I do lots of interviews. And one interview I did yesterday has really got me thinking. Like most interviews, they open you up and invite you to share in the moment. For me, each moment is new, and whatever I’ve recently learned or awakened to will likely influence my answer anew. Some interviewers are drudgingly reading a fact sheet hoping I’ll expand upon it. Others want to know WHY I did something, which for me is always the most challenging question. It’s also common for one conversation to transform my opinion on a subject altogether giving me new insights. It is in part thanks to interviews that I journey inward to see how I really feel about an issue as certain questions generate answers I didn’t know were inside of me. In all conversations we get to speak and hear our own thoughts manifest as word, building our world around us through language, adapting and evolving literally as we speak, and seeing what it is we’re currently made of.
In yesterday’s interview with a gay magazine, I was asked my opinion on whether or not label’s are important. Labels as in lesbian, gay, bi, transgender, etc… I don’t think labels are important I said. And I believe they aren’t. Yet, the magazine I was speaking to uses the very same labels in question to draw attention to LGBT issues and culture, creating an invitation for people with those interests to visit and read; which in that case, the label is very helpful.
So what is it about labels that are in question? I had more time to think about it after I hung up the phone.
I reverted back to high school; the battlefield in word warfare, where I heard all kinds of nastiness about all kinds of people. You brush it off if you can because name-calling is commonplace; but you pray you never end up alone with any of the name callers, as I did in 12th grade, the year I finally got my ass kicked after 4 years of shit stained anticipation.
In those suspenseful years I heard racism, sexism, species-ism, slander, insults, and all kinds accusations against every kind of person in school regardless of brains or ability. These awful things were said by kids and adults alike and they aren’t exclusive to where I grew up. I’ve lived many places since then, and I heard bigoted labels dropped everywhere.
I realize now it isn’t so much the derogatory name itself that does the harm, but the isolation and separateness that one experiences in being classified as less than. The words “go away” can be just as painful as “you’re a fag” depending on the meaning we attach to it.
In our short lives, we strive to find meaning here, and we long to be loved and accepted while we’re at it. Therefore, anyone calling us anything other than brother, bro, friend or amigo, is literally cutting us down, sending us to a place of fear, sorrow, and displacement where some might feel they even need to fight back.
It is because of separateness that I think labels should only be used for food and health products and/or recording artists.
I can understand having a label that describes your job, or your practices, or even your astrological sign, but anything related to your natural-born divine Self – such as age, race, gender, sexual preference, lefty or righty, etc – should be excluded and considered irrelevant.
Remember those signs “you must be at least this tall to ride?” Imagine living a life where those signs were on everything. Men only. Whites only. Christians only. Muslims only. Marriage is Man & Woman only.
Yuck. All those signs once existed. And some still do.
You get the picture.
Labels separate us; and in that they keep us in fear – afraid that someday we could be called a name too, or disliked, or not accepted, and/or treated unfairly.
In some countries, having a certain label attached to you can get you killed.
Labels are a part of the force that is of human’s great waste of energy program. Rather than bravely letting go, accepting all as it is, and falling into love on the path of least resistance, our labels are a weird effort to try and control the planet and classify things again and again… Is this black or is this white? It’s neither. It’s moot. We’re all equal parts of that One massive cosmic organism to begin (and end) with.
Where do I begin and end? To be or not to be. That is the question.
I do lots of interviews, and I’m starting to wonder if I might someday explain myself away in all this talk rather than simply be. I show up and do the interviews because I’m invited and because I said I would! I enjoy being with people and I especially enjoy singing my songs and sharing my hobbies and general interests and so on. It’s that simple. And I can see that might show up to some as just a rolling ticker tape of opinions, loose talk, broken promises, or even idiocracy; especially when one changes one’s opinion or posture. People don’t like my hair. Some people don’t like my choices or my actions or my attitudes. Some people don’t agree with my philosophies or my mannerisms. And that’s fine. I know I’m not final. My opinion is a fluctuating sum of thoughts floating somewhere in the lower third of 7 billion. And that’s just the humans.
I heard an interesting thought today that suggested every organism thinks it’s human. Implying everything is having its own experience as if It is the center of the universe. and in essence, each IS the very center.
BTW, I would like to clear something up about my friend, the talented Ms Tristan Prettyman, with whom I stood beside in protest against the inequality of Proposition 8. She is still very much a stand for equality even though our engagement (and protest) was called off. That wasn’t made clear in a recent article published in Instinct Magazine. I have since apologized to her for how my words landed in that interview. And I apologize to you too in case you were misled or disrespected by any of my comments. My decision to leave that partnership was personal to me, and I never should have connected our break-up to the frustration we experienced in the protest. TP continues to inspire me to look deeply at my life in effort to improve it and enjoy it. I love and respect her dearly and am truly grateful for her unconditional love and forgiveness. Thank you friend. And thank YOU friend.
I’ve revealed as many mistakes as I have victories, spending much of the last 10 years sharing lyrics, blogs, and my answers to the ordinary questions in life. And it isn’t easy being judged, labeled, criticized, or even applauded at times, because life moves so fast. An awkward moment is over before you can fix it, just as a grand moment is over before you can retire in it.
This life, this infinite moment, this WTF and holy shit is a series of beautiful accidents, far out explosions and small victories that led us to this divine expression of what we call whatever we call this. and who knows where we’re going, or how many of us will be hurt or die along the way.
Oh wait, all of us will get hurt and all of us will die. Never mind.
Therefore, let’s take down the signs and let everyone enjoy the ride.