Why are labels so important?

manipulated

Moderator
Staff member
Trying not to be controversial as I know some of us have struggled with "who" we are orientation, gender etc. and many have lost their lives giving us what limited freedoms we have to be ourselves but when we accept labels, use labels or ask labels are we not surrendering the right to just be to others usually hetero and or homophobic bullies? How much angst could we have avoided by refusing to play their label games? Everyone points to Kinsey as the labeler but even he in his later wrtings rejected the usefulness of labels he created/popularized.
 

Greybeard

Registrant
I have thought a lot about this issue. I think some people gravitate towards labels as a way of belonging. I have a friend who was thrilled to discover there was a name for a specific sexual kink he had, he didn't like actually having sex, but enjoyed being naked in bed with another man. Finding a label for that made him feel like he was not weird for having those desires. On the other side, some people fight against such labels, as they don't want their personal inclinations defined by an external grouping that might not accurately represent them. Does this make any sense?
 

manipulated

Moderator
Staff member
I have thought a lot about this issue. I think some people gravitate towards labels as a way of belonging. I have a friend who was thrilled to discover there was a name for a specific sexual kink he had, he didn't like actually having sex, but enjoyed being naked in bed with another man. Finding a label for that made him feel like he was not weird for having those desires. On the other side, some people fight against such labels, as they don't want their personal inclinations defined by an external grouping that might not accurately represent them. Does this make any sense?
And I guess I just needed to vent that. Appreciate your comment Greybeard. Thank you for the reply.

I can understand the comfort in knowing we are not alone - it is one of the biggest benefits I found first of being here at MS but I AM bothered by the external "powers" doing the labeling...even politically labels seek to divide not unite, to accentuate differences instead of acknowledging the fraility of humanity.
 

KMCINVA

Staff member
Trying not to be controversial as I know some of us have struggled with "who" we are orientation, gender etc. and many have lost their lives giving us what limited freedoms we have to be ourselves but when we accept labels, use labels or ask labels are we not surrendering the right to just be to others usually hetero and or homophobic bullies? How much angst could we have avoided by refusing to play their label games? Everyone points to Kinsey as the labeler but even he in his later wrtings rejected the usefulness of labels he created/popularized.
Manipulated

As I get older labels are ways to glorify some, demean others and to create an identity for themselves. I know my labels for myself were damaged, unlovable, and many other unkind labels. I also know others used labels to raise themselves above others including denying my abuse, while denying being witness to abuse and turning a blind eye, allowing bullying of a father, beating of a cousin--their labels did not include anything that described reality--perfection this is not. They have many wonderful attributes but the denials and torment take their toll on the soul. I believe they suffered but only know from my therapy and support they pushed their suffering onto me and relished the pain I lived--because it protected them from facing the truth. I could put a label on them, but I do not because I feel sorry for them. My own family, my father was an alcoholic but boy when he quit he lived a compassionate life--he faced his past others never face their past. Labels have allowed people to demean and ostracize people.

Years ago I put labels on people and now I have learned I only label the good, kind, compassionate, empathetic, etc because they give value to life.

Whoever you are, be happy and do not define yourself because if you are good and kind that is all that matters.

Kevin
 
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Harry

Registrant
Labels are pretty IMPORTANT for jars, but as far as people are concerned, labels are inadequate. It's human nature to classify people though. We all do it. It's simply important to remember the inadequacy of labeling people.
 
The label that fits you is "You".

You are yourself not A, B or C, you are your own unique mix of YOU.
 
Here is a thought provoking episode from the web site twobiguys.com that really rocked my own conceptions of these very labels. It's an episode with bi-activist Robyn Ochs. It's an hour long with lots to unpack. What it lacks though is how to integrate, if that's even the best word, maybe account for, the impact of the abuse experience. Nothing seems simple. Hope it generates some discussion, understanding and healing here.
 

Target

Registrant
I think there was a time when labels served an important purpose. I came out at 17 in 1971. I thought I was the only gay person in the world. If I didn’t have labels to help me navigate the first couple years life would have been that much more difficult. Hell I spent a good part of my childhood looking myself up in the encyclopedia. As bad as that info was I’d have had nothing without a label.

Today it feels like labels have multiplied to the point they are loosing any meaning. As for initials I’ve simply lost count. I’m not gripping, every generation needs to do what works best for them.
 

Dan99

Registrant
The people I know who like to label others sexuality do so for a sense of superiority. It makes them feel powerful and comforts them to assign you to a category.
 
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