I feel fine about referring to myself as "an EA" in contexts where this is convenient and doesn't imply major "identity" or "ideological" commitments. And indeed I sometimes do so.
In many ways the label does seem quite descriptive of my views and career goals.
I don't feel like I identify as an EA in any strong sense, or like I would want to describe myself as such no matter the context. For me, this partly has to do how I think about EA relative to other life goals. The way I roughly see it now, maximizing impartial goodness is one of the most important goals I'm pursuing; but there are also other, more personal goals. I feel like tying my identity to just one of them would "privilege" that one goal at the expense of others, in a way that messes with my way of internally resolving conflict between them (and of course such conflicts sometimes to come up). This feels true to me even if it turned out that in some sense, maximizing impartial goodness was my most important goal, or the one I cared most about, or similar.
For a couple of months during the first year after I had encountered EA I was more in a mindset of "EA is the most important/only goal, and I can pursue other goals only insofar as they're instrumentally useful or it would be psychologically impossible for me to not pursue them". Partly this was due to bad social influences. This isn't exactly the same as "identifying as an EA", but I now think my mindset at the time was both unhealthy and instrumentally harmful for my long-term ability to do good, and so it's one key reason for why I'm skeptical about, in some sense, "emphasizing EA too much".
[I wasn't at the Leaders Forum 2019.]
Since you achieved some internal distance from an EA identity, are there any projects you've worked on, or ideas you've discussed publicly, that fall into the category "I wouldn't have done this before, because it felt like the kind of thing that would have made people angry/raised the 'reputation damage' flag"?
I'm interested in the extent to which the thing that happened was:
a) Feeling empowered to do specific things that run counter to what you think people in the movement would have approved of, vs.
b) Feeling more ambitious and creative in general, even if the results didn't have much to do with controversial-in-EA topics
I guess... almost everything I am now working on?
My Long Term Future Fund writeups were something that definitely falls into this category, as does a lot of the grant analysis and debating with people that's behind the final decisions. This is also true for my involvement with the Survival and Flourishing Fund.
Also, my work on LessWrong feels like very much like the kind of thing that felt harder. LessWrong's reputation is a lot better now, but a lot of people thought I was investing in something quite harmful when I started working on LessWrong, and I was definitely quite self-conscious about it.