Identity Simulation

In this activity, participants identify elements that make up their identity and imagine what it would be like to have to hide important parts of themselves. 


Materials needed

8 to 10 small pieces of paper per participant (2 x 2 or 3 x 5 Post-it notes, 3 x 5 cards, or 8½ x 11 sheets of recycled paper that have one side blank and are cut into fourths), pencil or pen for each participant.


Lead participants through the following steps and discussion:

  1. Think of the elements that make up your identity (things such as family, religion, occupation, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, athletic or artistic abilities, and so on).

  2. On each small piece of paper, write one or those elements. You should have at least five.

  3. Next put these elements in order according to their importance to you as a person. Put the most important one on the top and the least important one on the bottom.

  4. Concentrate for a moment on the top two items.

  5. Now imagine that your denomination has just passed a new resolution saying that you can't express those two elements of your identity in the church.

 Discussion/Reflection Questions

  1. How do you feel?

  2. What are some possible actions you could take in response to those feelings?

  3. What does this have to do with justice?

  4. How does this simulation relate to the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender people in your church or denomination?

 From RethinkInclusion Curriculum Session 3, “Justice For All” 

Contributed by Melany Burrill

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