Ok let’s get one thing straight… I’m not. All jokes aside, stereotyping is quite frankly rubbish. Yes, in a way it helps us identify with people of the same ‘type’ but unfortunately that’s not the only thing that comes from being stereotyped. Of course, we are never going to get away from this, that’s like asking a fish to survive out of water – unrealistic. But surely if we actually think about the repercussions of stereotyping, we may be less inclined to do so.
Of course, not everyone stereotypes with a negative agenda, however, whether we intend to or not it can have negative consequences. I identify as a lesbian; however, this shouldn’t mean that I am ‘butch’ and that I don’t identify as a femme woman. It also shouldn’t mean that identifying as a non-femme woman means I’m falling in line with how a lesbian ‘should be’.
As labels go in general, I’m sure we can all recount a time we were labelled and how it made us feel. Even ‘positive’ labels such as smart, intelligent, pretty, skinny can have negative implications.
It is interesting to think about whether labels are useful or whether we’d be much better without them. I personally believe that they are useful, but we aren’t ever going to escape the negative impact they can have on people.
I love being part of the LGBTQ+ community, it’s lovely to have a community that understands and accepts me for me. A community who most likely have experiences similar to mine, a family as such. But just because I am part of this community and walk around with the label ‘lesbian’ shouldn’t mean that I should be treated any differently, both negatively and positively. My sexual orientation does not define me, and although I am proud of who I am, it should not have any influence or impact on my treatment as an individual.
Just like you, I am my own person. I am Leanne and I identify as a lesbian, but please, don’t put me in a box.