Review – I Will Not Be Erased by gal-dem

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“I Will Not Be Erased”: Our stories about growing up as people of colour by gal-dem

Fourteen joyous, funny and life-affirming essays from gal-dem, the award-winning magazine created by young women and non-binary people of colour.

gal-dem, the award-winning online and print magazine, is created by women and non-binary people of colour. In this thought-provoking and moving collection of fourteen essays, gal-dem’s writers use raw material from their teenage years – diaries, poems and chat histories – to explore growing up. gal-dem have been described by the Guardian as “the agents of change we need”, and these essays tackle important subjects including race, gender, mental health and activism, making this essential reading for any young person Goodreads


Fundamentally about relationships and race, it also covered many other topics like politics, religion, education, etc. The writing styles and content was varied but all covered the central theme. Which meant that whilst I didn’t connect personally with every story. It was  okay because I appreciated each one for giving me an insight into their lives and experiences. I believe the more you know about others and their lived experiences, the more you understand people in general. You’re not restricted to your own limited frame of reference.

no one around us could see the point of reading about lives that were not our own

Sharing is caring

I loved their honesty – because where I’m from, people don’t chat their business with the world, only their besties. And that is such an ingrained habit that I can’t see it changing any time soon.

I’m so over this prevailing trend which has culminated in reality TV – no one needs to know your ins and out, every waking moment narrated on social media. Because that isn’t sharing yourself, your true self, that is dumping your minutiae, every random thought that popped into your head with the world

This book is about sharing real information, valuable experiences, truths to life which can help and guide others.  If we don’t speak up and speak out, we don’t realise that this isn’t happening just to us but to a group/an identifiable demographic

I loved that there was  a little piece of me in each story, whether it’s emotional turmoil, teenage angst, location etc. which reminds me that people have more in common than they realise.  It is easier to see differences rather than similarities.

You don’t have to be personally invested to ‘get’ these stories

Each story directly or indirectly, references a diary. Knowing you history, remembering your past is key to your present and defining your future. Importance of recording one’s thoughts equates with better knowing oneself

I took away some great thoughts

Body image

When someone or something, takes some personal attributes, particularly one you can’t change like your ethnicity, gender, and make your fear, be ashamed of it, it- it is a terrible thing.

Self Image

It can be a huge, insurmountable shift to see yourself as who you are as opposed to who you think you should be – and like and love yourself. Seeing value in yourself, rejecting loathing is not always easy.  It’s tough to get there. Self acceptance is hard

Pain

How pain can build and build until the pressure is unbelievably unbearable, but still you go on, because you shouldn’t make a fuss, draw attention to yourself.  Pain is internalised, until you are crushed by it.  We need to take that weight off us.

I didn’t share my feelings because I was trying to swallow them

Communication

The more you know yourself, the better you can refute the lies, incorrect representation from others. Being at odds and sometime in conflict with yourself due to mixed messages that family and society heaped on you was a message repeated often.

An off the cuff mean comment, can cause anguish and lifelong ramifications follows.

I could talk about this book over and over not just because it was relatable, there is  much to delve into but I will finish with a quote that neatly sums it’s all up for me.

…big part of growing up is letting go of some of the things we thought defined us,  especially if they are making us unhappy


3 Stars - Liked It

Engrossed Reader

Female, in her 40's who reads when she can, often to the detriment of sleep. Enjoying most genres and formats with a preference for ebooks, mainly for convenience

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3 star rating explained

3 star rating explained