In this episode, I talk about labels, the origin of “pword“, and some other thoughts.
Before we get started: this episode is not approximately 6 minutes long, it’s closer to 10 minutes. I actually filmed a second video where I cut things down to about 7 minutes, but then this one uploaded and the other wouldn’t play, so I took that as a sign from the Fates that this is the better one. (Or I’m just lazy and/or was over dealing with video uploading).
Notes on the video and things I want to talk more below:
1) “Pword” is not meant to be disrespectful or an offensive, dirty, or a taboo word – or suggest that the words it stands for in are wrong, unspeakable, or whatever. It’s essentially a label-bypass, an all-encompassing, inclusive word to address all the folks who frolic under this wacky umbrella we find ourselves collectively under – whether you like it or not.
2) Labels can be helpful and insightful. Labels can also be harmful and othering. People can use them to separate themselves or other people off, to discount their humanity or depth. Down that path leads the potential for hate and acts of violence, inciting those old tribal animalistic tendencies without recognizing we’re all human.
3) Labels are best used when self-applied.
4) Do not forget that words are fluid and can mean different things to different people. If you plan on using a label for yourself, then you will want to recognize the multitude of meanings, enabling better communication.
5) Have patience with people. Language moves so fast today – labels can change meaning seemingly overnight, and it takes a WHILE for people to catch up. It doesn’t mean they don’t care or are intentionally ignorant, or are trying to be rude. People who are at the center of change often forget it takes a while for the orbiting people to get the memo. If you’re going to break ground, shift definitions or create words, then you’re also going to need to be patient with the rest of humanity. Change can be overwhelming for a lot of people, so come from a place from kindness first. You’ll be surprised how much quicker and easier people will pick up when you communicate with them, not call them out or act defensively.
6) If you don’t understand or may not agree with how someone uses a label, then ASK them what they mean. Again, communicate. Find common ground.
7) Don’t let labels be walls. Let them be a point of centering for you. It’s like being in the center of the labyrinth, and working your way out from there.