If you’ve been following my advocacy and not just my book reviews, then you know I share a lot of myself when talking about adoption. I share both old and new experiences in an effort to make other transracial adoptees feel less alone. I carefully curate what I share. Often, I share everything and then edit out details as I edit blogs and videos. Even after edits, I let people into more of my personal life than many people would allow.
This wasn’t an issue when I was unknown and only had family and friends in my real life (IRL) following my advocacy. My advocacy has started to become more known which is absolutely amazing. It also means I am no longer comfortable sharing as much as myself… or rather, keeping my experience-based advocacy in sync with my life. I need time to process what happens in my life. I need time to figure out how big life changes are going to play out. Then, I can share my carefully curated experiences.
The boundaries are going up now. People were genuinely curious about my life, my research, my pets, and most importantly, my family. Naturally people will be curious about my family because I talk about them a lot in my advocacy. That’s okay, but I started seeing red flags when followers of my advocacy were seeking out my family on social media. I have never invited anyone to do this. I was never asked if this was okay. I found out when my family messaged me asking if XYZ were from my advocacy because they just got friend requests from strangers. When I spoke about this with fellow advocates, it was clear that this is a common issue that we have all faced.
So this blog isn’t just to inform people as to why I’ve severely cut back on advocacy (this is also because I’m tired of dealing with the same ignorance), but to remind people to respect advocates. We share what we choose to share. We make ourselves vulnerable to connect with others and better a system. We do not invite people to invade our privacy.
I’m flattered that people have connected with me and can think of me as a friend after reading my words and watching my videos. I want to keep advocating, but safety first and that means more boundaries.
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