Friday, June 8, 2018

LGBT Labels: Helpful or Harmful?

When we talk about labels and fitting into them, were also sort of adopting certain stereotypes. We have a preconceived idea about what being gay means, about what being trans entails. When we have no model to conform to, we adopt other labels stereotypes or begin soaking up societies demands for their comfort (and our demise).

Some find great comfort in the belongingness associated with the LGBT label. We have our own flags, it has meaningful colors, we have a fight to fight. We have places to gather and marches to attend, things to rage about at night.

Others find solace in the warmth of individuality and paving new, albeit sometimes lonely, roads. Inevitably, when you tell someone your label, they form expectations about how you should behave. What to expect from you. This stereotyping, that makes up labelling, is why some like the labels in the first place, it instructs them how to fit in.

This seems to be a major problem in our society today. Since the late 80's our role models on TV like Prince, Michael Jordan, Dennis Rodman, RuPaul, Madonna...all have had success being practically label-less. Individuality reigned supreme within themselves and greatness oozed from their pores. Great! For them, but what about the kid who has parents who preach individuality and self awareness while they self-medicate with a bottle of booze and a mediocre job? Or the teen who wants to play football but because he's homosexual the parents signed him up for dance class and volleyball? Or the parents who simply wish they themselves are successful and have fallen into the same trap of worshipping some television image and think if they preach to their kid enough they will do what they never could.

Is our societies problems stemming from labels or the inability to raise children? Think about it.

Whether or not labels help or hurt the LGBT community, one thing is clear, people are irresponsible with stereotypes at best.

Why be the quintessential gay when you can be the quintessential you?
Screw everyone else.

With Love
Jeff Jeffebelle

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