Tuesday, April 24, 2012

By Any Other Name

I do not like Romeo and Juliet. Sorry guys, I just don’t. Shakespeare making up words is basically the bomb, but Romeo and Juliet is not my favorite play of all time. Actually, I don’t think I have an all-time favorite play; there are some really good options to pull from. The old Greek ones are great, and then there’s new stuff like A Number and Los Vendidos and Samuel Beckett is pretty awesome. But anyway, I digress.

I do like that line from Romeo and Juliet, “A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet.” So poetical and such, but I’m not sure I buy it. I mean yeah, a thing is what it is, but it also is what it is called, and how do you separate out the two completely? I don’t think you can. A supposition that I am rather displeased with, given my aversion to labels and boxes.

Which brings me to my main point, not that it’s original or overly creative or even frustrations that I haven’t voiced before, but it’s what I’m thinking: Why do we have to have all these stupid classifications for what we are? Like anything, gender, orientation, handedness, political views; I don’t know, all those limiting ways to call people. I don’t want to be a short, right-handed, nearsighted, introverted, Mormon, white kid; I want to be Bailey. If you care, get to know me as a person and then figure out what you think. But I don’t want to have to package myself up into different categories for easy filing.

Also, in response to the many requests (cough cough Dupree) for updates on the girl I brought up a couple of posts back: Things are going good but I don’t think it’s fair to say anything specific without her permission to do so, which I know is a lame cop-out non-answer, but it is what it is.


  1. Well... That's embarrassing.
    So question: Is Bailey a pseudonym? Because I thought it was... which lead me to believe you were someone else which lead to other junk...
    Anyway I hope everything works out well for you. :p
    And I totally agree with the name thing. I was just talking about it with my family. I don't know what label I am, I'm just Dupree. Same person I've been my entire life.

    1. I don't think I follow you... What's embarrassing?
      Bailey is indeed a pseudonym. Cool pick, eh? ;)
      I agree on the name thing. Which is good because I brought it up in the first place. You can change though, you know. I mean, yeah you're you and everything, but you don't have to stay stagnant your whole life. That's what I'm working on figuring out, sort of.

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  2. I've actually been thinking about this a lot lately; at least the boxes and label aspect of things. Also, "Romeo and Juliet" isn't my favorite play but I do like the line you quoted.

    For me, it takes a different meaning. When I hear "A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet," I think that no matter what label anyone else puts on ME, I am still me.

    As I have started coming out to more people in my life and as I prepare to tell my parents in the next week or two, I am confident that whatever anyone else decides to categorize me as, I am still me.

    When I tell someone I'm gay, I'm still me. I'm still the 'flower' they've always known, I just may be a bright orange Coreopsis rather than a Rose. I'm still beautiful, I'm still as sweet, and I still douse myself in cologne so hopefully I still smell good.

    I understand my experience and interpretation is vastly different than yours and I appreciate your open candor. Ultimately, I'm just glad you're with us. Thank you for being you, for sharing your thoughts and experiences, and for being willing to open up to all of us!

  3. I really hate labels, but I understand why we are so obsessed with them. We like to make sense of things. We like to be able to put things in cute little boxes and know exactly what they are and what they do (just go to the grocery store....). But I think labels are harmful when you apply them to people because there are so many "expectations" that come with labels. If I have the label "musician," it means I play music regularly, attend concerts and jams and, and, and.... If I have the "gay" label, people will automatically assume things about me even though they know nothing about me.

    I want to live label-free. I try not to label myself because I feel that labels are restricting. I want to be whatever I am, and that is always changing. I'll never be able to keep others from sticking me into boxes with labels in an effort to make sense of me, but sometimes I dream about a world without labels, where everyone is allowed to be whatever they are, and to change that something when they feel the need.

  4. Okay, I'm curious since you've said you're representing the T in LGBT. So, does that mean that you feel you fit with one label and not another--like you're a boy by society but feel like you're a girl (or the other way around)? And in that sense is the problem with labels exactly?

    I have issues with the rose by any other name would still smell as sweet bit because not all roses smell sweet--most of them these days smell like generic flower shops. In terms of food, clothes, etc it is helpful to have labels--something to distinguish one product from another. So what's in a name? You're Bailey and I'm Ry. There are at least a dozen (although probably many many more) by the same two names. So are we different from all the rest? Every rose is still a rose, but it also has unique features of its own. No rose is the same--not even the ones on the same rose bush.

    Even as we get to know people we categorize them. We see their dislikes, their likes, their tastes in clothes and food. So what are we looking to change about labels? Why do we find them so limiting?