My confession – I HATE Labels.

Ok. So we have all heard the dictum ‘I am not homophobic. BUT. If they choose to live that…’ I have heard it many times, and would say before I roll onwards that I am not personally criticising those people as it is, after all, simply another point of view. It is just one I cannot agree with.

Choose

That is the word that bothers me. You choose to do many things in life; drink alcohol, have an affair, smack your wife, etc. When I was 16 I chose to start smoking. Four months ago I chose to give up.  Do we, however, say that everything we do in life is a choice?

You can’t choose who you fall in love with

This is a quote that we commonly except as truth. You just fall in love. It happens. It just so happens that due to procreation men and women normally fall in love with each other. Not always though. As a species we have grown and evolved: we have a massive emotional ability to love, and fall in love. Is it so wrong then that we can fall in love with someone of the same sex? I really don’t think so. It’s just how our society is evolving; due to science and democracy two people of the same sex can now marry and have a child together. It is another manner of evolution. In line with technology, science, and society.

Is it therefore any different for a man and a man who fall in love? Do we think they chose to fall in love with each other? Did you choose to fall in love with your wife? Or did your eyes catch hers from across a room, and you thought wow. Your heart might have fluttered. You had a drink together, laughed together; realised you were in love. It is not a conscious decision for any of us. So why on earth do we presume to think that for someone who falls in love with a person of the same sex it is a choice: they have chosen it. No-one could just fall in love with a person of the same sex.

If you honestly think that I struggle to see that you could have felt true love.

That is not to say that such a couple may choose a lot about their lives: where to live, whether to have a child, what wallpaper to have, whether to have an accent wall or not. All that is choice. Getting married? Choice. Falling in love with that person in the first place… NOT CHOICE.

Further to this; what I cannot understand is why we feel it necessary to instantly label everyone, for the very reasons discussed above. A woman who ‘chooses’ to fall in love with a woman? Lesbian. A woman who sleeps with a woman but goes out with a bloke? Bisexual. A man who sleeps with or goes out with any guy? Gay. Everyone else? Straight. Normal. A woman who has a one-night stand? Slut. A guy that uses a wheelchair? Disabled. Worse? Retarded. 

Taken & Created by me.

Taken & Created by me.

Everywhere we look we see labels. They annoy the hell out of me. Why can’t we let people just be. People will fall in love with who they fall in love with. It may be man, woman, or alien. Who cares? It is not a choice, it just happens.

This brings me to the conclusion that we do not need to label anyone for something that is out of their control. If someone that is addicted to alcohol chooses to keep drinking then call them an alcoholic. If someone who is addicted to nicotine choses to keep smoking call them a smoker. A couple of really nice people that happen to be of the same sex, who love each other and want to marry, or have children?

For the love of god – just call them a beautiful couple! Or call them your friends. Or by their names… what other labels do we need?

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2 responses to “My confession – I HATE Labels.

  1. My thoughts on this are that the label itself is arbitrary, and only has as much significance as each individual personally allocates to it. I would agree that the notion of ‘straightness’ as a definition is as ludicrous as they come, but many people take pride in their identity, and the label attributed to that becomes a symbol of everything positive about diversity, something that we should celebrate. ‘Gay Pride’ and LBGT are exemplary of this, and have been instrumental in changing opinions and bringing people together. Again, I feel that the negative connotations that society applies to labels are the problem, not the labels themselves.

    • I think you’re right – the label can be used as a positive symbol showing pride and diversity. Without a doubt.

      However, I personally do not like them because it seems to me that, more often than not, they are imposed initially by others rather than the individual. Furthermore they are not given alone, without baggage; they are given with an underlying connotation that the person in question is choosing their lifestyle so has thus chosen their label.

      I do not believe a gay person, for instance, chooses to be gay. He may embrace the label given him and make it a positive thing, which is definitely beautiful, but ultimately he was given that label by society. That can confuse the issue of lifestyle vs innate. The gay person has chosen to embrace the label not chosen his sexuality; his sexuality is innate.

      Another example. I used to work with physically disabled (not mentally disabled – purely physical) young adults. We did not need to use the words disabled, as in; let me introduce Jo Bloggs he is disabled etc. It just wasn’t necessary.

      However, as your point allows, they would quite often joke to each other using the word ‘crip’, which is an example of an allowable self-given label. I don’t think it makes it alright for society to impose labels – if I were to call someone a ‘crip’ the connotations would be completely altered.

      Self-imposed, or embraced, labels can be beautiful. Nevertheless, I remain wary of general labels forced onto the necks of others by people who know nothing, and are willing to learn nothing, about the label they are giving.

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