Friday, August 5, 2016

The Gay Identity: Does That Limit Us To Just LGBT?

Being a woman shouldn't limit you to the category "woman". Being black shouldn't either, same with anyone. Let me explain.
I identify as gay but should I? Why can't I be Jeff. Why do I need the label gay? It seems to be more for everyone else's benefit in the long run so they know whether or not I'm socially acceptable to them. I think in today's society, in the culture right now, the label of gay is important for recognition. Maybe the more appropriate term is awareness. The label of a person is important for awareness.
The idea ultimately is acceptance across the board. Full equality and love all around. No more job woes, no more gay bashing, no more religious hate guised as righteousness. Just acceptance, which I think would naturally drop the label.
Much like real racial equality allows for the embracing of a cultures differences. It also means that you recognize more similarities and the color of someone's skin is not even noticed or a second thought. Its a non factor in any type of decision making process for the worse or better. That's what equality looks like for all LGBT+ people as well.
I think that's a long ways off and in the mean time there will still be plenty of "hi, I'm Jeff and I'm gay". I usually say it less for information and more of a warning. A heads up for social compartmentalization. In here, I can't speak for everywhere, but in here 80% of the hardest men on the planet treat me kindly and with respect. Usually playfully like they are interactive with a talking puppy. Which serves me well considering my environment. 
It does present the other end of the spectrum though. I am forever "just gay". For many, I serve one purpose; I have one job, I do one thing. It doesn't matter what the truth is, in their mind I have one role. That's subservient to theirs. So long as that is observed on my end everyone is happy. So long as I understand my place in the pecking order. 
That's why this topic is important though. We may be treated sweetly and nicely and get lots of compliments. But for many men and some women, that comes with a price...inequality. The question then has to be asked, would we rather be talked nice to, but thought of as less then? 
Perhaps for now that's acceptable for awareness and interaction. Interaction will hopefully lead to education and education is what fuels equality.

With Love
Jeff Utnage

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