Alphabet Soup society

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On Saturday, my TIME magazine arrived and I was happy to see that the name and face of Donald Trump was not on it for a change. What I did see was the face of a young person with the heading, “Beyond He or She” promoting a cover story about gender identification. In the lower right hand corner, it identified the person as “Marie, 26, identifies as queer and gender nonconforming.” Upon reading it, I wished Trump was on the cover.

It’s bad enough that now when I go to the grocery store I am inundated with multiple types of bagged spinach, so much so, I can not determine what kind to get, but now I have no clue as to who people are. Like everything else in our society, we have made gender identification far more complex than it probably needs to be, but then, I am just a guy.

As a kid, I only knew two kinds of people, boys and girls. By junior high school, there were adults and kids who were either male or female. In high school, people were either gay or straight. In college, I became confused over the difference between transsexual and transvestite, but I knew neither came from Transylvania.

Life seemed to settle down by the time the 90s rolled around. Our nation became increasingly accepting of gay people as more and more well known celebrities came out, so much so I lost track of who was straight and who wasn’t; Ellen, Melissa Etheridge, George Michael, and countless others. I don’t remember if Rosie is or is not gay, I also don’t care.

Roseanne is straight but crazy if I recall. Eddie Murphy is straight but was pulled over with either a man dressed as a woman or a man who was becoming a woman. Or was he dressed as a woman and pulled over with Boy George? It all became too much for me to keep track of.

I never understood why some people suddenly refused to find Ellen funny, or George Michael talented because they came out. Good music is good music and funny is funny. All I know is we lost a hell of a talent when George Michael died and if every celebrity was as kind and giving to others as Ellen is, this world would be a much better place.

Then George W. Bush became president and suddenly gay marriage became a major political battlefront. It seemed to me as if people who felt a religious interpretation of marriage wanted that definition applied to politics so much so they did not seem to mind the lack of separation of church and state nearly as much as they did two people of the same sex marrying.

In 2008, when the initiative to ban same sex marriage was placed on thee California ballot, I noticed most of the middle school students in my social studies classes supported it. However, when I replaced gender with a specific race, they almost all realized how discriminatory such an initiative was. Hopefully they learned wrong is wrong even if right makes you uncomfortable.

Today, most Americans, unless you live in Kentucky and issue marriage licenses for a living, have no problem with gay people marrying. Some still feel the Bible defines marriage and the state has no business involving itself, but we have come to accept this is the way it is going to be for the time being.

In case you were missing Donald Trump on the cover of Time

But here is where I am totally confused. I cannot keep up with all the new letters that identify how people identify as a person. About the time I got used to LGB, it added a few more letters, one of which refers to what I refer to as the “Q” word, the word I was taught 20 or more years ago is as vulgar to use as the “N” word, which I also hear used a lot by people who claim they do not want to hear it used. Have I confused you yet? If so, join the club.

As if all this alphabet identification is not enough, we now have a society where some people who are one race identify as a person of another race. I no longer know if the person I am speaking to is a white man in a white man’s body or is he a white man who identifies as a black woman. Is this person OCD, ADD, ADHD, or just going through a phase? And why is it I am the one who is suppose to keep all of this straight, that is straight in a comprehensive way and not in a gender way?

When I pull into a parking lot, I see people with signs that read, “Will work for food.” Guess what? I now know this is a person who is down on his luck. He is not someone who is HDOHL (Homeless and Down On His Luck), or VPTSDLGBTQ (Veteran with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Gay).

I find it interesting how academicians will tell us how harmful it is to place labels on people and then they turn around and place a bunch of letters on people who they inform us we hurt by labeling them. Is it only a label if it has a name, but a sign of respect if it has a bunch of capital letters? What’s the difference because right now, I identify as CAHAWWTFIGO (Confused As Hell And Wondering What The F*&# Is Going On).

Please do not label me ignorant, stupid, or anything else because I also have feelings. If the identification I just placed on myself is too much for you, then just refer to me as JIM, because that is the name I identify with. Call me Jim any time you want and if you are not sure if I am straight, gay, crooked, or confused, feel free to ask me and I won’t be offended. Just don’t call me a liberal or conservative because I take offense to those labels.