Do Labels Matter?

My Personal Experience With Labels

This is somewhat of a follow-up piece to the other story/article I wrote called "Not Knowing Who I Am." 

I've identified as straight, bisexual, and lesbian throughout my life. Each time I "came out," I would question if I really was 100% gay or bi. I didn't really think much of it until I started my first year at college. I had identified as lesbian for about a year and had tons of support from friends and family. Then college came along and I was set on staying gay. 

For the first couple months of college, I only flirted with girls, and even had a girlfriend for like two weeks (you can read about that in my other article). I would always tell people that I was lesbian and they'd embrace it and sometimes joke around with me about how "gay I was." Some of my friends still joke around about it today and I joke around about it too.

Anyways, during my freshmen year I realized that even though I was "lesbian" I still didn't truly understand my sexuality. Some of the people who I lived with knew I had "done stuff" with guys before I came out, and one of them somewhat teased me about it too. She claimed she knew she was a bonafide lesbian since the day she was born. 

People would also ask me "How did you know you were gay?" "Have you even done stuff with dudes?" "Are you sure you're not bi?" I know most of those people had good intentions, but it still bothered me. 

During Spring Semester of my freshmen year, I set my Tinder to men and women just to see what kind of guys used Tinder. I matched with a lot of guys even though my profile had the Pride Flag in it and I'm pretty sure it said I wasn't straight, so I was surprised how thirsty some of the guys were. One of the guys I matched with was super sweet and we hung out a couple times and even kissed, but I cut off what we had because I was even more confused about who I was than ever. The bonafide lesbian found out that I was hanging out with a guy even though I was somewhat adamant that I was gay and asked me why I labeled myself even though I clearly wasn't sure how I identified. That frustrated me because she claimed to know she was in fact 100% gay and labeled herself. I ignored it, and decided to stop seeing boys on Tinder until I knew how I identified or at least was a little bit more confident in my sexuality. 

I guess what I am trying to get at is, it's okay if you don't know your sexuality 100%. Throughout life we are going to discover so much about who we are and it's okay to be confused or not know completely. Sometimes I catch myself thinking about how I identify sexually and I confuse myself when I can't answer. That shouldn't discourage anyone because its okay to not know. 

Even today, I'm still figuring out who I am, and that's okay. It shouldn't matter if I put a label on myself or not. It is unfortunate that today's society labels everything that could possibly have a label. Props to those who don't care what others think in regards to how they identify not just sexually. 

It is always going to be a learning process and it is okay to tell people that you don't want to label yourself. It may be discouraging to hear from someone that they think you should label yourself one way or another or that it's dumb to not label yourself, but don't let it be discouraging. Stand up for who you are and don't let others' judgements and assumptions make you question yourself even more. 

I'm learning all of that right now and it has helped me grow as a person and discover more about myself. 

Be proud of who you are. Screw what others think. Be YOU. 

Stacy J
Stacy J

Hey what's up? I'm a college sophomore who loves to eat good food, watch Netflix, use social media, and write about my life and sometimes fanfic. 

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Do Labels Matter?