Co-Written: Nicole Glidden| Opinions Editor
To be frank, people can be hypocritical assholes. Society constantly demands that we practice what we preach, yet this societal dictate is easily glossed over when it comes to the commonly quoted axiom: “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”
The importance of first impressions is often undermined, however, the majority of first impressions and encounters often set the tone of the relationship and determine whether it will be a valuable one.
Society has been constructed in such a way that a large amount of the population is denied the simple, seemingly inherent right to an unbiased first impression. Instead, these people are faced with the uphill battle of fighting societal stereotypes and unrealistic expectations before they even open their mouth. Hello My Name Is … autofills to black, white, muslim, gay, straight and so may other predetermined terms that limit the personalities of those that fall under them.
Children are not born prejudiced; they have no concept of race, gender, or sexual orientation. They only sense that another human is near them and accept every other child into the brotherhood that is humanity. It is the wrong doing of the cognizant and supposed “more mature” that impose their ignorant opinions upon their offspring that results in the deterioration of this fraternity. The duty of the old is to use their wisdom to benefit the new generation, not use their bias to continue unjust stigmas.
However, some individuals take pride in their label, as it provides them a sense of security and belonging. They never have to find themselves, and always have an identity to fall back on. Although some may struggle to accept that they’re “gay”, others find serenity in knowing that they are included in a group, where other individuals have the same qualities as them.
Labels are just that, labels. The stigmas only derive from the connotation we give these words. Once the emotion is stripped from these labels all that’s left is a string of letters, and hopefully a more cohesive society.