just a label.

Our culture labels. We are the masters of it; slapping a name on anything and everything we can characterize. But too often, we take it a step further, using those labels as identities, seeing people through that lens instead of seeing the human behind the word.

I’ve been given many a label throughout my life. Some I welcome and some not and some have had more of a critical impact on me than others. I am a daughter, sister, friend, female, dog owner, rock climber; the list goes on and on. But, what about the labels that have more meaning, more weight and more depth? What happens when people see me as just a label?

You’re adopted. I’ve been introduced to others as the “adopted one,” which automatically blinds the people I’m introduced to. They begin to ask questions about my story, intrusive and personal, with an unintentional disregard of my emotions and sensitivities surrounding it.

You’re mentally unstable. I’ve struggled with anxiety for the majority of my life, it’s been around for so long that I don’t even recall the onset of it. It doesn’t make me incapable, it makes me a complex human and a deep thinker. But, some have seen me through the lease of the label, treating me as a fragile ticking time bomb or someone that they must completely avoid.

You’re gay. I’m a girl dating a girl and I have lost friends and support from friends and family who have used my relationship status to define who I am. Instead of seeing a relationship that is healthy, loving and supportive, I’ve been seen as someone who has lost their way in life.

These labels do describe parts of me but they do not define who I am. They have affected how I walk through life, but they aren’t the only factors in what makes me, me. We need to continue to focus on the human behind the label instead of defining people by them. Hear stories and listen to what makes each person their individual selves instead of placing them into a box.

Be good to one another. Be kind and open, and be a human to a human.

After all, a label is just a label.

10 Comments

  1. Very well said. Labels are just a cheap and lazy way for people to categorise who and what is acceptable to them. They can be hurtful but very rarely are they useful. Humans are too complex to fit neatly into these labelled boxes.

    I dont know you obviously but you seem like a genuinely lovely person who has had to endure much and yet still look to be positive. Gay, adopted, mentally unstable; these words don’t matter. Only you matter. And you seem great.

    1. Couldn’t agree with you more, I am pretty great. 😜😜

      But, honestly, thank you for your kind words!

  2. Very nice! I’m disabled, the term doesn’t bother or offend me but what I take a deep struggle with is-

    I hide my Muscular Dystrophy like a champ. I choose this. I choose to appear as I want to appear. I do however take great offense to people who judge others that “don’t look like they should get the closest parking spot” or “why is he in a wheel chair?”

    They have no idea the struggle. You do not live it. I could call you an a**hole, but maybe your wife just left you. So stop.

    I loved your blog-
    Keep fighting the good fight ❤️

    Kevin

    1. Thank you Kevin for your encouragement, and keep fighting the good fight too!

      And who cares if they judge you on that parking spot… YOU deserve it. 😉

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