“I don’t label myself,” said actress and singer Raven-Symone on Oprah Winfrey’s Show

“I don’t label myself,” said actress and singer Raven-Symone on Oprah Winfrey’s Show

Raven explained that her tweet supporting gay marriage “I can finally get married! Yay government!” wasn’t really meant to be her coming out, but it certainly was to the rest of us.

Raven explained to Oprah: “That was my way of saying I’m proud of the country…but, I will say that I’m in an amazing relationship with my partner. A woman.”

Raven continued: “I don’t need a categorizing statement for it…I don’t want to be labeled ‘gay.’ I want to be labeled ‘a human who loves humans.’ I’m tired of being labeled. I’m an American. I’m not an African-American. I’m an American.”

I agree with Raven 100%, because I’m not such a big fan of labels myself. The LGBTQ acronym we’ve all come to know does its very best not to leave anyone out of the non-traditional sexual identity spectrum—but I wonder why labels even have to exist.

Shouldn’t we all work towards being viewed as ‘traditional’ and equal anyway?

Other than personal ads, why—when dealing with others—do we need labels? Yes, we use those letters to raise awareness, and for our continued fight for equality but, in general, isn’t who we are more important than who we love?

Besides, we just keep adding letters, like the recently added “Q” at the end of LGBTQ, which supposedly stands for either Queer or Questioning. What?! Now I’m even getting confused! Will there soon be an “R” for “Relatively Gay” or a “T” for “Turned on by gay but relatively questioning.” Oh, this can go on all night. I tell ya: I’m not “LGBTQ” I am “SATORL” (Sick And Tired Of Ridiculous Labels). I mean, am I a person or a freaking product?

As a human rights activist I have also seen discrimination and bullying based on ethnicity, religion, body type and different individuals—where those listed in the LGBTQ letters weren’t even involved. I just don’t see the sense in any kind of labels because it just shouldn’t matter. And in past history, labels were purposely used to categorize people, thus creating marginalization, exclusivity and separatism—not inclusiveness, solidarity, and unity within a society, a country, or a united world.

Lets face it: we should not be categorized by who we love but more by what our character shows—regardless of sexuality.

Like I tell my 6-year-old: “There are just plain mean people out there who will call anyone mean names—and maybe they weren’t properly loved or taught the right things growing up—so ignore them and go play with someone else who’s nice.” I give this same advice to my adult gay and straight friends.

I never liked labels and still resent filling out medical forms when they ask my marital status, ethnicity or weight unless it can be used strictly for statistical purposes to further the field of science—otherwise—it’s no ones business if I am married, who I marry, where I was born, what weight or ethnicity I am. Those darn labels!

And besides, from my experience, true discriminators don’t discriminate against just any one group. Everyone is fair game to them. A lousy person who has “issues” is going to be lousy to anyone who is in their nearest reach. Perhaps it’s the LGBTQ community one day and then some other easy target on another.

And, on the other hand, there are many inherently good straight people out there that see through all forms of bigotry and discrimination regardless of where they came from or what their religion or culture believes. They follow their own moral compass of inner truth and goodness–and rarely discriminate against anyone, especially those who are often targeted or persecuted like the LGBTQ community.

There’s still a large amount of the straight population who are simply confused and just need to be educated about the LGBT community to learn that we are just like everybody else.

The only difference is that we still have to overcome social barriers and discrimination that interfere with our hopes and dreams—and most importantly, our self-esteem. Especially our strong need and desire to be loved and accepted within our family, friends and society.

It looks like The Cosby Show raised their kids right! Hey, Raven: I have one label that I am proud to call you and that is my Sister! You go, girl! And good for you for coming out! And thank you for inspiring others in our community to be proud as well—and reject being labeled for anything other than the beautiful person that you and your fellow sisters and brothers truly are! Yes, that is SO RAVEN!