Former NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal said in a new Vanity Fair interview that she didn’t deceive anyone about her race.

Dolezal made national headlines this summer when her parents told the media that their daughter was born white and had been passing herself off as black for years.

The revelation prompted Dolezal to resign from her position as president of the NAACP’s Spokane, Wash., chapter. Eastern Washington University did not renew her part-time teaching contract.

Dolezal said that she has had “an awareness and connection with the black experience” that dates back to her earliest memories.

“It’s not a costume,” she said.

She also explained that she spent many years confused about who she was. She said she’s no longer confused about her identity, even though the rest of the world might be.

Dolezal told Vanity Fair:

“It’s taken my entire life to negotiate how to identify, and I’ve done a lot of research and a lot of studying. I could have a long conversation, an academic conversation about that. I don’t know. I just feel like I didn’t mislead anybody; I didn’t deceive anybody. If people feel misled or deceived, then sorry that they feel that way, but I believe that’s more due to their definition and construct of race in their own minds than it is to my integrity or honesty, because I wouldn’t say I’m African American, but I would say I’m black, and there’s a difference in those terms.”

Dolezal, who has been working as a hair stylist since her resignation from the NAACP, says she hopes to write a book.

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