We live in a world where people are constantly labelled according to their individual preferences in terms of the food they choose to eat, the clothes they choose to wear and anything else they might absentmindedly pick up in a supermarket.
Whilst the items themselves have physical labels embellished onto them, the metaphorical ones that we assign to each other are seemingly far bolder.
You eat healthily, you’re a freak.
You eat unhealthily, you’re a slob.
You eat a lot, you’re greedy.
You eat a little, you’re anorexic.
You dress in black, you’re a goth.
You dress brightly, you’re a hippy.
You dress in hoodies, you’re a thug.
You dress scantily, you’re a slut.
There’s literally a label for every factor of our beings. Take sexuality for example. You can be heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual but it doesn’t stop there…
You’re straight but you care for your image, you’re meterosexual.
You’re straight but you’ve actively thought about gay sex, you’re bicurious.
You can’t decide what you’re into, you’re ambisexual.
You can’t decide what you’re not into, you’re pansexual.
But in the cold light of day and what the whole point of this blog post boils down to is: does it really matter? Need we bother wasting our time on such futile labels? Does what another person eats or how much they eat affect you directly in any major sense? Is how they choose to dress or what floats their boat in any other department, actually quite frankly anything to do with you? The answer of course, is no. Ellen Page recently did an incredibly brave thing and came out as gay extremely publicly, onstage at a Human Right campaign conference. What Ellen did and how she did it is admirable. Her courage that day was inspiring and her words were admittedly touching, I’m not denying that at all. But I also think it’s a shame that she felt compelled to do this and worse still was haunted by the idea of it for years. Why should the gender of Ellen Page’s sexual partners concern us at all? The sad reality is, because she’s not standardised as a typical heterosexual, feminine film star, she felt that she owed the world something… a confession, an explanation almost, for being different. I personally feel this is wrong. Not only has Ellen been tormented for years by what she felt was the burden of her sexuality, something that made her different, the fear of what people would think about it and how they’d react to it, but she also felt immensely pressured by society to eventually announce it. Her detailed explanations of the pressure she felt, her nervousness throughout the video and the tears that follow the words “I’m here today because I am gay” clearly demonstrate this.
Sex is an extremely personal and intimate act and so who you choose to share it with should be your business, your partner’s and absolutely nobody else’s unless you choose to tell them. If a person wants to come out and assign themselves to a label, then fine – go them! But if they don’t want to, I don’t think they should feel that they have to. Why should anybody feel that they owe it to anybody else? A person shouldn’t feel compelled to explain why they eat the food they like to eat or wear the clothes they like to wear, so why should they feel as though they ought to detail their sexual preferences so publicly?
I’m not saying I have anything against coming out at all. If that is what a person needs to do in order to feel free, accepted, open, whatever… then that’s brilliant. What I’m saying is, no way should anyone feel forced into it if they’re not ready or feel compelled to do it at all. If you’re heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, meterosexual, ambisexual, pansexual or whatever-else-sexual and you want the world to know, then tell them, but if you don’t want to step up in front of the whole world like Ellen Page did, yet or ever, then don’t. Happiness is all that matters and in the grand scheme of things if we’re happy, does it really matter who’s having what… in any sense?