Was supposed to post this for Pride Month so better late than ever. To all the beautiful folks in the LGBTQIA+ community.

They say the problem with our generation is that we are obsessed with labels. We are narcissistic that we need a word for who we believe we are and inconveniencing others to remember. Every attraction has a name and it feels like the LGBTQIA+ community is shoving complicated terms down our throats. Most of the time it has become a punch line. The many new identities leave people confused, angry, and, in their own way, inconvenienced.

Why do we need to introduce ourselves in such complex labels anyway? What does it mean when I tell people I am a queer, non-binary woman? Why don’t I just say my name and get it over with?

But aren’t we surrounded by labels? We shape our identities and tell our stories through the identities we define ourselves with. It’s written on our Twitter and Instagram bios, so people know who were are before clicking follow. So, it’s weird that labels are only a nuisance for a queer person. Crafting arguments that we would soon identify as inanimate objects. 

When we were born we were already given a template of our identities based on our biological sex. If you are a boy, you need to live up to masculine expectations. If you’re a girl, you are told to an identity that follows hetero-normative traditions.

Once we enter the world, we are all assumed heterosexual and straight. A label has already been given that will shape our identity and pave our path. It censors anything that’s different. 

The LGBTQIA+ community is not asking to be excluded from the “normal,” we only ask for validity and visibility. Because it is more than just another label, it is finally having a word for how we feel. The world is too binary and limiting, growing up queer feels alienating because there aren’t words that let us articulate who we are. 

Queer quote
Zanele Muholi is a South African activist and artist

People often forget language evolves. It grants us the ability to explain ourselves and create a powerful sense of understanding for something previously undefined. Labels can feel liberating. Especially, when we were given identities that limits our sense of self, it feels amazing finally having a word that articulates who you are. What people see as complicated and annoying, the queer community see as a way to promote better self-understanding.

Is it really an inconvenience to be proud of who we are? The expanding of terms and labels should be celebrated not mocked. It doesn’t mean we want to put people above others or be an exemption to the rules, all we want is acceptance. Something many queer folks struggle with growing up. 

Many of us have multiple identities to express and celebrate who we are, just in different terms.  It is more than another label to clarify who we are attracted to or our gender expression. A label is finally having a name for the turmoil of hatred we grew up.

Words help us make sense of the world and who are. Especially, in an environment that ostracizes us. Where else can we find validation and self-acceptance when the world continues to push us back? The expanding terms of LGBTQIA+ fosters a sense of belongingness and community.  We should celebrate everyone, not censor their expression.

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