Oh, Wait a Minute

“Labels started to get way too complicated.”

Transcript for Oh, Wait a Minute

There’s a lot of stuff within the trans umbrella. There’s transgender, there’s male-to-female, female-to-male, non-binary, gender fluid, genderqueer, gender nonconforming, did I say non-binary? Third gender, two-spirit, other ones…there’s a lot of them.

Back in high school, I thought I identified as gay – well, I did identify as gay at the time, but that was really because I didn’t have a full picture of myself and who I was. I don’t identify with the gay label anymore. I could label my sexuality as something separate from trans, ’cause trans is a gender label, not a sexuality label, but I’ve chosen not to put a label on my sexuality.

Labels started to get way too complicated, I thought, as I started to understand there being more than male or female. And there’s all of those other genders in the middle. Like, how would you define liking this with a little of that on the side, or only this kind, or just this or that? I couldn’t find a label that fit exactly how I identified, and whenever I tried to find one, there would be an exception. So I just figured it would be easy enough just to not label my sexuality, and then I don’t have to have some sort of existential crisis every time I like somebody who’s outside of what I had labeled myself.

Seeing as I used to identify as gay, I knew I was attracted to guys. So, I guess at first, I thought I was just a trans woman attracted to guys. But then I started realizing, “Oh, wait a minute, there’s trans guys and they’re really cute, too.” And then Miley Cyrus came along and shaved her head and became super hot. And it’s like, “Wait a minute, she’s not a dude, what’s this about?” I don’t want to have to figure out what exact label encapsulates all of that stuff, so I just won’t label it.

Hold a Conversation

Some questions to get you started:

  • Why do some people feel the need to label themselves? Because of societal pressure?
  • Where did all those labels she listed at the beginning come from? Who decides what label is valid or invalid?
  • Do you think it’s harder for transgender people to label themselves? Why?
  • She talked about the confusion she felt upon being attracted to people other than men calling it an “existential crisis.” Why do people panic when they are attracted to people they think they shouldn’t be?

Can you imagine leading a conversation about this story? Where? With whom? What kinds of questions would you pose? (See How to use the questions for reflection for one approach.) Please email your questions to us or post them in the comment box for our consideration. If you use them in an actual discussion, let us know how the conversation went.