These days we have a label for everything and everyone. Somewhere along the road we lost the awareness that the human experience is one of complexity. In my experience labels have been more of a hindrance than a help. While it is convenient to identify with a group it also robs us of our individuality. What is true for the masses may not be authentic for you. Still, the pressure remains to pick a team and a subset in which we belong.
While labels are meant to help us easily identify who we are and where our support system lies. They usually confuse and restrain. We as humans are not supposed to fit the stereotypes derived from someone else’s understanding. This is exactly what labels are, stereotypes. Butch, femme, bear, cub are just a few examples of the labeling process present in the LGBT community.
For me, the label the fits closest would be Transgender. I identify as a man born into a woman’s body. Although, is it that simple? No, it is not. I remain a fairly feminine person. I have a girlish laugh, am affectionate, have a fondness for romantic comedies and place little importance on pronouns. These traits do not make me any less of a man or more of a woman. They are simply parts of my personality. I enjoy and embrace them fully. At times, my fluidity causes discomfort between me and others in the community around me. Simply put I do not fit the category I should, and this is unsettling to some.
Why is that? Have we become so reliant on these standards to inform us on how to act? I fear that we may have. I am a person; that is all. How I present, what I wear, who I date and how I define myself is personal. The obligation to inform others of what section I fit in is ridiculous. Labels are misleading, my personal practice is to release them and just be me.
If you are struggling with labels and their implications know that you are not alone. We all have conflict when figuring out who are and where we belong. I support you to live authentically and to know that you are a precious gift! Leave the rest at the door and be the best that you can be.