What’s in a Label?
This past week has been a jam-packed with celebrations, dancing, white, glitter, and debating labels. With Pride in town of course, I had to get on my whites and get out to celebrate. I got on the Pride Bus, which was a great idea and helped link the community together. There were more women inside of Babe’s than I have ever seen at once, and Nations reached its capacity. Despite the rain, it seems that everyone came out, and celebrated being exactly who they are, and proud to be it.
Towards the end of the night it seemed that everywhere I looked things were getting heated, whether it be two strangers meeting on the dance floor, or a few too many drinks had at the bar. In the midst of all the celebrations this weekend, there is a topic that kept coming up everywhere from the town hall meeting at the Pride festival, to drinks after the Lady Gaga concert: Labels.
Labels are a tricky thing. I am not referring to Prada and Chanel – those are pretty straightforward. I am talking about Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual, Transgender, Homosexual, Queer, Was-bian, Lipstick, Butch, Flamboyant, Top, Bottom, and any other that you are thinking of. Labels can give someone power, and at the same time make someone else miserable.
In an ideal society these labels would be obsolete, because in terms of whom we loved, had sex with, or how we associated ourselves we would be seen as equal to one another. However, society is not there yet.
The one thing that I think could change is that we all stop judging and arguing within the community about labels. I am about as Lipstick as a Lesbian goes, rarely without my red lips, a skirt, and purse big enough to live out of. I don’t care if you call me a Lesbian, or Gay, or a Lipstick Lesbian, because all I know is I am a woman that is attracted to and wants to be with other women.
Labels really just add to stereotypes, which add to pre-concieved judgments about how someone should look and act. Maybe labeling me Gay instead of Lesbian gives the label more power? By taking someone who is stereotypically a Lipstick Lesbian and fitting them into a Gay grouping, would definitely make people re-think stereotypes and maybe erase those lines a little.
In a town that seems to be divided within its Homo-community maybe we should stop arguing labels and be more welcoming of one another. If people were not so set on what they think a Lesbian looks like I would not get the shocked look every time I tell someone. Pride continues to be a way of bringing people together within the Richmond Community, however it only happens once a year. It could be eye opening to go to a bar outside your usual circle this weekend, meet some people that bat for the same team that fit under a different label.
With all this said, before you start commenting and yelling at me for being a hypocrite, I am not changing the name of this column. I happen to love lipstick and Lucy Lipstick rolls off the tongue. Call me what you may, I am a woman that wants to be with women.
Lucy Lipstick blogs about her dating experiences from a lesbian perspective every Friday on GayRVA.
Lucy Lipstick was once a single girl, living in Richmond. She found love, and could no longer write about the meeting and greeting of prospective dates. Now she is living life, and writing about the everyday things that occur in the life of a lipstick lady living in the RIC. E-mail Lucy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“When they gave us the certificate, I cried. Our friends cried.”November 5, 2015
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