Our Pain Is Not Yours To Convey

So am I the only POC that finds it offensive whenever a non POC writes about the trauma and pain POC goes through?

Reasons why I find it offensive

  • I personally find it offensive I feel like it’s your way of saying you understand and feel our pain when you don’t because you don’t have to go through anything a POC goes through.

  • Another reason I feel like non POC shouldn’t write about our struggles is because many non POC only speaks out on POC issues when it’s trending or relevant. Some struggles we go through shouldn’t be written from a non POC eyes.

I feel like if a story is going to be written about the struggles of a POC person it should be written from the POV of a POC person…we seen what they did to our history books about POC so :grimacing:

Also POC= Person of color

Please leave opinions on if you find it offensive or not lol I would love to hear other sides!


I agree, and it really is offensive, and let’s say if someone reads the struggles of a POC, written by a non-POC, others will find it very triggering and offensive, depending on how it is written/portrayed, and they will have to reach out to the author.


Hmmm, I’m on the fence. I think it’s nice to see people want to try and express it and perhaps raise awareness of it, rather than have POC characters in their stories totally void struggles but I see your point, and I too know that stories can be written quite well without portraying POC struggles. Struggles don’t have to be a focal point of a POC character, there are many other struggles that people can relate to, but I understand that sometimes the struggles are preferred, especially if they’re supposed to play a large role in developing the character into who they’ve become/what they may become and how they see and experience the world.
There are people who I’ve seen express that they wouldn’t like POC characters to be written as if they were white, so it’s quite a grey area since opinions on it are so broad and varying.

Personally, I’d be quite offended if they misinterpreted the struggles and wrote them stereotypically with little to no thought, research or realism and of course, they would never understand it on the same level as a POC would. It’s just plain and simple. Someone who hasn’t experienced sexual abuse would never understand how it feels to be a survivor. A cis man wouldn’t understand how it feels to be a woman, nor the struggles, fears and obstacles women have always faced and still do. But my view varies a little from some others in that I wouldn’t mind a white person trying to accurately portray a POC’s perspective just like I wouldn’t mind a man writing a story trying to empower women or shed light on what we go through.

That’s just my opinion as a non-black POC and I respect everyone else’s opinion.




I had to reach out to a few authors regarding this but one of the authors I reached out too started getting defensive about it saying she knows our struggles because she goes through them too and then lied about being black and I found this really offensive because If I’m telling you I find it offensive why are you getting so mad :grimacing: also some of the stories are just really offensive because they make it seem like for a certain category of POC to stand up and raise awareness for themselves a black person has to start the movement like yes we’ll be allies in it but were not the only race that will stand up for ourselves! I just think a non POC should stick to writing about things they go through or a whatever


I agree 100%!


I do agree, as an autistick person I understand discrimnation,
but as an autistick I dont have to fear walking the street because no one can see it, where been black is a thing evryone can see. I agree, I dont know how it is been black, and haveing people hate you for how you look.

even though I have black people in my stories( as the MC actually) I dont talk about POC struggle because its not what the story is about. and I am not the person who should talk about if I wanted to write a story about discrimination it would be about autism not POC


I feel the same. I get the sentiment of trying to bring awareness, but it just comes off as you centering yourself and playing like you know more about the struggle than someone who’s lived it; there is nothing you could say that a person who actually experiences the discrimination couldn’t say better. I’d rather uplift the voices of authors of color.



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I agree!


i mean i get that they mean well and i don’t mind too much, but it bothers me sometimes. imo it’s kinda counterintuitive to write about something that you’ve never had to experience and will probably never have to.
i would get pretty offended if they wrote a poc in a stereotypical way, as well. it’s kinda sad how some ppl add poc to stories just to have “diversity”
sorry if this offends anyone but yeah bothers me a bit


I agree! They claim were being ungrateful when they write about us because we want more diversity but they not understanding that adding diversity and writing about our struggles is two different things.


I totally agree, there’s a huge difference between writing and trying to step in someone else’s shoes and writing someone else’s intimate life struggles, especially if you’re privilidged enough not to have a really deep and nuanced understanding of the struggles you’re writing about. Plus, there are so many stories of BIPOC people struggling and suffering, that if anything, it’s nice to be able to see stories about BIPOC people enjoying life outside the pain of oppression. In conclusion, write BIPOC characters because representation is mega-important, but don’t write to exploit or center BIPOC pain if you haven’t experienced it.


Couldn’t have been worded better!

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I seen someone post a story about an non POC is writing about Indians an they were portraying Indians in a wrong way and talking about things they went through and I went through there account and found out they talked about a lot of things a non POC shouldn’t do when it comes to POC, however I seen many stories talk about struggles and pain we go through in a no POC eyes and it was really wrong.

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what isn’t?

I have to disagree. Non BIPOC, white people, will never be able to convey what BIPOC go through because they aren’t BIPOC. It doesn’t necessarily matter what their intentions are. I just feel like it’s not their place.


I agree with this! I feel like when a non BIPOC is writing things about BIPOC people there taking away the chance for a BIPOC person to tell about it because many stories that are written about BIPOC by BIPOC are often overshadowed and if you read history books about BIPOC many of them were written by white people and they were watered down and didn’t really tell the struggles many people only know about slavery and act like that’s the only thing that happened.


I definitely agree. You can have POC in your story and not center the struggles of that character around their race. And it sucks because some people think they have to or else it’s “forced diversity”. I think that’s why so many non-POC authors always write about us in that way.


Yea, I’ve seen this argument presented a lot by other POC and it confuses me cause idk what that is even supposed to mean :joy:. Are they talking about when writers make their characters who are POC “act” white? Like, I genuinely don’t know what it’s supposed to mean at all :skull: