Labels Are For Humans, Too

Christopher Kelly
Oct 30 · 3 min read
Image for post
Image for post
Finding yourself. Image: Domingo Alvarez via Unsplash

You’ve heard the saying… “Labels are for clothes, not for humans.” As if we don’t require categorisation. But I somewhat disagree because, without categorisation, how do we fit into this wide and wavering world? It’d just be a cliche sea of plain white clothes, mingling without any navigational points.

You see, we require labels, not just to shape our own identity, but to showcase to the world who we really are. This is how we fit in, by standing out amongst the crowd with a mix of vibrant, punching labels.

I’m a gay man, Scorpio’s my star sign, I’m an avid gamer, I live in Sydney, Australia, and — if you must know — I am actually a tea drinker.

With that whole sentence, you have a plethora of topical ideas that we could discuss. Perhaps there is something we share in common. Perhaps not. Either way, it’s much better than saying “oh, actually, I don’t like labels.”

And no, this is not a dig at people who are non-binary or pansexual or prefer polyamory, because they are also labels too. You know where they stand. On top of this, they are also offering other people who don’t know where they stand an opportunity to find out.

You never know, you might enjoy a spot of tea…

To be honest, this a statement for people who refuse to label themselves. And look, I can understand if you fear the stereotypes, but people are going to fit you into a metaphorical box even if you don’t label yourself. So you might as well label yourself, let the small-minded twats have their fun, and learn to overlook them while finding people who actually understand you.

C’est la vie, hunnibunch…

Of course, labels are just labels

Image: Sneha Chekuri on Unsplash

You cannot manufacture a full picture of a person with just one label. Every gay man is different, every polyamorous person is different, and, yes, every tea drinker is different. You’re gonna need a couple more labels to form something coherent. What music do they like? Are they Hindu? Do they have a thing for Liam Hemsworth?

But, even then, knowing a person’s likes and dislikes won’t form a complete picture, either.

If you really want to know someone, take them out for dinner. That way you can gauge how they interact in the world. Word of advice: If they are rude to the waitstaff, ditch them!

Accept Your Labels, But Don’t Abide By Them

I have to admit that when I was younger, I actually thought all gay men were camp. It didn’t bother me because I already knew I was part of that mould. I was camp long before I knew I loved naked men. But as I grew older, I realised that being a gay man simply meant you liked cock. It had no bearing on personality.

Since then, I’ve developed a wide and wavering personality. Yes, I have a fondness for Broadway musicals, but then I also enjoy listening to Eminem. I also swear like a crass bogan, and I mince when I when I walk because it pisses the right people off.

Labels only you tell you what a person is, not who a person should be.

So, while labels are important for the human race — to help categorise the wide and wavering world — they are merely just labels in the end. Just like labels on clothing, they can only tell you the basics.

I mean, you never really know if those shoes are truly yours until you put them on.

An Injustice!

A new intersectional publication, geared towards voices…

Sign up for An Injustice! Monthly Take on X

By An Injustice!

A monthly newsletter detailing current announcements, news and our take on some pressing issues!  Take a look

By signing up, you will create a Medium account if you don’t already have one. Review our Privacy Policy for more information about our privacy practices.

Check your inbox
Medium sent you an email at to complete your subscription.

Christopher Kelly

Written by

Setting the record straight on sexuality and being your most authentic self.

An Injustice!

A new intersectional publication, geared towards voices, values, and identities!

Christopher Kelly

Written by

Setting the record straight on sexuality and being your most authentic self.

An Injustice!

A new intersectional publication, geared towards voices, values, and identities!

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store