I have struggled with labels all my life. Where do I fit? What describes me? Why don’t they feel comfortable? What is this deal with us trying to fit into containers much too small for our infinite possibilities for growth and movement.
I will float from one label to the next and it is not out of convenience (although I have, too, been guilty of that in the past) but out of trying to see if they feel right, when do they feel right, why don’t they feel right. In doing that, I’ve become increasingly aware of how political they can be, but also how sometimes they strip you of any sort of individuality. You’re your community, and I cannot and should not represent anyone but myself, really. Labels can be useful, but they can also be stressful.
I have found some labels describe me better than others, and sometimes I end up using a label because it makes everyday life a tad easier. I am still debating on the ‘my body as a political stance’ part, because it’s problematic, and it tends to violate my personal space when I need to declare my sexual preferences in order to help them not be invisible.
In any case, I wrote a poem. I know I usually write essays for this blog, but I haven’t had the time. So here goes…
Think straight. Walk straight. Stand straight. Be straight-forward.
I am not crooked or broken or confused.
I am beautiful, with curves into my thighs and spirals in my mind;
I am brave, I am fire:
“A work-in-progress”, the cliché goes.
And while we are on the subject of being straight-forward,
I say fuck that. Fuck your names.
I am not confused,
Your names confuse me.
Your labels blur me, they erase me.
A 404: Error.
Identity not found.
I am tired of wasting time thinking
What am I? All the while
thinking in terms that you will understand,
thinking in boxes, thinking in lines.
Where do I draw mine?
Why should I?
I’m frankly exhausted,
bruises all over from bumping into walls and
Pipelines you built, in the middle of my sexuality.
I will not be bound, muted, colonized.
I don’t have to be straight, gay, bi, pansexual, queer
I could be either, or neither, or them all.
I can dance among them, between them, in them.
It should not concern you
My name is Lu, and that’s it for all you know
I’m not yours, to figure out.
Hell, you try to put labels on me,
Pour dichotomies on me;
I scrub them off
not as a political stance,
but because I do not get them.
And they don’t get me.
I have yet to discover myself, so
don’t pretend you’ve already done that for me.
You can’t do that.
I don’t own much, but that much I own.