Such an important subject — not just the introvert/extrovert thing in particular, which is important, but the idea of reductive labeling in general.

When LGBTQ young people write in to my advice column persona, they’re often very worried about labels. How do they fit? They’ll ask straight up with respect to gender and sexual orientation labels, “how do I figure out what I am?”

I always try to focus on the concept that people are more complex than the labels we choose to wear. Labels can be useful for helping us talk about ourselves as long as we understand we don’t reduce to them.

I like how you explain things by noting that our labels and categories aren’t very good at predicting our behavior. I may try using that explanation sometimes as a way to encourage more nuanced thinking.

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot.

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