Labels … Being Mentally Disabled

Kevin MaxwellI’m actually quite passionate about the non-use of labels, believe it or not, as we are all human beings. But, I live in the real world and know that labels can be and are important.

Especially when, you are fighting race, sex and/or disability discrimination.

In the year 2014, I am a gay man who identifies as black but of mixed-parentage. Having lived with depression since 2009, I am also considered disabled under the Equality Act 2010.

Yes, things The Daily Mail dreams of … a Northern Black Gay Catholic Mentally Disabled ex-Policeman. I mean, you can’t make this stuff up.

Seriously though, if I refuse to label myself in the modern world people then think I’ve got something to hide. You know, he’s not being truthful about who and what he is.

Then with labels, people say you’re “banging on” about who and what you are.

As the Poet Jackie Kay stated in The Guardian in 2002, it’s the classic Catch 22.

Does who I am define all I am?

Of course not.

But, it helps to know where I’ve been, where I’m at and where I might be going!