The War on Labels

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Two clashing point of views
Some want more, some want them gone
We’ve officially entered the next round
The fight of our generation

I’m no poet
But I need words to write
I need words to talk
I need them to express myself

We’ve categorized, sub-categorized
Everything belongs to a group
More words to describe
Less words to discriminate

8 billion people
Just as many labels
More words to choose from
Helps to better shine as ourselves


Every time I hear ‘’why do they keep adding letters, LGBT is enough’’, I feel the urge to write a piece about it. One word or category cannot express everyone’s feelings.

I didn’t want the text to be too ‘’formal’’ or ‘’in your face’’ so I came up with this little poem (disclaimer : not totally sure it’s a thing I’m gonna repeat). I do want to be a bit more explicit about my feelings about the war on label when it comes to LGBTQ+ folks, so here it is.

The acronym LGBT appeared in the 90’s and was created to be inclusive ; the term ‘’gay community’’ was not representative enough. While there are no agreement on what’s the best acronym, LGBTQ2SIA has been used by many as the next inclusive way to refer to the non-heterosexual, non-cisgender communities. LGBT stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender, and still stands while the added Q2SIA stands for Queer or Questioning, Two-Spirit, Intersex and Asexual or Aromantic. Many other terms such as agender, pansexual, genderqueer, etc. exist and are useful too.

I personally think that more nuances to sexuality and gender can only help young and less young people struggling to understand who they are. Hell, even as a cisgender lesbian woman I struggled to understand who I was, until I found online communities of people sharing similar interests, struggles, questions and stories. Having words to describe the differences on the sexuality or gender spectrums makes the people who identify differently from the mass understand that they are normal, and that they aren’t alone.

It is not anybody’s right to decide for others what they want to call themselves. And the less assumption is made about other’s sexuality or gender, the better. My deepest wish is for people to stop assuming everyone is straight or cis unless proven otherwise. Also, as there is no one way to be human, respect of other’s choice on how to label themselves is fundamental. And please remember, a label isn’t a fixed thing ; it can change through time or experiences and still be valid.

-M


To expand your vocabulary and better understand terms such as gender, sex, trans, queer, etc., click here.

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