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Using Terms loosely

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by BiBoyToy, May 22, 2021.

  1. BiBoyToy

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    I've noticed a lot of people using terms very loosely, such as sexual orientation and gender identity terms.

    Why is this? Do a lot of people just not have a concrete understanding of the definitions of these terms? Or, are people purposely watering down terms and being vague with their definitions so everybody can fit in and not offend anyone?
     
  2. MistyMorn

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    I think I understand what you're asking, and I don't mean anything rude about this, but are you saying how people don't take an identity seriously? Like they will be like I guess I like women so they say they're a lesbian or in different company they're pan and another label of whatever with yet a different group? Or is it more people who identify as straight just throwing around terms when they haven't taken the time to understand what they are saying?

    I guess in my opinion either way things have gotten loose with the terms. Not sure if it's because of not wanting to offend or if it's just an overall laissez-faire kind of attitude.

    I just despise labels. What difference does it make? Just be you and love how and who you love. I don't feel people should have to explain themselves away. But this is also coming from a person afraid to live my life openly but alot of the stigma of not living freely falls back on labels...
     
  3. Mihael

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    What do you mean specifically?
     
  4. quebec

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    BiBoyToy.....I think that there is a lot of confusion about labels...even in our LGBTQIA+ Family. There's a lot of letters in that acronym and it's not even a label! First off, labels are not for everyone. Some people just feel uncomfortable with a label. They feel that it restricts them and they are far more happy without a label. Others (me) feel much better with a label as it gives them a feeling of security, of belonging. We also get criticized by the straight world for the confusing multiplication of labels that has happen in the last decade or so. I've heard it called "Gay Alphabet soup", and it really can be a challenge at times to make sense of all of it. I think that is where you get the "loose" use of labels due to people just being confused with more labels than they know what to do with unless they are a member of our LGBTQIA+ Family and understand what pan, demi and ace actually mean! :old_big_grin: Another personal opinion here...I have seen a list of labels for our "Family" that gave me a headache. When the list of labels exceeds 30-40 then we might consider that things have gotten a little out of control! :old_confused: Again...just my opinion! I do know that it's very difficult when, someone who has been through a rough time coming out, especially as Trans is mislabeled. Sometimes mislabeling someone isn't that much of a big deal, but there are other times when it really does hurt. If you're not sure, there are very few folks who would be offended if you were to ask about their pronouns and that would most often be all you would need. If they want you to know what how they label their sexuality they would probably be willing to tell you after you've asked about their pronouns. I hope this helps a little with the confusions! :old_smile:
    .....David :gay_pride_flag:
     
    #4 quebec, Jun 10, 2021
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021
  5. BiBoyToy

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    Thank you so much for your input, David. Very well said... I think what you had to say was spot on and it has helped me make sense of everything you addressed. Thanks again!
     
  6. quebec

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    BiBoyToy.....I'm so glad that I was able to help! :old_smile: To be honest, the post that I wrote was actually rather difficult. It's not easy to explain something like that, which can be a real hotbed of opinions without offending someone! At least I haven't gotten any messages yet from someone who was upset by what I wrote! :old_big_grin: There are some very strongly held opinions on the topic of labels but I feel that everyone deserves to have their own feelings on the subject without being attacked by a person who disagrees!
    .....David :gay_pride_flag:
     
  7. BiBoyToy

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    David explained it very well. :slight_smile:
     
  8. Mihael

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    Ahaaa... Yeah, being too specific with labels might lead to nobody knowing what they mean. True. Tbh I'm not bothered to find the most tight fitting label nor do I think labels are a solution. Yes, you should know what you feel, but imo, you should be able to describe it, not neccesarily give a word for it.
     
  9. BiBoyToy

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    Being too specific with labels? I'm not sure what you mean by that. From my understanding, being too vague (the opposite of specific) with labels is what leads to people not understanding what they mean. Which is sort of my point...

    I'm not sure that was David's point.

    Can you please elaborate on this??? This is very confusing to me.

    I personally think the ability to use a word/term to describe what you feel is very important. From my understanding, that is the main purpose of speech (the human language).
     
  10. Chloe

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    Speech, language, and communication aren't exactly the same thing. Being specific with words is great for self-understanding, but communication requires using language other people understand. It's possible to teach new concepts, but until then, there has to be some shared language. Using a precise or preferred word is only half the story.

    I use different labels for different audiences, based partly on what I think they'll understand, and partly on how important it is to get an exactly correct understanding of me. If the latter, I usually have to do more explaining and defining.
     
    #10 Chloe, Jun 12, 2021
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2021
  11. Salt

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    I'm still learning myself. If I ever misuse or loosely/incorrectly use a term, i'd hope for a gentle correction so to better use it myself in the future :slight_smile:
     
  12. Mihael

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    I mean like... xenogender librafluid mascandrogyne demipansexual homoromantic. I don't mean to offend anybody who identifies this way or similar... it's just... nobody gets what the labels mean if you mention them to someone who isn't very involved with specific subsections of the LGBT community. And what kind of loose or specific terms do you mean? Because I might see it like... this situation or when someone calls something gay just because it's girly, not related to actually being gay, which in my opinion perpetuates untrue and maybe harmful stereotypes, or I could understand "using terms too loosely" as Kinsey 6s saying "why do bisexuals call themselves gay?" which is quite mean, imo, because a Kinsey 4 or 5 person will use the label "gay" to get their point across and even though they have some attraction to the opposite sex, they might live 90% like all the other gay folks, like dating in gay spaces (this is what it looks like for me *waves hand*).
     
  13. quebec

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    Hello all.....If you like labels, use them. If you don't, please don't feel bad. Some labels help people understand themselves, others confuse themselves and others. Some like labels some don't...simple as that.
    .....David..... :gay_pride_flag:
     
  14. Bastion

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    I like what @quebec David had to say about this. I was confused about the many labels myself and wrote about it in a thread not long ago. This is a good post. Thanks David.
    And also @BiBoyToy for addressing this subject in a sensible way.
     
  15. pozistani

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    yeah, I'm a big believer in letting people self-identify and I try to limit the labels I use to describe others to those that are easily understood and labels I know they share with others.
     
  16. BiBoyToy

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    Thank you, @Bastion!
     
  17. Ulmo

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    I think of the increasing number of labels in the queer community as likely reflective of the fact that gender and sexuality are spectrums and therefore many folks don't fit neatly into a particular box. I think the proliferation of labels may indicate that people are realizing that their identity doesn't really fit neatly into a pre-existing label and they want, understandably and deservedly, to be seen and recognized for who they are. As quebec and others have said, this does get confusing, especially for people who aren't a part of the queer community, but that doesn't mean these newer labels are invalid or that they carry less weight for the people who find that these labels resonate with them.

    I will sometimes change the label I use because I know that my life can be a bit easier at times if I pay attention to my audience when labeling myself. For instance, I identify as pansexual but will identify as bi if I need to self-identify when talking to folks who are less informed about the queer community. That might explain why some other folks use different labels when talking to different people as well?

    I try to be mindful of the labels that others use (and rely heavily on the Google box I carry in my pocket that theoretically can also make phone calls) so that I can try to validate them. There are a lot of labels out there now and the folks who identify with them deserve the same respect and love that we all do. "Transgender", "queer", "intersex", and "asexual" used to cause a lot of confusion to those outside of (and sometimes inside of) the community but those are labels we and our allies have no trouble accepting now, to the point that they are part of the LGBTQIA+ acronym, despite the fact that they were once obscure. "Transgender" in particular seems to have gained visibility and broader social understanding incredibly rapidly over the last couple of decades. These labels haven't spread nearly as far as "lesbian", "gay", and "bisexual" but they are rapidly gaining visibility and "transgender" seems to me to be almost to that same level of visibility as LGB. We are seeing a similar trend with "pansexual", "nonbinary", and "genderfluid", possibly others that I'm not thinking of at the moment, thanks in part to some high-profile public figures who have come out as such recently, despite these labels being even more obscure than the QIA that I mentioned earlier. Who knows what will happen in the future but the trend as I see it is towards greater and greater understanding and recognition of labels, both inside and outside of the queer community, and towards a greater understanding and appreciation for the uniqueness that everyone brings to the table, regardless of label.