After much introspection I’ve decided that my old online identity is not suitable for me anymore. As such, I’ve changed my tumblr name from baxtalo to veiledvisage. I’m also working on renaming or replacing any of my other online presences titled similarly. I’m sorry for any confusion this might cause in the meantime.
I’m more sorry that I was being appropriative in my online activities for so long. When I chose my original username I was both young and foolish, and hadn’t been introduced to the idea of cultural appropriation. I stole a word from the Rromani, an ethnicity with a history of being brutally oppressed, and put it on like a silly hat, because I was under the impression that said culture had been abandoned. I was very much mistaken, and I now know that the ethnicity to which this word belongs is not only still alive but still facing extreme discrimination.
I strongly urge anyone reading this to do three small things:
1) If you are still using the word “gypsy,” please stop. It is a hurtful racial slur, and by choosing to use it, you are perpetuating discrimination against very real people.
2) If you are genuinely interested in Rromani culture, please check out the rromani tag on tumblr. It is full of very real, very eloquent posts. It’s also a good place to look for actions you can take to help end discrimination- letter writing campaigns and such.
3) Do take action. The next time someone you know says “g*psy,” do correct them. Think about the stereotypes you see daily, and call them out when you can. If you are involved with Amnesty International, keep an eye out for issues pertaining to the Rroma because they are often related to forced relocation, a form of discrimination they have been subjected to (and then had romanticized!!) for hundreds of years.
Again, I am very sorry for my appropriation and sincerely hope that this post helps in some small way. If anybody wants to talk about this, feel free to hit up my ask box.