Dolezal, a former Washington NAACP branch president, made international headlines in 2015 after it was revealed that she was posing as a black woman despite being born white. After she was outed, Dolezal revealed that she identifies as being black even though she knows she was born white.
Dolezal made the appearance on CNN while promoting her new memoir, In Full Color: Finding My Place in a Black and White World. When the CNN anchor commented that he saw a lot of similarity in Dolezal’s story and Jenner’s transgender story, Dolezal admitted that people sometimes compare the two of them.
“Well, I think a lot of people have drawn that parallel. And I want to be careful because certainly every category of our identity is, you know, with its own unique circumstances and challenges,” Dolezal, 39, told Smerconish.
“But for sure, there is some similarity in terms of harmonizing the outer appearance with the inner feeling,” Dolezal continued. “In terms of, you know, stigmatized identities, some people will forever see me as my birth category and nothing further. And the same with Caitlyn.”
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Dolezal also discussed her memoir and identity on the Today show last Monday.
“I don’t identify as African-American, I identify as black,” she told Savannah Guthrie. “I am part of the Pan-African diaspora and I definitely feel like in America, even though race is a social construct and we’ve acknowledged this in academia and in science, there still is a line drawn in the sides.”
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Caitlyn Jenner’s transition from male to female in 2015 and Vanity Fair debut made global headlines. She is also releasing a memoir, entitled The Secrets of My Life, out April 25 in the U.S. and April 27 in the U.K.