We often get told “do whatever makes you happy”, but what they forget to mention is that it’s within reason. How do you be happy when society is telling you that who you are is a trend or you’re in a phase? How can you be happy in a world where you have to justify your identity on a daily basis?
People see me in the street and I just know that they’re judging me for my hairstyle, clothes, lord they may even judge me because of the way I laugh. The trouble with the society we live in, is that we’re all guilty of judging someone so quickly based on appearance or mannerisms. Before they even know our identity, we are being judged solely down to what is being seen on the outside. What happens when our sexuality or gender is thrown into the mix?
I can only speak from my own experiences, but the moment I didn’t conform to the stereotypical “normal” lifestyle there was a sense of tension in the air. For many LGBTQ+ members, we are discriminated, bullied and in extreme cases disowned by our own families. How anyone can justify disowning your own child for loving someone of the same sex, is beyond me.
Three years ago, I wanted to fit in whilst still being queer. But what I now realise, is that I don’t fit in at all and I never did. To conform with society’s standards is a set of made up rules that are merely impossible to live up to. Many LGBTQ+ individuals struggle with this concept of fitting in, we don’t want to been seen as any more or any less. We just want to live our lives as quietly as possible.
But the moment we bring a label into the picture, it’s a new game & we somehow have to navigate a new world with 1000x hurdles in our way. My label has changed my life & with it has come many positives as well as negatives. There are certain people I can never “hang out” with, I’ve distanced myself from friends & I live a completely different life than I did 3 years ago.
What everyone forgets is that we can come out & still be the same person we were 5 minutes ago. A label doesn’t define who we are, we define ourselves. It’s hard to fathom why people hold ridiculous views when it comes to sexuality or gender, but the sad truth is they do.
Break out of society’s grasp
As a queer woman & activist for all LGBTQ+ identities, I’ve seen and faced discrimination in all shapes and forms, whether it’s my sexuality or relationship under fire. We are always going to be categorised and labelled no matter how hard we fight it, so I say enough is enough. I can’t fight society, we can never change how people view each other.
But, what I can do is say that I am more than my label. I can show them who I am & how my label does not for a second define me. Yes, I’m queer & yes I’m with a woman. But do you know what else I am? Human. My label doesn’t change who I am, I’m still that same individual who is obsessed with cats, loves a good video game & I will never turn down a bag of crisps.
This is why Unite UK has embarked on it’s latest campaign #morethanalabel. We no longer have to fight alone, together we are going to make a difference and show society who we are. The campaign will showcase LGBTQ+ members around the globe sharing their own stories & how a simple label will never fully describe who they are.
It’s never going to be society VS you, it’s society VS us. The LGBTQ+ community is a loving and understanding community, you will never have to conform to any standards. You’re free to do you and don’t let anyone tell you anything different. Conforming sucks anyway.
We want to hear from you!
Have you ever experienced discrimination due to your identity? Leave your reply in the comments below & help us fuel the conversation behind the movement.