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Old January 13th, 2013 (10:46 AM).
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Esper Esper is offline
bravest warrior
Silver Tier
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: California
Posts: 9,685
I think labels are a double-edged sword. Like what BlueShellBeast said, you get that ability to quickly understand a lot of things and feel like you're not alone. But I think you also risk pigeonholing yourself, risk identifying too quickly with something in a rush to feel like you belong to a group. I wouldn't blame anyone for that, I've done it myself, but I would worry it would lead to trouble later after someone's had a chance to cool down.

Let me use myself as an example. I grew up figuring I was a normal straight boy because that's all there was. Nevermind that I would pretend to put on makeup, play with dolls, and secretly try on clothes of my family members. I also played with toy soldiers and did other boyish things like have crushes on girls. In high school I also had a crush on a boy, which caused me no end of confusion, and wore a dress to school once, but I was still just a straight guy. You know, a non-judgmental and open-minded guy. Except by the time I was done with high school I really didn't feel like I was a guy at all. I felt like I was really a girl and slowly I came to terms with that, with being actually a girl, after speaking with people, especially trans people, reading and reflecting a lot. I was trans, but I wasn't "typical" trans. I didn't want to go through surgery and was okay keeping those parts down there. You know, a little intersexed. But I kept with the belief that I was a girl, a trans girl. For a while I wouldn't let myself do or feel things that were too masculine and I rationalized a lot of behavior and feelings. Now we've come to where I am right now and I feel like at this moment I'm really more genderqueer than anything. Some days I really want to be girly, wear dresses, put on makeup, paint my nails, and some days I'd rather be a slob and play video games all afternoon. (And yeah, I know that plenty of girls never wear makeup and play tons of games.)

tl;dr I feel like I've jumped to identify myself too quickly in the past because I found a word, and identity, that really appealed to me in the moment.