GuysLikeU columnist Matt Oakes says we should all ditch labels once and for all.
Labels. We all identify with at least one, but isn’t time we broke past the constraints these labels put on us?
One of the big issues facing the LGBT community is acceptance. We fight for equal rights, speak out against unjust laws, and rightly so. But for a community so wanting for everyone to be equal don’t we continue to harm our own cause by separating ourselves from the very people we want to be accepted by with labels?
We set up our own clubs and bars, we host pride events all of which carry the label ‘gay’ or ‘LGBT’ none of them include straight? Don’t we want them to be part of community? A lot of homophobic stems from ignorance and fear of the unknown, but how will they know or learn anything if these labels continue to put us in a box, segregated from everyone else. I’m not just talking spreading the word, I’m saying no more labels full stop.
None of us would like it if we were refered to as ‘the gay one’, yet amongst ourselves we thrive on giving ourselves labels. Is he a top or a bottom, a bear, a twink, a jock, fem etc…Yes, I get that some people feel the need to identify with a label or a group/community to feel included, but isn’t that a little sad? Shouldn’t we be able to stand tall and be proud of who WE are! Not what label you may or may not fall into. Because as soon as you fall into that label people make assumptions about you. You tell someone you’re a twink and immediately they make an assumption about you, your personality and so on all based on that one label.
Don’t get me wrong we all do it, we all pre-judge, its only natural. But if we stopped buying into the premise that it’s okay to label one another and we start seeing each other as individuals we could eventually break through that label of ‘gay’.
I’m not saying don’t be proud of who you are, but being gay isn’t YOU. It’s just a one part of who you are, it doesn’t make you who you are. Be proud that you’re gay but be prouder of your passions, what makes your laugh, be proud of the adventures you have been on and the ones you want to go on. You are NOT gay, you are YOU. Let’s start breaking through these labels and see past our own prejudgement, cause surely that would be the first step into a world without homophobia.
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