Don’t Box Me In!
by Donna Martini – Oyster Bay, NY

In this lifetime, I’ve decided to not worry about being right but instead to do right. And if there is gender confusion in our nation, I am not going to judge it. I would like to know why this is happening, though, and whether I need to do something to help.

My mind goes to chemicals, pesticides, and most especially all the hormones in our food… I’m asking if this could create a shift in a person’s perception, genetics, and or physicality? Is there a new state of consciousness developing? Is gender confusion not really confusion but rather another way to exist? Has this neutrality prevailed since the arrival of man but now we are speaking more freely about it? Or are people just tired of being labeled, because I know I am!

I have no answers but I have been given some Divine insight. Now that government has done away with pronoun categories, I want to point out the judicial and righteous road that was just paved for us. There are some other categories I’d like to pursue…boxes we are constantly being asked to check off. I don’t believe anyone realizes just how damaging some of these categories truly are.

1. Single, Married, Separated, or Divorced: I am none of the above; I am just me. Besides it being none of anyone’s business, I don’t define myself in this way. And for the record, “divorced” is not a state of being! There should be no “d” at the end of this word. It is a decree that nullifies a marital license. In my case, the paperwork was signed 25 years ago, so, stop asking me about the men in my life.

2. No Degree, HS Degree, Equivalency, 2-year, 4-year, or Higher: Please don’t judge me by my “education level.” I have spent a lifetime researching and learning, and my work experience spans more than 5 decades. If tested, I probably have the equivalent of 2 degrees. Yet, I am deemed “uneducated” because I don’t have a piece of paper stating I went to college forty years ago.

The truth is that the knowledge I wanted to gain wasn’t taught in college. Our educational system had not caught up with where my research was taking me, and it seemed inane to spend tens of thousands of dollars to learn outdated information.

What I find harmful about our educational rating system is that it can be degrading. It pre-judges people for what they were not able to do in the past, instead of what they have been doing and what they are capable of doing in the present. It speaks to where one didn’t go but not where one is heading. Putting aside licensed professions, judging someone for a lack of degree can be shortsighted, unyielding and in many cases, a loss. Because when education replaces dedication, expect to get what someone was taught and possibly no more.

3. Below $50,000; $50,000 to $100,000, above $100,000: I don’t want to be pegged by my income. I was once among the top ten percent of income producers in the world, and now I choose to work pro bono. Where is the category for that?

4. Political affiliation: Guess what… I don’t have one. But each time I open my mouth or write a statement someone deems slanted one way or the other, I am labeled. In one Facebook comment thread, I was called a liberal hack and a conservative troll (or maybe I have that reversed) by two different people at the same time. Let’s consider what that proves about human opinion.

For anyone who wants to know, though, I follow a much higher ordinance than politics. I appreciate balance in government and the need for everyone to be free to think and believe in what they want to believe. I don’t fall in with one side or the other because I sit and hold hands with both, choosing every day to align with the validity and fairness in all agendas and opinions. But I am demonized for this, forced by some to claim one side to stand on or be damned. Considering both political dichotomists claim to be the better humans, where is their humility and charity in that?

Consider me empathic and not a traitor to your party for choosing to open my eyes, ears, and mind to all there is to know. And if you denounce my ability to see and feel all the needs of all the people, I have this to say: “If you can only think all the way left or all the way right, then you do not have the wherewithal to understand my ability to do so. How can you if you have never allowed yourself the same?” ’nough said.

5. American Indian/Alaska Native; Asian; Black/African American; Hispanic/Latino; Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander; White: All of a sudden, all the world’s races and ethnicities are down to these categories and two colors?

Take a look at my picture; I am like 50 shades of beige. I have ancestors spanning three continents, and a DNA list that includes European, Eastern European, Balkan, Asian, and African. Why should my existence on this earth be defined by one color? More importantly, why should I check off a box someone else has created for me?

As a person born and raised in the MLK era, color categories for the purpose of delineation makes no sense to me. After all, why fight for desegregation only to go back to segregation? I’m asking, do we want to strive for a nation (and world) without racial bias? Because if we do, we need to change whatever is not working. Since we are no longer defining ourselves by gender, let’s stop defining ourselves by color. And if certain ethnicities are labeled because special consideration should be given, then allow people to declare the box they want to be put in.

The bottom line, these categories are limiting us. They create imbalance, prejudice and division. The self-esteem of so many is plummeting. And yes, with wellness in mind, we should look for health trends in different ethnicities but socially speaking, it is time to concentrate on what we have in common and what we can strive for. Most of us just want to be considered good human beings. We are surviving, sometimes thriving, and we want to help others do the same. So, where is the check box for that?

Donna MartiniDonna Martini is an activist, speaker, cartoonist, and author of two books, The Ten Commandments of Divorce and My Mini Book of Mighty Mantras. As an intuitive coach, she helps businesses, nonprofits, government agencies, families, and individuals learn how to tap into their full potential through an energy technique she calls Positive Manipulation®. Her cartoon character, MantraMouse®, uses simple phrases to help people of all ages come to understand their human complexities, innate power, and potential. And with her recent music video release, #OneNationsHeart, Donna hopes to promote more love and unity of spirit in America. She can be reached at



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