I had a moment of realization earlier this week. Here, I’ll share it with you in screenplay form.
SCENE: Car, driving back to Nova’s house from a night out. Vivere has just finished writing an essay for a continuing education class, where she discussed the problematic nature of labeling in A Passage to India.
VIVERE: Hey, so I found a couple of events on the LGBT community center — book clubs and movie nights and such. Wanna go?
NOVA: Sure, sounds like fun. Is there something allies wear to those?
VIVERE: I’ll buy you a button! I saw some really cool “Ally” buttons when I was surfing on Amazon for LGBT gear.
VIVERE: You know… I always used to say, “Don’t label me! No labels at all!” Now I’m all, “I’ll label all my friends! Label you — label me — label the dog…”
It’s amazing how deeply you can agree with the video below… and yet how important self-chosen labels can be all the same. Nova has an awesome rainbow “ALLY” tank top now. I have a “got pride?” button and a rainbow bracelet (and some rainbow friendship bracelets I’ve been trying to weave and have been failing horribly at creating). We wear all of them with — what else? — pride.
What labels do you choose to wear? How do you show them — and why?
Links! to the Outside World
A beautiful video comment on labels: I am NOT Black, You are NOT White by Prince EA
The physical labels that Nova and I are currently sporting (product placement!):