Labeling + Identifying

One thing has really been bothering me lately: unnecessary labeling of people and the identifications we are assigned.

I have many identifiers: friend, girlfriend, sister, female, young professional and many more.

What we should not do is identify based on race, gender, religion or sexual preference. I do not say “my straight friend” so you should not say “my gay friend.” Why do you have to identify something about them? They are your friend and that is all.

Being gay is not your whole identifier; it is only part of you. Being straight is not my whole identifier; it is only part of me. Let’s stop the labeling and treat people as they are: like people. Being Catholic is not your whole identifier and being Asian, Indian, Native American, Black, etc. is not everything you are either.

There are many parts of all of us and we are all people. We are all equal. We all feel, bleed, love and think. We are all people.

It goes back to thinking before you speak. When you use unnecessary words to identify or label people, the other person may be offended or caught off guard. When you use these identifiers around others, it may give them cause to, unfortunately, think differently about the person which could lead to judgments, bullying or other things.

It is also not okay to say “that is so gay” or “that is so retarded.” Gay and mentally handicapped should not be associated that way.

This is a different kind of post for my blog, but just think before you speak.

Think

2 thoughts on “Labeling + Identifying

  1. Well said, Lauren! Society in general is so focused on trying to piegonhole us as either this or that, when in fact we have multiple characteristics, many of them changing to suit the situation (I’m not talking about fickleness but adaptability). We all should be mindful of how we label people, even situations. Speaking of situations, Dr. Shrikumar Rao says the moment we label something, that is how we experience it (“good” vs. “bad” for example). The same often applies to people, and the connotations of such labels carry even greater weight than their denotations!

  2. Well said, Lauren! Society in general is so focused on trying to piegonhole us as either this or that, when in fact we have multiple characteristics, many of them changing to suit the situation (I’m not talking about fickleness but adaptability). We all should be mindful of how we label people, even situations. Speaking of situations, Dr. Shrikumar Rao says the moment we label something, that is how we experience it (“good” vs. “bad” for example). The same often applies to people, and the connotations of such labels carry even greater weight than their denotations!

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