Sunday, November 23, 2008

Divisiveness of Labels

I'm not comfortable with labels, never have been. Although others tell me that I fit somewhere within the GLBTQTQI... spectrum, where exactly, they find hard to define. To me, sexual identity, sexual preference, gender, who to love, how to relate, what, where, when, how...why, etc, etc...while all aspects of how we define ourselves, have little bearing on the whole of who I am, and hold no weight in whom I befriend.

Many time we find solace in the label, the brand, the belonging, the acceptance. We're all human. I can attest to the debilitating pain of loneliness as much as the next person can. Sadly, that abiding want shadowed my real need for many years. The need for self-acceptance.

Who or what am I? Where do I belong?

I am what I am. I am myself, and I belong wherever my feet wander. For I refuse to blindly follow, defy being led, and abhor the very fact that labels exist.

Human. Every one of us, with our inquisitive minds, always thinking, reasoning, seeking to define, to classify and sub classify, to put "things" in their proper place. It's true. We're not happy until we've applied that label. Claimed. Owned?

Personally, I refuse to resign myself to definition. For the simple reason, I espouse to relativism, believing in an infinite time line, a perpetual movement to all life. Where, as long as I, you, we, and even they have breath, change will happen. Perspectives shift, such as anything kinetic. Albeit differently within the diversity of milieu, change is undeniable.

How can any one of us label another in midst of dynamics?

From what I've seen, labels have accomplished only division. My natural tendency as human is to embrace survival. But, with so many labels enhancing boundless divisions, basic needs, such as survival, are relegated troublesome at best, and at worst, near impossible.

However, possessing the same qualities as any human, I think, I reason, and I am most inquisitive. Regardless of my needs, it is that humanness I blame for my wonderment, my fascination, and my desire to search.

Seeking those of like mind, this past week I discovered an assortment of commentary on how people label themselves. While similar overall, none of the viewpoints identical. Yet, each of them solidify the never ending presence of change in all our lives, and most importantly, the relativity of perspective.

Rowan McBride posted an introspective blog on what it means to be, gender fluid.

Jessica Hoffman has a 2007 post on The Bilerico Project blog entitled, Why I Don't Do 'Bi'.

Nancy R. Nangeroni authors an informative article on called, Transgenderism.

And, one of my all time faves...

Helen Boyd, author of the en/Gender blog in a delightful, 2004 repost by Elizabeth Cline on gender deconstruction.

While it seems as natural to label as to favor tastes in desserts, when was the last time you allowed someone else decide for you - your favorite flavor of ice cream, your desire for that second slice of pie, or your longing for anything, as long as it contained chocolate? Simply put, when was the last time you allowed someone to dictate, you?

In a world awash with divisiveness, surely we've progressed beyond derogatories or choosing sides, haven't we?

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