By Laurie Suarez
Today is December 1st. The start of the new month. The last month of the year. And today is the day a very important movement launches. It will be a small movement at first, but it will grow. My hope is that it will grow to be so big that it isn’t a movement at all, it is just the way we think.
My name is Laurie Suarez and today is the official launch of Cut the Label®— the campaign I founded in honor of my daughter. The aim of Cut the Label® is to end the practice of categorizing each other. Sometimes we assign a label without thinking, sometimes a label is assigned to be cruel. In either case, the result is the same: the person we label is reduced to quick categorization. But we are so much more than the labels we attach to each other. We are not just a Religion, a Sexual Orientation, an Addiction, a Disease, a Diagnoses, Formally Educated-Not, Republican-Not, Rich-Not.
We are so much more than that.
YOU are so much more than that.
A year ago today I had to face the world of labels the hardest way possible, through watching my child struggle. A year ago, my son told me that he can’t be my son anymore. That he knew in his heart and brain that he is a girl. I accepted this and understood that I quickly needed to learn about what we were now facing. I glued myself to the computer and researched LGBTQ and Gender Dysphoria. The medical community has recognized Gender Dysphoria as a condition that can be diagnosed and addressed. One of the biggest struggles to anyone who has Gender Dysphoria is feeling valued as a human, and not feeling defined by labels and terms that are used against them when they move around in the world.
The son I raised for nearly 14 years is in the process of transitioning to the self she knows she is, my beautiful daughter. Being a teenager is hard enough, and to layer the complexities of Gender Dysphoria onto it makes the struggle much more painful. I couldn’t possibly be more proud of her. My daughter has struggled, but she is the bravest person I know. No doubt, she deserves to be a part of a world that sees her for the person she is and not a label.
This is why I started focusing on the world beyond my daughter.
After I sank into a world of acronyms and labels, it occurred to me that I have missed opportunities to meet someone who could have been my friend due to a preconceived label. Staying away from certain people due to a label attached to them is unfair. There are good people everywhere and if someone is an A**hole (and as Jen Pastiloff says #dontbeanasshole) it has nothing to do with religion, sexual orientation or any other label. Some people are just A**holes. But just because some may act that way, it doesn’t mean that everyone who is of the same religion, or sexual orientation, or whatever is that way. Period. My daughter is and will always be loved as part of our family, but she has a long journey ahead.
The mission of Cut the Label® is to participate in the spread of kindness and love for Humanity.
While this message is not new it cannot be overstated. We can make this world a bit “Gentler” by sticking together, let’s stop pulling each other apart into categories. Ask me my name, get to know me. I can always tell you more about me, my culture or religion and so much more if we decide to chat. But, please don’t stay away from me, my daughter or anyone else because of a label. We all deserve to be recognized and valued as a Human first.
Just step away from assigning labels and stuffing people into categories and smile at a stranger today. I promise you it’s not difficult. Together, we can do this. Together, we can make a world a more accepting place for everyone.
Cut the Label® wants to give transgender Humans and ALL Humans hurt by discriminationion due to a Diagnoses, Religion, Sexual Orientation, Political choice, Culture, Disease – the most Gentle world possible. On this day, December 1st, 2014, I learned I have a 3rd daughter. I feel honored to help guide her and to promote the message of Love and Acceptance.
Thank YOU for your friendship.
Learn more about Cut The Label® here.
Follow Cut The Label® on Facebook here.
Follow Cut The Label® on Instagram here.
Follow Cut The Label® on Twitter here.
Also, listen for Cut The Label® on 97.8 LA Mega in New York and 100.3 Z100 also in New York.
And don’t forget to follow #GirlPowerYouAreEnough on Instagram — because YOU ARE ENOUGH!