Labels Are For Luggage

imageAre you gay or are you straight? Are you bisexual or are you a lesbian? Are you femme or are you butch? Are you fat or are you thin?

Why is it that we are so preoccupied with labels or ticking the right boxes, that we forget about the individual behind the tag? Just who are we?

I am a mum who has never given birth. A sibling to four other people, yet I am my parents only child. I am an events director with the soul of a poet. I am a wife, ex-wife, fiancée and ex girlfriend. I am all different things at the same time.

I have blonde curly hair, can cook to the standard of a Michelin star chef and am more happy chopping wood than most men. I’ve dated more men than women, but I will never date a man or woman again as I have found my soul mate.

So go ahead, label me!

Labels can take what’s complicated & simplify it. They can create community.They can be shortcuts that bring ease. They can define and delineate.

But labels can also be dangerous.

They can create divisiveness. They can create rigid boxes that are impossible to get out of, create walls where windows should be.

Do we need to fit inside a box so badly, that we deny ourselves the other part of who we are, and who we can be? Are we parodies of ourselves? Do we secretly hate the burden of non-conformity thrust upon us by society, yet publicly revel in it?

I can only answer these questions honestly from one perspective – mine. I wouldn’t dare to assume that I can answer on behalf of all LGBT people at large. We need to identify as a whole, that much is certain, as we require the political power ,only found in large numbers, to ensure generations that follow are not discriminated against or condemned.

But does being gay mean we are all the same? Do we still think of ourselves as ‘queer’ in the literal sense of the word?

I am so much more than the sum of my parts.. All of us are. I am conflicted, ironic, sarcastic and sometimes downright bloody difficult. I am a woman who loves women, but will never understand the female psyche any more than a man does.

Comfortable in my own skin I am just me. Slightly jaded I remain ever the optimist, my cup is always half full..

I don’t like to label what I refuse to define.

The truly amazing and delightful thing about people is their complexity, changeability and spontaneity – the allure and mystery each one of us has.

You can’t put a label on that!

(C) AJ Higginson

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