Every week, I try to digitally herd the cats that are the Offbeat Empire's editors into gossiping with me about our favorite comments across all the Empire blogs.
Here's this week's round-up of the comments that cracked us up and made us think, complete with long ramblings from me about identities vs. labels…
In our editorial video chat, Megan basically summed it up this way:
Yes, despite the fact that we might all look like Millenial & Gen X women, we're actually 12-year-old boys sniggering over favorite potty jokes. (True story: I laughed for a solid five minutes after my son told me "Mama, my tummy hurt, but then I took a man-sized poop and I felt better.")
Me: Ooooooh, shoe number three looks awesome, I can see myself wearing that for every fancy event.
Universe: I thwart your shoe desires! $672!
Universe: If it helps, there's $10 that you've forgotten about in your coat pocket.
Me: Are you trying to be mean or helpful, Universe?
And on the post about not hiding your disabilities on your wedding day, Amethyst dropped some awesome identity wisdom:
When people say that I shouldn't think of myself as disabled, I feel like they're saying "In order to feel good about yourself, you should deny a part of your reality. I view you positively because I'm denying a part of your reality." A disability is a measurable medical fact. It's not a source of self-pity or unempowerment for me. It's simply a fact about me, like the facts that I'm brunette, tall, and female.
Ooh, can we talk about identity issues here? This reminds me of my favorite comment thread on Offbeat Mama this week:
On this comment thread on our I am a transgender dad in a gay relationship who breastfeeds his baby boy post, Luz perfectly articulates something I've been trying to say for ages:
Ok, can we talk about this for a minute? I've been trying to articulate this point for several years, especially in my 2010 post, Let's talk about labels and self-identifying.
For me, learning about the cultural identities of my readers is the best part of my whole dang job. I LOVE hearing about the way people express their identities through the way they live their lives — that's basically what the whole Empire is all about. If you identify as a _____, what does your wedding look like? How do you reflect your _______-ness through your home and lifestyle? What does "family" mean to you as a _______? I LOVE THIS SHIT. These are my very favorite things to talk about.
I am obsessed with identities… and honestly, I get a little sad when people are like "why did we have to call out that this was a lesbian wedding?" Um, because these two women identified themselves as lesbians, submitted their post with "lesbian wedding" as the title, and appear to have had a LESBIAN WEDDING. I'm all for questioning assumptions, I'm also all for stepping back and allowing people to revel in their identities.
I totally recognize that some folks love shedding their labels like ill-fitting clothing, and that is awesome! "I'm just me," is a great identity. I love that, too! But please allow the others of us to celebrate identities and subcultures and wave our little flags all over the place. Labels aren't inherently bad. Applying them to people without their consent is definitely not good, but using words to describe yourself and your identity and your life can be awesome. Finding other people who share those labels is the sweetest stuff that community-building is made of. Honestly, when I'm meeting a new person, I loooove asking them what words they use to describe themselves. For some of us, there's a party in every identity. LET'S GET DOWN!