Lawson: Acceptance of new labels is step in right direction

Angelica Lawson

The recent labels are a way of taking back a voice that has been forced into silence. Men and women who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, pansexual, allies or asexual are reclaiming labeling and turning it into something positive for society.

A lot of naysayers oppose these emerging labels within the community and don’t want to understand the need to put a label on the different types of sexuality.

Accepting a need for differentiation within this American subculture does not affect your daily life. It does not take away from your sexual orientation or religious beliefs to simply say, OK, so your A+, that’s cool.

These labels provide people who identify as LGBTQQPAA+ a sense of belonging, which has been sorrowfully lacking in our society until recently.

An undeniable desire to feel like we belong within ourselves exists, and it’s a great feeling when you find somewhere you fit in. It satisfies a psychological need, and making connections with people who understand what you’re experiencing in life is essential.

The need to belong is prevalent in everyone, and each person expresses it in different ways. It is prevalent in kids before they reach kindergarten, and you can see kids start to stray from the friends who their parents established in an attempt to find people who share their interests.

Having all of these labels may seem obsessive and unnecessary. People used to always be identified as gay or straight. With the emergence of people who now identify as transgender, asexual or pansexual, it’s more than just gay or straight. 

The differences are real and deserve to be acknowledged.

Creating and accepting these labels and identities is important for people who have always lived without knowing who they truly are. This is an opportunity to show acceptance and understanding of a group that has been hidden in the background and prevented from waving its flag of difference.

This is the generation of the LGBTQQPAA+, the generation of definition.

Now is the time for acceptance and education.

The people who fall into this group are more than worthy of sharing their voices. They want to be addressed, and want people to know who they are and what it means to be a part of this community. It’s necessary for them to be accepted by by their community, and to provide answers to people with questions.

A crowd just as diverse as the one today has existed for the last 20 years, and there have been people in the past who have identified themselves as something other than gay or straight. 

It’s time for everyone’s voice to be heard and appreciated.

People who have never had to defend or explain themselves to a crowded room of judgmental and confused eyes and ears may believe the labels are unnecessary. 

Understanding and accepting people’s differences and new labels will allow us to develop a stronger generation of men and women who will proudly be able to identify as who they are.