It’s been many years that I have not been able to understand English. Now we have the verb “to identify” used without an object. Once, I could say, “I identify that stolen radio as mine,” but now we say “I identify as…” The dictionary definition of that usage (http://www.dictionary.com/browse/identify) is:
7. to associate oneself in feeling, interest, action, etc., with a specified group or belief system (usually followed by as or with): He identifies as bisexual. She identifies with feminism. My family identifies Hispanic.
8. to experience psychological identification: The audience identified with the play’s characters.
But what does that mean? If I say, “I identify as King Henry VIII of England,” or better, “We identify as King Henry VIII, we do,” am I saying:
1. I am King Henry VIII
2. I know I’m not King Henry VIII, but I feel inside the way I imagine he felt
3. I wish I were now, or had been, King Henry
4, My driver license (my “identification”) says Henry VIII, so I can fool people into thinking I am he
5. I will strive to live as Henry did
6. Some combination, or something else?