It’s pretty obvious that I am a fan of labels, of categories and of organising things properly so they are more easily understood and remembered. My studies have reflected that bias towards labels and producing mental shapes, having contours for invisible and immeasurable things, and my reactions towards people criticising this view only reinforced it.
I get really defensive when people talk about words as if they had no meaning or no other purpose than to be annoying to them. I identify as Neutrois, and it takes up a whole lot of my life, it is a part of me and how I think, how I feel, how I express myself, how I make choices…. . And that’s just a label.
I am/was often asked why I don’t want to be a woman, why I don’t identify as a man, since both of these options are freely available to me, I have oh so much freedom to choose who I want to be. But it can also be asked, why do you want to be a woman, why do you identify as a man, have you ever thought about that? They often reply that it’s just natural, they don’t need to question where they are coming from. Is it not a label, because they don’t realise it is just as much a label as mine? It’s just as important to their identity as mine is to my identity. If I called my female-identified colleagues Steve, and bro and treated them like they were male, I doubt that they would like that, so why on earth do people think they have the authority to decide on what my label is and how I should be treated.
It’s like forcing your favourite food on someone who is allergic to it, only because you like it, and then being insulted when they don’t.
I have many labels; they don’t solely define me but they exist for a reason. They are a communication device, a tool to figure out my likes and dislikes and something that sets me apart from other individuals as an individual. It makes room for more indivdualised existence, for more difference, but this difference is not alienating, only how people resond to it out of ignorance is. It’s not inherently bad, but often difficult to have an unrecognized label, not because the label is faulty, but because society faults you for it. It’s like being with colourblind people who keep telling you a colour does not exist because they themselves can’t see it, and you know it exists and it is beautiful.
It’s like having extrasensory perception.
So I’ll continue to have labels and recognise tham as such. They can evolve and be discarded over time, or be stuck with forever, it’s up to the person labelling themselves how and for how long they will stick to their label, just like in a relationship.
So, when you hear the word Neutrois, know that it is a label, used by me for myself and for reasons that are important to me.