Labels and its Adhesive
Labels are a direct extension of someone’s perception, often used to supplement and explain common traits about a person and how they should be perceived as their default. Now while this is looking at only queer labels and my analysis of its application and its fundamental ideas, this can be applied to such a range of things.
Labels are not intrinsically bad, and I should preface this point hard because there are many benefits to openly identifying and such. After all, this essay is on the negative side. So let’s start with how these actually can help, firstly you can be yourself in places and groups that are safe to the label you identify under. And the support that you can get from people who have and go through the same experience. On top of this, it helps people identify and improve the theory and discourse by classifying things.
Now the bad-ish stuff. The main issue in my mind is the dichotomy of labels being strictly defined to people while the definition is rigid and ambiguous at the same time. This is an issue because of where you can think that sexuality is not necessarily a fixed object/idea. People’s perceptions change internally and from external input of these ideas, so why keep fixed within these labels except for the reasons of why the labels are good and how a crisis may unfold. This is the adhesive, you have to remain in this state that you have defined. It’s a label that is fixed to how you will be perceived and changes to some degree how you think.
Does gay mean you can’t feel attraction towards a person of another gender? Because from the theory, we look at it as a spectrum and there is a line to where the label changes, but in reality, it is always assumed that the label is only attached to the extremes never a threshold.
So it changes how you think. What does that mean? Well because it’s often pushed that the label is only attached/perceived to be the extremes, it’s wrong for anything to stray from this not just from the fluctuations of sexuality but if we look at it as a fixed thing you become a fake gay if you stray from the extreme. This is the issue with its implementation.
Let’s look at some other issues with the idea of labels and their application. So for me, I am a man, that’s cool for me, but what is it to be a man. Bertrand Russell said that Words are just shorthand descriptions of things, so applying it to being man there must be an idea of the requirements. Like if I share my emotions in a moment that is in absence of the rules of exception to when men can do that, am I less of a man or less masc. There is an issue with this and the philosophical idea of using Russell’s theory, being a man and masc are two different things. Ludwig Wittgenstein came along with a radical idea, and he said that language is a lot like acting. So the words that are associated are a sort of game, it’s someone’s perception of the acting performance. You don’t need to perfectly read all of hamlet’s lines to understand that it was Shakespeare who wrote it. So, let’s link this back to queer theory. The labels are external things stemming from the perception and comprehension of sexuality and gender. A friend of mine who is trained in peer sexuality support said in a meeting for the school queer group is “Presenting is a lot about how you act, how you walk”. But for this, I see the issue of seeing gender and sexuality as presenting or acting a certain way to be perceived correctly like there are somehow clothing choices that are transcendentally bound to a sexuality/gender. Like you can see that with the men in dresses movement, but it’s like if you’re bi/gay you should have so-called good fashion takes/sense but are you less of a gay/bi person if that does not apply to you.
One more thing that grows from this discussion of labels. Pan vs Bi. Had a great thought in the shower, as many philosophers do. For this debate, it should not affect how people perceive people, but rather a classification of people’s attraction. So it fits with helping with the good stuff to do with labels and such. Bi Sexuality is looking at the attraction to the qualities of genders. For me as an example, I view my attraction to the different genders as different things. There are differences. So what about pan? So for pan, often gets talked about how “there is so much ass”. And that defines it, it’s not a gender-specific value, and not looking at the things bi people may value, but that is assuming a lot. Like the issue with the debate is the inclusion of trans and non-binary people which is fucking dumb and people need to get over themselves and maybe my proposal may be a better solution than pushing people out because while a lot of people view them as the same, we do and should make a difference. The sphere and range of bi/pan on the spectrum are crazy, so for everyone to fit as a single value again proves the earlier point of putting it in the extreme and grouping it to a finite point.
Now for a lot of people they just call themselves queer to avoid all this nonsense because it changes and if people can’t change their ways on the issues around it being permanently adhered to your person and it pushing you to the extremes. So is that the solution? Prob not for all but it shows how you can have a label, and it is still ambiguous, and you can still understand the sexuality to the degree that you should need to know as a stranger to the details.
I do believe in bi/pan normativity till people sort the stuff out around the extremes. Plus we need to provide support independent of labels and come from a perspective where a lot of people can experience a lot of the same shit if they do not fall under the same label and if we talk and teach about the issues of people in the community we can truly get rid of the toxic discourse that happens so much.
Labels and its Adhesive Essay is licensed under CC BY-ND 4.0
This is kinda something different from the normal gaming content but I hope some people find interest in this. I have a lot of essays and weird stuff like this in my notes that I share with my closest friends but I think a lot of people may learn stuff and I want to add to the discourse.