arts from Howard University.
“I started with applying for all of the things I was qualified for and after interviews and getting turned down, I even applied to jobs that didn’t even require degrees,” the former professor said. She said she’s applied to be a maid at a hotel, and for work at a casino, but “wasn’t able to get any of those jobs either.”
Dolezal further addressed her personal experience, and how her story is more about “becoming than changing.”
“It’s more of a story of finding a home culturally and it’s not one of somehow pretending, or faking, or changing. It’s just becoming,” she said. “If I had changed, there would be this, you know, flip-flopping or somehow scrapping everything under pressure, but this is really just who I am. I really believe that if I’m going to continue to live, I have to continue to be who I am in the midst of pressure.”