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Labels schmabels

Lesbian, Boi, Goth, Punk, Flower Child, Christian, Pagan, Loving, Nuturing, Selfish, Carefree, Stressed, Fiancé, Child, Sister, Brother, Geek, Nerd,
Fundraiser, Goof, Feminine, Masculine, Beyond gender, Queer,
Reader, Writer, Lover, Fighter, Strong, Weak, Disabled, Able, Thoughtful, Careless, Clumsy, Poised, Skinny, Fat,
Over-eater, Anorexic, Bulimic, Daughter, Grandchild…

Putting a label on someone is like trying to fit them into a box.  Each of the labels above could be applied to me. Each of them have been.  None of them sums me up as a whole. Why should we allow labels to define who we are?  Why should we allow society to dictate what people think of us because of a label?  And why should we try to be anything other than who we are?

Nearly 8 years ago, I reached a crossroads in my life. I was out as bisexual and struggling with the fact I knew that that wasn’t right.  It had taken me a long time to even take one foot out of the closet and I felt like I was straddling the threshold and couldn’t quite fully bring myself to admit that I wasn’t quite comfortable in my identity.  To me or to anyone else.  It was then that my darling Drag Queen godfathers were the ones I turned to.  Well, I turned to one of them who sat and listened and held me in his arms as I sobbed.  It was the other one who I hadn’t expected to be there who stood me in front of a mirror for a good 40 minutes, constantly asking one question “Who do you see?”

Every answer I gave was anything but who I saw in the mirror. And he knew it. Each answer was one of the boxes that people had been trying to make me fit into.  Each time I gave a label he asked me again. I tried to turn from the mirror but he kept me there, kept me going and kept asking until I answered with the answer that would change everything, as DD asked me one last time “Who do you see?”, tired and red eyed from the tears, I answered, “Me.”

What I learnt in that instant was something I still on occasion forget and have to remind myself of.  The outside world can try and fit me into their neat little boxes, I can to an extent play by their rules, but the reality is, I am me.  I am my own person. I am a complex and confusing mixture of emotions and facets and I do not have to accept the judgements and confining labels of others.  Human beings are, by their very nature a contradiction in terms and that should be embraced and not ridiculed.

I have completed 3 decades of life on this planet and I still can’t say I full understand what goes on inside of me, but that is what this path is for.  We grow to understand ourselves and maybe to understand others as we journey on through our lives, no matter how long or short they may be.

I have learnt from some (not all) of my mistakes and from the mistakes of others, I have walked a path that has led to frustration and sadness but also great happiness and joy.  There are days when I struggle and get frustrated, there are days where I am so giddy I could laugh forever.  I have known love and hate, I have known fear and hope. And I have known agony.  But each step along the way is taking me towards becoming more complete.

I have spent too long being angry at my lot in life, and today on the ride home I decided I would change that.  If you don’t like me then fine, not my problem, if you do, then stop and talk a while. If I am unhappy with my situation only I can change it.  And I’m starting to do just that with the help of those I hold dearest, my faith and my decisions.  I can make this life what I want it to be and I can make a difference in this world.

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