The Truth About Labels

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon

By Ali Smith

“Open-minded,” “liberal,” and “tree hugger” are labels I have always felt describe me, and words with which I’ve been proud to be associated. I do not recall ever making a conscious decision for acceptance to be a guiding value of mine; for as long as I can remember, I have always judged people on their actions and behaviors, not on their gender, race, sexual orientation, or gender identity. I have not placed a lot of importance on appearance (this is why I LOVE working in my pajamas from home – I just don’t care). Actions, behaviors, values, and kindness – this is what I care about and this is what I preach to my kids. 

A relative of mine recently came out, which was not a surprise to anyone. 

And then they announced their gender identity (label) as “non-binary”, and their pronouns as “he/they” (which was a surprise). I have tried very hard to...

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