Dear White People: Labels, Labels, Labels

Watching controversial shows like Netflix Original ‘Dear White People’ has an extreme tendency to spark up a case of the fairly fluctuating fickle feels. One issue that has risen above the fold that I am inversely besotted to is the argument for and against “labels.”

Now, let’s get this straight: Subscribing to labels isn’t necessarily a juxtaposition to being independent and unique, and the opposite is also true. However, we can’t choose to refrain from being clad with specific labels if we don’t know we don’t understand which we would belong to if we did. If we are, we are simply following the newest trend of our society: It’s not cool to subscribe to anything but magazines.

Think Schrödinger’s Cat; The cat is in the box, but you have no idea if the cat is dead or alive unless you open the box. On a much, much smaller scale, we also cannot decide whether the labels really personify us until we actually explore them–i.e open the box.

So let’s talk labels. There are an ash ton of them floating around just south and north of the equator, but let’s simplify the list to our trending top three: sexuality, race, and gender.

Sexuality: an overarching umbrella. In its most basic family tree, you have your heterosexual, homosexual, and (perhaps arguably) asexual. But it gets complicated. You’ve got your Kinsey sixes, Kinsey threes, and just plain old Kinsey ones. You’ve got your zeros and you’ve got your fluids. Good luck counting them.

Next, race. You’ve got your classic black/white/hispanic hushed segregated system, but what happens when you’re biracial? Do you belong to two labels or have you created one of your own? Perceptions are everything.

Finally, there’s gender. You’ve got your cis, your trans, and your androgynous. The list goes on there too, but you belong to one of them, and you can’t escape that.

So, I would be an aromantic asexual Muslim Arab-American cisgender female.

These are labels that I cannot change.

And if we’re getting into the even more detailed form of my personal category, then I am an aromantic asexual epileptic diabetic Muslim Arab-American arguably marginally sociopathic cisgender female with an oppositional defiance issue and ADD.

That is a hell of a category, and those are a lot of labels. I carry each and every one of them, just like everyone else.

The only one I refuse to validate is “heteronormative.” Absolutely not.

Point is, believing that you do not subscribe to any epithets and are simply a unique, kindred spirit is nothing more than a delusion. You are branded by many individual labels. You are simply a compilation of them all.

Yes, you are you, and that is truer than true. Sure, there’s no one around, who’s you-er than you.

But that’s not what the cool kids say.

#DrSeuss

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