OCT. 17, 2014 –– Raven-Symoné doesn’t want to be labeled. She isn’t bisexual, lesbian, gay, queer, or African-American. She’s just Raven.
Symoné re-entered the news after being interviewed by Oprah Winfrey, commenting she was tired of being placed in a category to describe her sexuality.
“I don’t need language,” Symoné said. “I want to be labeled as a human who loves humans.”
Her thoughts can certainly resonate here at Pacific Lutheran University. Last year, the project “My Language, My Choice” pioneered individual responsibility by highlighting the impact one can have with language used toward others. The message was clear. Words can hurt, language matters and opening dialogue is vital to making communities more inclusive.
As individuals, we shouldn’t have a right to make labels for others. We shouldn’t get to categorize anyone. We shouldn’t ask “what are you?” or tell people how “gay” they’re allowed to be. Our perception of modern stereotypes doesn’t give us any authority to decide for others who they’re supposed to be or how they’re supposed to act.