a group of 175 people is a lot when compared to, say, a household with two parents, two children and a grandparent. It swiftly becomes a very small amount when you compare it to 100,000 people. An average American church congregation consists of 200 people, and the lot of them don't even fill all the pews in a church (it would get crowded quickly otherwise, during an event like a wedding, I imagine).

Say, you live in a city with 100,000 people. A bit more, maybe. You probably know a few of your neighbors by name. You know your own family, of course. And the rest of the people that you see often you might not know very well, but you know their faces, and you have something in common with them. You went to the same elementary school. You take the same bus. Things that don't mean much, maybe, but they give you something to relate. When the bus runs late, you can strike up a friendly conversation about the fact that the bus is, indeed, running late. And you feel comfortable doing this, because despite not knowing each other, you recognize that face. That's the face of someone you ride the bus with.

I have come to rely on a specific part of my heritage a lot. I wouldn't say it's a crutch-- as in, I can walk just fine without it, I assume? -but ever since I truly started to understand it, to see myself within the context of this specific part of my family, and my blood's history, something has changed in me. In my behaviour, and in the way I see things.

It's a scary thing to be a part of. What I have gotten, what has lived in my blood for generations, is a heritage of fear. Something I mustn't tell others about. Yet at the same time, there's a part of me that wants to show it off, so people might think I'm interesting, or, god forbid, special.

I am not a particularly prideful person. But it makes for a good punchline, sometimes. I've never been one to wave my flag around, but in some situations there isn't really much else you can do, if what you need to do is to be seen.

Imagine you're moving to a new place, all alone. And...you've got one of those cat ear headbands on. But, it was glued to your head. Because, let's say, ten years ago, 0.00175 percent of the population woke up with a cat ear headband glued to their head. It's not the end of the world, it's kind of cute, really, and if you want to hide it you can just wear a hat. But. You do want to get to know people there who also were part of that small percentage. You, by having those ears glued to your head, have had a bunch of unique experiences over the years, dealing with weirdly specific interactions most people just never get to be a part of. So you want to find the others that are like you. So. What do you do? 100,000 people in your city. 174 people like you. You're number 175. How do you even start searching? do you even want to search? What if people like you are at risk of being harrassed more? Doesn't it make more sense not to search for a community? Surely, a community of people like you would be the first place people wanting to bully you would go visit. It's scary. You've never gotten death threats, but you know others do, sometimes. Your only cat-eared ex-friend had a mental breakdown and now refuses to talk with you. Do you give up at this point? Do you think, 'hey, nevermind, I'll just not move here'? wherever you go, those ears will still be glued to your head. And you don't know if it will be better there. There's just no way to know. Do you take the plunge?