Allowing yourself to be defined...

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    Dec 08, 2008 9:33 AM GMT
    Everyday I make a conscious effort to be true to me and not allow myself to be labeled. There are so many labels out there and I just shake my head when I see somebody who allows a label to define who they are. Gay for instance. I can never wrap my mind around why people make it a point to announce that they are gay. Sure it's a lifestyle I guess but really who cares? Same thing goes for other labels such as black, Muslim, republican, Steelers fan, Soldier... I'm in the military and I know many people who would be lost in this world if it weren't for the military telling them who they are. Does anybody else know what I'm talking about? Do you know people who allow themselves to be defined by a label? Am I the only one who frowns at people who define themselves with a label?
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    Dec 08, 2008 2:24 PM GMT
    As a 48-year-old... oh wait...

    As a gay man whose age doesn't matter... oh wait...

    As a Midwestern man of certain age and arbitrary sexual identity... oh wait ...

    As a normal guy of certain age from a bunch of meaningless places whose sexual identity is so not a part of... oh wait...

    As a guy who is neither normal or abnormal, from various meaningless places with indeterminate and irrelevant sexual identity, age, background, desires, experiences, all of which have no bearing on who I am, in my quest to remain real and true to myself, which cannot be defined because the mere act of defining who I am lowers me to all those others who identify with labels, whereas I remain true and pure in the noblest...

    Gee. I guess you ARE the only one who doesn't define themselves with a label.

    Being "real" is so hard.
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    Dec 08, 2008 2:25 PM GMT
    I hate to be put into a box...
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    Dec 08, 2008 2:26 PM GMT
    SAHEM62896 saidI hate to be put into a box...


    Even if it had a comfy chair and some snacks?
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    Dec 08, 2008 2:26 PM GMT
    iguanaSF said
    SAHEM62896 saidI hate to be put into a box...


    Even if it had a comfy chair and some snacks?


    haha... very cute. icon_rolleyes.gif
    You know what I mean.
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    Dec 08, 2008 2:41 PM GMT
    Alright, I think I'm being too ironic for the crowd lately.

    I'll be explicit:

    Being "real" and "true to yourself" is almost always more of a pose than being "gay" or "Christian" or "Republican."

    "Mavericks" don't say they are mavericks.

    People who are "real" don't go around saying they are "real" or even worse, complaining about everyone else who isn't.

    To be truly "real" is to be comfortable with everything you are. Fem guys who love their glitter and makeup and who are out there for everyone to see are almost always "more real" than guys that bitch about "all these other queeny guys who let being gay define who they are."

    If you are really comfortable with who you are, you'd never feel the need to trash others for not being as "real" as you. Doing that only betrays your own obvious insecurities.
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    Dec 08, 2008 2:45 PM GMT
    Look, this is insulting to people like me, who desperately wish to be put in boxes and have a hard time finding people who are into this. If you don't like boxes then that is just fine. However, I really don't see why you need to go and piss all over the box thing for everyone. Nothing is worse than a soggy, piss soaked, box - and it is a waste of perfectly good piss too.



    SAHEM62896 saidI hate to be put into a box...
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    Dec 08, 2008 2:46 PM GMT
    What about dork? How do you feel about that as a label? Bet I'm not the first to say it either.

    slapaho18 saidEveryday I make a conscious effort to be true to me and not allow myself to be labeled. There are so many labels out there and I just shake my head when I see somebody who allows a label to define who they are. Gay for instance. I can never wrap my mind around why people make it a point to announce that they are gay. Sure it's a lifestyle I guess but really who cares? Same thing goes for other labels such as black, Muslim, republican, Steelers fan, Soldier... I'm in the military and I know many people who would be lost in this world if it weren't for the military telling them who they are. Does anybody else know what I'm talking about? Do you know people who allow themselves to be defined by a label? Am I the only one who frowns at people who define themselves with a label?
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    Dec 08, 2008 3:01 PM GMT


    slapaho said,

    "Gay for instance. I can never wrap my mind around why people make it a point to announce that they are gay. Sure it's a lifestyle I guess but really who cares?"

    Gay is a lifestyle? Lifestyles can be changed, being gay isn't optional or a choice. Like saying being tall is a lifestyle...

    My sister is straight. Is that a label? Is it a lifestyle? She's also female, which is neither a choice nor a lifestyle.

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    Dec 08, 2008 3:14 PM GMT
    Labels are merely adjectives. Adjectives describe in order for understanding and fuller knowledge to occur. Without adjectives/labels, one would never be understood or known. Gay is an adjective specific to your/our sexuality, although in connotations and context it can mean other things, including the adaptation of certain world views and life styles choices. Adjectives can have other adjectives, and ooo, adverbs, to better qualify them into clearer meaning.

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    Dec 08, 2008 3:16 PM GMT
    iguanaSF saidAlright, I think I'm being too ironic for the crowd lately.

    I'll be explicit:

    Being "real" and "true to yourself" is almost always more of a pose than being "gay" or "Christian" or "Republican."

    "Mavericks" don't say they are mavericks.

    People who are "real" don't go around saying they are "real" or even worse, complaining about everyone else who isn't.

    To be truly "real" is to be comfortable with everything you are. Fem guys who love their glitter and makeup and who are out there for everyone to see are almost always "more real" than guys that bitch about "all these other queeny guys who let being gay define who they are."

    If you are really comfortable with who you are, you'd never feel the need to trash others for not being as "real" as you. Doing that only betrays your own obvious insecurities.


    I just woke up to say... A-fucking-men!

    Saying you're gay isn't restricting you if it's what you are. It's just like saying I'm Asian, that doesn't automatically make me a buddhist or a Martial Arts expert, but I'd still be Asian. If I said Asian was only a label, should I go around introducing myself as an Earthling?

    Making excuses to call yourself some other thing just because you think you're special enough, isn't being 'real'. It's being pretentious and exclusive. And as Kurt said, it betrays your own insecurities all too well. Sure a lot of us are bothered by the way media portrays gays as evil little fey creatures, does that mean we should abandon ship on that 'label' and do what the g0ys did?

    The only evil 'labels' has on the world is that people make MORE labels just to avoid one label which has accumulated one negative connotation too many. And pretty soon everybody has their own special label. And it seems like the new label nowadays is the 'unlabeled' variety. It's what the kewl kids do.

    The boundaries of labels are illusory. We all know that. A man who calls himself gay isn't required to wear pink or have a lisp. A man who calls himself gay isn't forbidden to have sex or fall in love with women. Those boundaries are determined by you. So why blame it on labels when it's you who does the choosing?

    Is it really more 'real' to say 'I find greater emotional and sexual satisfaction in the company of males of the human species in comparison to females' than simply saying 'I'm gay'?

    The truth is people who don't like calling themselves gay are simply afraid of the rejection this automatically brings in certain circles (bisexuals, asexuals, lesbians, and cats excluded of course icon_cool.gif )

    A gay man who can say 'I'm Gay' without being followed immediately by 'but I'm not fem, I hate the scene, I hate pink, I drink beer with all my straight friends, etc.' deserves a lot more respect in my opinion. Sure we all do that, especially guys from here (I for one admit to all those above), but it's irrelevant to being gay, so why should you have to somehow apologize for being Gay by listing all the manly things we do? Is that being 'real' or is that being 'insecure'?

    It's not the clothes that matter, it's how you wear them.

    Kurt never ceases to amaze with these wonderfully wrought nuggets of wisdom that leaves kiddies like me reeling in adoration! LOL *goes starry eyed*
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    Dec 08, 2008 3:17 PM GMT
    ursamajor saidLook, this is insulting to people like me, who desperately wish to be put in boxes and have a hard time finding people who are into this. If you don't like boxes then that is just fine. However, I really don't see why you need to go and piss all over the box thing for everyone. Nothing is worse than a soggy, piss soaked, box - and it is a waste of perfectly good piss too.


    Shame on me for opening my trap.
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    Dec 08, 2008 3:22 PM GMT


    Sedative said,

    "A man who calls himself gay isn't forbidden to have sex or fall in love with women." ....so.....if he can do that he's not gay.
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    Dec 08, 2008 3:25 PM GMT
    To be fair. Labels do restrict though. If you feel like it doesn't fit you anymore then get a new one. icon_razz.gif Only if it really fits. Rarely do people fall outside labels, and even then they can simply be put into another box labeled 'weird'. LOL

    But simply avoiding being called one label in favor of a bigger, vaguer label isn't exactly being 'real', it's being evasive.
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    Dec 08, 2008 3:32 PM GMT
    I don't give much thought to it all these days, honestly. I try to let my actions define my life, rather than definitions dictate my actions. Unless Kurtsytoons is around. Then I let him define me in any way he wants, so long as I gets me a free cookie out of it.

    I get where the OP is coming from, though. When I first was coming to terms with being gay, I was determined not to let being gay define my whole life. These days it still really doesn't, but its not so much a conscious decision to place myself into the 'I'm gay but I don't have to make it who I am' box (which -- lo and behold-- is yet another box). Now I just kinda hop-scotch along randomly, squishing soggy boxes left and right. And I will continue hoping I never squish ursa's box.
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    Dec 08, 2008 3:42 PM GMT
    meninlove said

    Sedative said,

    "A man who calls himself gay isn't forbidden to have sex or fall in love with women." ....so.....if he can do that he's not gay.


    Of course. THEN he can call himself Bi or Straight or whatever. If EVER it happens that is.

    The point is, accusing labels of 'restricting' your choices is absurd. Only you control what you do and what you don't, what you like and what you don't like. Labeling yourself 'OogaBoo' isn't gonna make you any less gayer than you are. icon_razz.gif

    *munches contentedly on the complementary cookie all Kurtsytoonites get*
    *Goes back to sleep*
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    Dec 08, 2008 3:42 PM GMT
    well i guess it makes it easier for people to label others, it's easier to relate i think. I actually don't mind it if people realize it's just one label and you can have plenty of others at the same time, a bit like things that have the 10% extra
    label, plus a 2 for 1 offer, and the actual price tag, and the barcode...icon_biggrin.gif
    does that make sense?
    look at all the profiles on here, you gotta be either slim, average, ripped...
    you gotta say single, open relationship...looking for buddy, hookup...

    And even in the free text part, you pretty much always end up saying that you're laid back, masculine, down to earth and that you want meet chilled guys
    icon_smile.gif I think it is sort of reassuring for people to be able to categorize others, and also get categorized and get the feeling you belong to a group...

    oops i think my brain has overheated again here icon_redface.gif
  • CuriousJockAZ

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    Dec 08, 2008 3:44 PM GMT
    I can't be defined because I reserve the right to change my mind on a dime
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    Dec 08, 2008 3:45 PM GMT
    RunintheCity saidLabels are merely adjectives. Adjectives describe in order for understanding and fuller knowledge to occur. Without adjectives/labels, one would never be understood or known. Gay is an adjective specific to your/our sexuality, although in connotations and context it can mean other things, including the adaptation of certain world views and life styles choices. Adjectives can have other adjectives, and ooo, adverbs, to better qualify them into clearer meaning.




    lol agreed. labels only become dangerous when taken into the arena of stereotypes. but descriptives are hardly an insult. if you're black, where's the shame in someone pointing it out? if you play two sports and wear an excess of Abercrombie- well you'd be a jock, wouldn't you? doesn't really mean anything- no secret, hidden implications- its just true. i really get annoyed by the over-sensitivity that political correctness has spawned in our culture. sometimes i hear people dancing such complicated, contorted word games to get around using certain words, it makes me want to cringe and laugh at the same time.

    buck up people- we all label, if only in our minds. humans are good at many things, but at the heart of it is our ability to order and organize and label the world around us- the TRUE meaning of the Eden story in genesis (naming everything). if you don't want a certain label, then don't be that thing. but don't be incensed that people don't see you as some blurry blank canvas with no distinguishing features, or some unique never-before-seen creature unlike anything prior experience could inform one of.
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    Dec 08, 2008 3:49 PM GMT
    Sebastien saidoops i think my brain has overheated again here icon_redface.gif


    * splashes cold water on Sebastien in an emergency "chill" operation *

    * tosses complimentary cookies to everyone *

    * flounces off, Blahniks clicking fabulously *
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    Dec 08, 2008 3:57 PM GMT
    Shut up you asian brainiac you. I have had just about enough of your intelligent and considered opinions.

    Sedative saidTo be fair. Labels do restrict though. If you feel like it doesn't fit you anymore then get a new one. icon_razz.gif Only if it really fits. Rarely do people fall outside labels, and even then they can simply be put into another box labeled 'weird'. LOL

    But simply avoiding being called one label in favor of a bigger, vaguer label isn't exactly being 'real', it's being evasive.
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    Dec 08, 2008 4:04 PM GMT
    *me crams Terry into the box labeled 'Bear' and locks it, duct tapes it, and sends it a-floating down the nile*

    icon_twisted.gif
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    Dec 08, 2008 4:06 PM GMT
    listen you all-knowing blue-tinted Pinoy fucktard - which way to that box?
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    Dec 08, 2008 4:07 PM GMT
    Somethings we are born, and somethings we become. And what we dwell upon, and emphasize to others about ourselves, is a choice.

    I make no apologies for deliberately stressing certain things about myself. Being former military is a big one, because I still structure my thinking & life along military terms. I try to think logically, remain mission oriented, favor group goals over my own personal agenda & needs, have Spartan tastes, hate failure, and never give up.

    But then I'm also gay, a world I've come to love since coming out. Having denied myself for far too long, I've consciously chosen to live gay for the rest of my life. I know all about the straight world: been there, done that. So now it's all gay for me, and I make my orientation very much a part of who I am today. Not everyone needs to do that, but I want to.

    I'm also a motorcyclist, and an outdoors person, subscribe to all those magazines, do all that stuff. I like physical challenges, if only because I've never been a natural jock, a runty little guy. I get secret satisfaction from going "above & beyond" what people think I can do, and surpassing the guys everyone assumed would do better.

    More recently I've become the old guy, a role I'd rather not accept. But there's no arguing with numbers, so I flaunt it like a badge of honor, since turning the clock back is not an option.

    A motto I've developed is "Thrive wherever you're planted." That came of necessity with my many Army reassignments over 25 years. And it can refer to place, situation, age, health, job, virtually any condition in which we find ourselves.

    And sometimes that leads to a need to define yourself, if only to yourself and no one else, to help solve the challenges before you. And whether you project that definition to the rest of the world really doesn't concern me, unless, of course, you fail to do it with good taste & style. LOL!!!
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    Dec 08, 2008 4:29 PM GMT


    Terry's box would have to be a tesseract, for his four-dimensional sexuality.