Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Settling on a Label

I hate labels... I really do. They box you in and try to define you within a narrow field. And of course anybody who is born male but dresses as a female is bombarded with a slew of labels: crossdresser, transvestite, transgendered, androgynous, drag queen, weirdo, etc. And those are just to cover the dressing issue, when it comes to sexual preference there's a whole new list: gay, straight, bisexual, trans-lesbian, sex fiend, and so on. So many tiny little subdivisions so as to assign me a bar code and file me away on a shelf. As much as they agrivate me I have to admit that there are times a label would help, it certainly saves having to give a full personal history everytime somebody asks a question about me. So what do I indentify as since I don't really properly fit into any of the categories as I understand them? Well I've finally found the answer: queer.

Photo by Laura

Of course to many out there "queer" just means gay, but I want to take back the traditional meaning. Odd, different, just ever so slightly off from the norm. The notion of this label and embracing it's real meaning was introduced to myself and my wife (yes I'm married to a woman, see what I mean about not fitting most labels?) by a friend of ours in New York. She had said just off-handedly that the two of us are "the quintessential queer couple." This really clicked because we both certainly are different yet we don't fit comfortably in the usual gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans categories. We're just a little different, both individually and as a couple. And that's ok. Hell it's better than ok, it's great.

Photo by K. Walter

I've never encountered another person quite like myself (or like my wife) and that's really the way I like it. We're a queer couple and have no shame in it. If you're going to label me at all (aside from "drag burlesque goddess" of course) then I'd prefer "queer." Nothing else feels quite as right.

No comments:

Post a Comment