Friday, January 6, 2012

Self Labeling

So, I made myself some chocolate milk that was more chocolate than milk and got some food since I hadn't eaten for hours, and I decided to try to tackle this post despite my headache.

When people say: "I don't use labels to describe myself" I respect them so much.  I truly and honestly wish I could say as much.  Labels are confining and don't leave room for growth or change.  They can be applied falsely or not fully convey who you are (which incidentally is why I like the term queer).  However, (possibly) the only logical way my brain works is when it comes to organizing things.

I think in words and emotions and pictures and shapes, and most importantly, lists.  I am a compulsive list maker (speaking of which I need to change my list of random things I do during the show into an actual run list).  Lists help me organize my life and in order to make lists, I need to have concise, but accurate words and descriptions.  So when someone doesn't use a label to define themselves I respect them, but also know that I'm not sure I'll ever be able to do the same.

Words are limiting.  I never really realized this until I started trying to talk about gender and sexuality and poly.  There are so many different combinations/options/etc that a person can be that we could never possibly have words for all of them.  So why bother with terminology at all?  I enjoy learning terminology because it gives me a new, concise way to express a concept.  It does mean that I might need to explain what the word/concept means when talking to someone, but I will only have to explain to that person once and then they will know what I am talking about.

Male and female are not adequate when talking about gender.  Straight, gay/lesbian, and bi are really not adequate when talking about sexuality/orientation. And monogamy and polygamy are really not adequate when talking about plurality (or not) of relationship(s).  And so I've learned about genderqueer people, and pansexual people, and polyfidelity, and asexuality, and nonmonogamy, and agender, and transgender, and, and, and.  The list (Look! Another list! I didn't actually do that on purpose) just goes on and on because there can never be enough words to describe people.  And that's why I respect people who don't use labels so much, but I just can't ever be one of them.  Because I need to be able to think of myself in words (even if words are frequently inadequate).  I am so word oriented, I'm just not sure I'll ever be able to think of myself in as a fluid, abstract concept and not in concrete, semi-tangible words.

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