February 13

ELA B10 A1 Visual and Non-Visual Minorities – what would it be like?

Pros and Cons of being either a Visual or Non-visual Minority in society (*developed by a previous group of students)

Non-visual: when there is a quality of your being that people cannot visually recognize or notice, but that might cause some people to see or treat you differently. (Ex: religion not including features that are visually noticeable (like being Jewish), sexual orientation (could be same-sex oriented without people knowing your personal feelings/attractions), mental disability, race (some people may be of a race group without distinguishing features, like fair-skinned Metis)


  • if your minority identity is hidden, you can’t be discriminated against so easily
  • you could choose to hide the part of your identity you fear people wouldn’t accept, and feel a sense of being safe
  • if you eventually choose to reveal your whole self to others, that acceptance, if gained, means so much more
  • you have a chance to build up relationships that you may not otherwise have if they knew some private qualities of yourself (like a Jewish faith or same-sex attraction)
  • it is your choice to disclose parts of yourself – you have some control of who knows and when they know
  • it could free you to be yourself openly among others without people judging you


  • you’d maybe always have a worry that it would be discovered; you’d have the hurt and lose after and existing relationships may change
  • you wouldn’t ever really know if you were truly accepted, if those around you didn’t know a private part of your identity
  • you would always be withholding or protecting a part of yourself from others
  • there is the fear of that discovery moment, repeated over and over again throughout your life, if you kept part of yourself from others
  • your potential membership in a community of people you have things in common with would potentially be hidden; you wouldn’t get to know people who could support you because you wouldn’t know of each other
  • could hear insults related to your identity from those around, maybe even friends, without them knowing it hurts you (ex: David hearing his friends make Jew jokes)
  • over time, it could become a toxic environment you’re in, where you silently endure and struggle with your sense of acceptance
  • could end up perpetually hiding part of your true identity; repressing it (same-sex identity)


Visual minority: when there is a quality of your identity that can visually be recognized (and potentially judged in society) Examples: sex ( male or female), physical or mental disability (blindness, wheel chair-bound), religion (with religious clothing like a nicab or turban), race (some people of a different racial group may be recognized while others may not, depending on their features)


  • if your quality if visual, people around you would likely know they’re targetting you with insults, rather than make jokes that relate to you without them knowing it
  • you may accept yourself sooner – live life being yourself, your whole self
  • first impressions made would filter out the people you would want in your life or not; they either accept you or not
  • people would see you as you are, so if someone doesn’t accept you there wasn’t an attachment making it more disappointing a loss
  • you would be able to be part of a group or community of people who share your qualities (ex: community of believers in the same religion)


  • people may think they know you, based on assumptions or stereotypes (face criticism or harsh treatment, like targetted comments to hurt you)
  • you don’t have a choice to hide parts of yourself from those who would be unaccepting of you. (Ex: “Shopping While Black” behaviour – negative bias of shop workers towards people shopping based on prejudice)
  • you might have a hard time developing relationships, because people may judge you or you might feel self-conscious that they might be less accepting
  • you might feel/face exclusion, feeling left out of groups
  • may have a greater sense of of isolation, feeling on the outside
  • there’s the mental process a child has to go through when discovering or slowly understanding why people may see them differently, despite of who they actually are



Posted February 13, 2019 by Waldner in category ELA B10

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