Assimilation is the process in which a minority group or culture comes to resemble a society's majority group or assume the values, behaviours, and beliefs of another group whether fully or partially. An example of assimilation in that Queer People could be seen as changing their behaviour depending on who they're facing. This is often at the expense of one's own culture and identity. For queer folks, assimilation can mean subsuming or erasing their queer or racialized identity to fit into heteronormative society. It can often look like internalised homophobia, racism, or transphobia, which keeps us closed in and conforming to societal norms at the expense of our own authentic selves.
Here are examples of assimilation:
- Avoiding holding hands with a partner in public to avoid negative reactions from others.
- Changing ones appearance or behaviour to conform to gender norms.
- Choosing not to come out to one's family and friends for fear of rejection.
- Pretending to only have relationships with the opposite sex to avoid discrimination.
- Avoiding talking about ones sexuality or gender identity at work to avoid judgement or discrimination.
- Suppressing aspects of their cultural identity to avoid discrimination or rejection from others.