For years now, I’ve rejected any, and nearly every label. I find them restricting and exclusive. I think they put people in boxes and separates us all into an “us” vs. “them” mentality. Personally, I grew up resenting these labels because I never fit any category. I never fit in and I never found anyone like me.
I’m white but not. I’m fat but not. I’m disabled but not. I tick every minority box and every privilege box. I am a bit of everything and also not actually anything.
Growing up in Hong Kong, I was born in a British colony where I watched it evolve back into China as it was handed back. My classes were filled with people from all over the world and race was never a conversation.
Until I came to London, and it became every conversation.
“You speak English well for a Chinese person” – English is my first and only language.
“Ew do you eat dog?” – No but I do eat jellyfish, chicken feet and snake soup.
Then I would come back to Hong Kong and I would be asked where I was from and people would laugh when I would try to say my address in Chinese.
How I was, was never good enough. And it’s always about what you look like:
You don’t look white, you don’t look Asian, you don’t look sick, you don’t look healthy.
Throughout secondary school, I had every label pushed upon me – dyslexic, dyspraxic, mentally impaired, physically impaired and eventually PTSD.
I hated these labels too. I was so preoccupied with whether I qualified for each label and I endlessly worried about list of symptoms that hadn’t yet set in. They would tell me that I should feel comfort because I’m not the only one but to be frank, someone else’s pain didn’t help mine. The knowledge that I would have this my whole life didn’t lead to acceptance but instead rebellion.
Then there’s the whole fat thing. Depending on which part of the world I am in, I am considered chubby, fat or morbidly obese or as this woman on twitter said last night “not even that fat”. So if you’ve never felt like you’ve fit in then this is post is for you. You get to choose how you label yourself and you are the only one who can define who you are! #scarrednotscared