LGBTQ Labels Tear The Community Apart
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Politics and Activism

LGBTQ Labels Tear The Community Apart

Some lgbt people see themselves as the gatekeepers of the community. That's not okay.

LGBTQ Labels Tear The Community Apart

As I’m sure most LGBTQ-identifying people have, I made a dating account on a website called Wing Ma’am when I was about 13. It was purely out of curiosity, just to see what I could expect as I got older. I can only assume that straight people do this type of thing too.

The app, along with a ton of lesbian Facebook pages honestly upset pre-teen me quite a bit. There seemed to be a divide in the community itself. Plenty of queer people identify as masculine, feminine or gold star (which means that you’ve never been with anyone of the opposite gender, sexually or otherwise.) In addition, many people who identify as masculine only date feminine identifying individuals, and don’t even get me started on lesbians who won’t date bi girls.

Now, there’s no issue with having a preference in who you date, but I personally don’t think that the LGBTQ community, which is already discriminated against, should have discrimination within itself. There's almost a competition sometimes on who can be “most gay.” If you’ve ever been with a guy, you can’t identify as a lesbian. If you wear makeup, god forbid you call yourself butch.

The issue with these labels is that it almost forces us into such small boxes that it’s like coming out of the closet all over again. Even in a community where we should feel safe, we’re dividing ourselves instead of looking out for each other. Not to mention the gay or lesbian members of the community who refuse to date bisexuals. When it comes to being bi, your dating choices are essentially guys who think it’s sexy and girls who refuse to date bisexuals. Not exactly a very welcoming situation.

My girlfriend pointed out to me that some people find labeling themselves comforting, and, while that can be true, I don’t think that we should pressure others so much to label themselves. Instead of creating rifts in the community, we should be looking out for each other and helping younger teens who are questioning their sexuality see that there’s no wrong way to express yourself.

The conclusion here is that you shouldn’t feel any stress to label yourself, but it’s okay if it’s comforting to you as well. There’s no right or wrong way to be queer. If you want to wear dresses but identify as butch, that’s fine. If you’ve dated a girl before but consider yourself a gay male, that’s fine. If you wear makeup but you’re transitioning to male, that’s fine. We as a community shouldn’t judge our family - we instead should make others feel welcome.

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