Acknowledging and labeling our identity is a hot topic today.

Can you imagine a time when colour, religion and pronouns are no longer used as labels to identify people. A time when the term “ I came out “ is only found in the history books. A time when parades celebrate unity and not differences. A time when the many decides, not the few. A time when hate is considered unacceptably everywhere. A time when equality is the norm. A time when gatherings are for celebrating, not for protest. 

There is a growing need to divide into identifiable groups, to somehow grow acceptance into the whole. There is a need by others to use these identifiable groups to promote separation.

Why is there a need to know or to be known by what sex or absence of sex we are, who we have or don’t have sex with, what mental state we are in or what physical ability we have or don’t have, what religion we are or what colour our skin is, to identify who we are?

We all carry many labels, to identify who we are?

When I was born in 1962, I came with 10 fingers, 10 toes and one penis so they said I was a boy.

They gave me a name, they called me Blair.

My first day and already I had two labels.

I was born in Canada, so I’m Canadian.

My dad’s father is originally from Scotland. Now, a Scot too.

My mother’s dad is from Italy, so let’s add Italian.

Her mother is of canadian aboriginal heritage. Add Metis in the mix.

My parents divorced, Broken Home.

To young to understand grownup problems and not knowing how to deal with them, I left home, Run Away.

Both parents remarried, Son and Step Son.

I have four brothers, two are steps, Brother and Step Brother.


I lost a parent to suicide, Suicide Loss Survivor.

Growing up, I managed to get into some trouble at times, back then I was a Punk.

In my early teens I had a severe acne problem, I was Pickle Face and I was told I was Gay because I had acne.

I hurt my friend Mark, felt bad about that, his mom said I was Dangerous.

I liked to fight to win, before I figured out I didn’t like to hurt anyone, Scrapper.

I enjoyed alcohol a lot, alcoholic maybe, Addictive Personality most likely.

Clean for over thirty years, I LIKE that label.

Smoked a pack and a half a day and a lot grass, now Non Smoker.

In 2006 I was in a motor vehicle accident, both the paramedic and the police said I was Lucky, I shouldn’t have been able to walk away from it.

I have a knee that is failing, Physically Disabled.

I have nerve damage to my left hand, both legs and right side of my face, we call this Peripheral Neuropathy, fancy label.

I was electrocuted and injured my brain, in the emergency I was told I was Lucky.

My Lisa says I’m a Cat with Nine Lives.

The brain injury is called Traumatic Brain Injury, big label.

I am not able to track the amount of time that has passed, Dyschronometria, time perception.

With the brain injury I also have vision loss, Vision Impairment.

I have been diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder with anxious distress. Say that one five times fast, Mental Illness.

I deal with fatigue, dizziness, poor balance, headaches, pain, cognitive issues and memory loss daily, Challenges.

I have had girlfriends and have been married to My Lisa for over thirty years with no desires towards anyone or anything else, makes me Heterosexual I guess.

We adopted our first child so I’m an Adoptive Parent.

We attended a support group for couples having trouble conceiving children. We were greeted as Fertility Challenged.

We gave birth to a daughter almost five years later. All these years since, there have been no more babies for us so I guess we are Fertility Challenged again.

I have two children and a wife, so I’m a Father and Husband.

I have one child with autism, parent of Dependent With Disability.

I have one neurotypical child, makes me a Parent of two. Labels for our kids too.

I have always been over weight, makes me Fat.

When I finished growing I reached six foot one and half, I’m Big Guy.

Now I’m an Adult and a Man.

Recent struggles with my Brain Injury has forced the sale of our home, Defeated, Not Yet! A label not accepted.

I’m Alive, a Survivor, a Warrior.

I’m only one person with a lot of labels.

Do we really need to know who we have sex with, or what body parts we have or don’t have before we greet each other, so we don’t offend with the wrong greeting?

Should we wear tags stating how we wish to be greeted so that it doesn’t make us feel uncomfortable using the wrong term?

Even this Big Guy doesn’t have enough room on his fat chest for all his labels.

The labels that are given to us can hurt and can change who we really are.  The labels that we give ourselves can hurt more.  Maybe the only labels that count are the ones that identify the person we are, manipulator, bully, abuser, happy, caring, helpful, loving, a survivor. All I need to know is, Who You Are and all you need to know is, You Matter.

They called me Blair.

I’m Nobody! Who are you?

Emily Dickinson – 1830-1886

I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – too?
Then there’s a pair of us!
Dont tell! they’d advertise – you know!

How dreary – to be – Somebody!
How public – like a Frog –
To tell one’s name – the livelong June –
To an admiring Bog!

76 thoughts on “Labels

Add yours

  1. This was a great read and very interesting. Generally speaking I do not like labels but we are given them no matter what our background or personality. For me receiving a label when it came to an autism diagnosis was an emotional rollercoaster. It gave me a sense of acceptance that I finally understood why I felt the way I did. At the same time, for a long time I felt shame in the diagnosis as well. This was mainly down to the fact that I surrounded myself by the wrong people. Now i have accepted my diagnosis and who i am and embrace the label. I really enjoyed reading your post and look forward to reading more.

  2. I was recommended this blog by means of my cousin. I am
    not certain whether or not this put up is written by way of him as
    nobody else realize such certain about my difficulty.

    You’re amazing! Thank you!

  3. I’ve been labeled in my life- sometimes good and sometimes bad. I think it’s best to live our own truth and not worry about others perceptions of us.

  4. I’ve never been a fan of labels. I’m me – I choose not to label myself as anything beyond that, or to acknowledge the labels placed on me by society. I’m happy with me, and that’s all that really matters in my world 🙂

  5. Such a great post to read. We all should know how to handle label. I wear mine with proud.

  6. I think there is a big difference between asking to be equally recognized and being labeled. I don’t think an increased awareness and a boost in empathy is ever a bad thing.

  7. I think there is a big difference between asking to be equally recognized and being labeled. I don’t think an increased awareness and a boost in empathy is ever a bad thing.

  8. I absolutely love how open and honest this post. Thanks so much for sharing some things about you!

  9. I think everyone wants to label everyone else. Maybe because it is a societal norm or maybe because it makes us feel better personally. I agree there are too many labels to put on ourselves and others. Perhaps we should just stick to all being humans.

  10. WOw! That’s a LOT of labels, and very thought provoking post, thank you!! I’ve never sat down to list my labels, but now I’m curious! Twin mom and mom blogger are the two that come to mind first, but i’m sure there are 100 more that I could come up with haha!

  11. I struggled when writing this post. I didn't want to come across as insensitive to those that struggle with their identity, while staying true to my own. I hope that what comes across is that we are who we are and a label isn't going to change that. Although being accepted by others may feel good, it isn't going to change who we are if they don't, wearing a label isn't going to change that.Be true to you, the Hell with the rest.

  12. You’re right, it is a hot topic and one I have always struggled with. When you have all these labels attached to you it’s easy to lose your own sense of identty. Suddenly you’re in this box and you are all these labels, not who you really are. I had the hardest time breaking away from all the labels and it is something I try to be very aware of to not fall into a box again

  13. You are amazing and truly an inspiration. This is a great post to ponder. I enjoy reading. It shows how we are being formed in our daily living.

  14. Its a great idea to write a blog to document your life after a memory loss. Seems like you've been through a lot,but that you are still pushing through and using your words to inspire others. Keep up the good work!

  15. No matter what label one gets to have. The fact remains we will always be true to who we are… US and nothing else. I love this as it wakes alot in us all as to our true identity to the world today.

  16. I love this! At first I didn't know where this post was going to go, but I totally got it by the end. You have been through a lot, but you should consider yourself very successful with what you have achieved.

  17. In my humble opinion LABELS do not mean a thing. I go by what the person is like NOW–not what he was before. Hello Blair–nice to make your acquaintance!

  18. What a wonderful and poignant post! It is reflects the current society well. We really have been bogged down with all the labels that have been shoved at us. Let's hope for a world where everyone is more concerned with being a better human being and less with their 'public image'

  19. Very interesting read. I do not believe in labels but we live in a world where unfortunately they became standards and people think it is normal to label others when its not. Thank you.

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