Life’s journey can be long and consuming. We are too focused on reaching the endpoint in our adventure, so we miss the finer detail of life that is scattered along our footpath. Take, for instance, the web of a person’s identity; only when we look closely can we see the many interconnections woven together. It is a thing of beauty, but it can also become a trap.
We do not just carry a Male Label. Our Male Label has been given to us with certain conditions, and if we look carefully, we see that these conditions differ greatly, depending on how our Male Label intersects with other aspects of our identity -
In 2018 the APA published a report that highlighted the critical health disparities facing Male Labelled Persons of Color and Male Labelled members of the LGBTQ+ community (because of their Sexuality). I have attached the full report to this article.
In their report, the APA identified four critical issues that impact these health disparities –
A clear message from the report was that if we are to Survive the Male Label, we need to focus on the intersection of Gender with other aspects of a person’s identity, including Sexuality and Ethnicity (APA Report 2018). In another article, I argue that we also need to understand how the Male Label intersects with a person's true Gender Identity.
An intersection, not a cul-de-sac
As a psychotherapist, I help people work through Depression, Substance Abuse, Trauma and Violence. To truly tackle these life-changing issues, I cannot just view my client with blue-tinted lenses of their Male Label. To view them as simply the binary opposite of the Pink Female Label would be to cul-de-sac my understanding of them to borrow a phrase from Dr Zac Seidler, (Seidler 2018).
Instead, I need to meet this client at the intersection of various aspects of their identity. I need to understand how their Male Label intersects with their true Gender Identity, Sexuality, and Ethnicity. And I need to understand how all of this impacts on the experiences of Depression, Substance Abuse, Trauma or Violence.
If we are to go Beyond the Blue of the Male Label, Beyond the over-simplistic view of the Male Labelled as simply a binary opposite of the Pink Female Labelled, we need to take a closer look at identity, and to the critical issues that impact a person's life (Depression, Substance Abuse, Trauma and Violence).
If we are to Survive the Male Label, we need to learn about
So what do you think?
Does any of this resonate with you? Get in touch by sending me a message privately via the Contact Page, or add a public comment below, and engage in the debate
Chris Warren-Dickins LLB MA LPC
Therapist, writer, educator, and LGBTQ+ advocate