Words Are Tools Not Shackles

Labels are very important in the queer community. They allow us to realise we don’t have to be confined to straight or cisgender, and that we can exist outside of them. Hell, we thrive out of them!

But they can be a double-edged sword; defining our identity with labels can box us in, make us feel suffocated, make us feel like we can’t explore, or get our identity “wrong” (whatever the hell that means) for fear of persecution.

I’m writing this as somebody who has used three different ways to describe my sexuality: first there was bisexual, then pansexual, and now gay/queer. I’m here to say it’s okay if you are forever changing how you identity, or you realise you are straight and cis after identifying as something else.

As my friend so aptly put: Identity terms are a tool, a framework to better understand yourself, and express who you are to others. Instead of crushing yourself to fit in a self-imposed box, give yourself the permission to leave that box behind for one that fits better, or no box at all.

Queerness is free. We shouldn’t turn it into another prison.

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