Labels or Love
I was working at my own Elio’s shots bar a couple of weeks ago when two guys and a girl kept on coming back for more shots. That was fine off course but I could sense there was something else going on. I was right. Because they finally dared to ask me their burning question at the end of the night. Probably the shots of alcohol helped them with that. They couldn’t wrap their heads around whether I was a boy, girl or a transgender. Or even if I wanted to be a transgender and what gender I used to be. Clearly my beard, long curly hair, beautiful make-up and an extravagant outfit got them really really, really confused. So how to handle that sort of questions and not act or be offended by them? I must say it was not the first time someone was confused with whether I was a boy or girl. But it was the first time that three people at the same time were so heavily confused or even upset by it.
Back to my response. I responded: Hello I’m Elio. I wonder what makes my gender relevant for you guys? They didn’t really give a satisfying response but kept going on about my long hair, beard and what gender I must be. I then said: I’m a boy and I like long hair, make-up, my beard and extravagant outfits. I believe they suit me well. Can’t you guys just see me for who I am, Elio, and not trying so hard to give me a label? It didn’t seems to make a lot of difference what I said. But when they walked away they said you’re beautiful. So they were really trying to put a label on me but just gave love in the end. I really hope that mankind can grow forward and try really hard to look at people and things as they are and not at which label would fit best. Until then don’t despair but keep this in mind:
No matter what label is thrown your way, only you can define yourself….
Pictures: Anneliese van Buren
Styling : Elio Heres
Make-up : Merel Halfweeg