I did this quiz recently, to find out how privileged I am considered. The quiz covers a range of topics, from mental health to gender to race. I scored 37/ 100- underprivileged. Probably this calculation was based on my being non-white, lesbian, experiencing a mental health problem and being female. And having skipped meals at times (during studenthood) in order to pay rent. All of which, I agree, make me non-privileged in comparison to the average white, middle class, cis, heterosexual male in a high-paid role. I am less privileged in comparison to somebody who has never experienced racial discrimination, never been called a dyke in the street, never feared for my sexual safety purely on the basis of his (or her) gender. I will never know what it is like not to have experienced poor mental health.
I feel privileged, and I feel it would be wrong of me to underplay the privileges I do have. For example, I am cis. I will never know what it is like to feel born into a body that is read as the “wrong” gender for me. I will never experience transphobia.
I do not have a physical disability, nor a visible one.
I live in a country in which being gay is not illegal.
I rarely experience discrimination because of my race (though I understand I might not always know I have experienced it!)
And, most importantly, I was born in Europe. By virtue merely of where I was born, I experience a privilege that many (most) people do not. I speak English as a native language, for example. Without a non-English accent. This in itself opens opportunities to me that may not be open to speakers of other languages, something it would be ignorant of me not to admit. I was born in a wealthy country, with free healthcare and schooling. I was born into a democracy. I have a “white-sounding” name, which does not inhibit my CV from being taken seriously (see studies in the USA regarding CVs handed in by white Americans as compared to African-Americans.
In so many ways, I am a privileged person, something I am grateful for. Something I must never take for granted.