Labels

 

Over the last few weeks there have been several instances where I’ve felt challenged on the fact that I claim the label “asexual” for myself.

I know that labels can be used to put people in boxes. I know that labels make some people invisible because they don’t completely fit into that description. I know that not wanting a label can be incredibly powerful and freeing.

But here’s why I value my label, and use it openly:

 

I use my label because a year ago, I had no idea that asexuality existed.

I use my label because a year ago, I thought I was a freak who just couldn’t be interested in anyone.

I use my label because I can finally explain myself.

I use my label because it reminds me that it’s ok to be me.

I use my label because it tells me that there are other people out there who are happy and proud and asexual.

I use my label because it means I’m not just a frigid bitch who hates other people, who shuts off if other people show interest in me.

I use my label because I don’t have to worry about not being interested in other people.

I use my label because I have an identity now, rather than hoping that one day, I’ll fit into the other categories.

I use my label because it is powerful to me.

 

Next time you tell me that it’s stupid to label myself, that I shouldn’t label myself, please remember that not needing a label is still a privilege. Not everyone is as lucky as you. We all fit and don’t fit in different ways. Don’t tell me that I’m fitting or not fitting wrong.

6 thoughts on “Labels

  1. Hi-five!

    I think this is about having a label that fits and makes your soul sing. Back when I knew I liked girls, I made with the “oh, it’s not about labels!” because I didn’t feel like a “lesbian”, or indeed like a “bisexual”.

    Then I got to uni, a friend suggested I was panromantic, or queer, and both of those labels made me jump for joy and feel happy about myself. I don’t know why – I think words can be subjective. So I do label myself now, but only because i have found labels that fit all of me.

    I’m doing a similar thing at the moment with “zaaaarg don’t label my gender!”. Having been around queer for years, I know all of the common gender labels and I’ve still not found one that makes me happy. I don’t know if I will.

    But yes, I’m glad you’ve found the label that brings you joy :)

    (also in practical terms, “we shouldn’t label ourselves!” is an irritating mantra. When I ask you out, I’d rather know a) your gender identity, so I don’t disrespect you when doing so, b) your orientation, so I know if I’m in with a chance and soforth)

  2. I like this a lot. I also see it as a practical thing. I don’t always have time to give every single person a lecture on my sexuality and exactly how it works. If there are labels that describe me, why not use them to make it easier?

  3. Pingback: « Vous n’êtes pas seul-e, vous n’êtes pas défectueux-se ! » | Asexualité-s

  4. Pingback: Boxes within Boxes: why bother with orientation at all? « A life unexamined

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