A new Peruvian group advocating for sexual and gender rights launched its first video campaign “Take Off the Labels” on social media last week, provoking people to find liberation, not in taking up identities from the renown LGBTQI acronym, but rather in dropping them all together. Since its release, the video has already received almost 11,000 views and reached over 40,000 people, suggesting that their message of a different kind of liberation is resonating with some in the South American country.
teleSUR English interviewed the members of the new group who, for now, claim anonymity until their formative process is over.
teleSUR English: Can you tell us, what is the initiative “Take off the Labels” (Sácate Las Etiquetas) and why did you decide to launch it?
With “Take off the Labels” we want to motivate people to break with all kinds of prejudice that box us in: an adjective, a category, a label. Because in the end, we are ourselves, human beings, people. By “unlabelling ourselves” we want people to respect us and to be treated with equality, whatever our sexual orientation or identity might be.
This was our first material and we believe that it is important to launch products that move and motivate people: that they can question themselves, that they learn through campaigns, videos, etc. We want to start generating consciousness.
teleSUR English: For a lot of people in LGBTQI communities there is power and comfort in taking up identities and labels. What is the problem with labels according to you?
Labels are, of course, important. If we exist in society now it is because they can identify us. They know that we exist: gays, lesbians, bisexuals. They know there are transgender people, with a distinct fight, and who have no rights. The world knows we exist.
The problem with labels isn’t that they make us seem different; we all are. The problem with labels begins when we use them to live a role, or when we force ourselves to fit into this role or that label: “I am lesbian, I cannot fall in love with a trans guy,” or, “I am gay, I am attracted to a girl, but I am girl and that is not possible,” “I am a straight girl and I am starting to be attracted to my friend: am I lesbian now?”
What we want to say is that sexuality is fluid, not static. So have your label, but take it off when it doesn’t allow you to be happy!
It’s like when in a homosexual relationship there is this imperious need need that one is “the man” and the other “the woman” (active, passive, etc.). These are roles that only affect the LGBT community because in some way we look to adapt to those standards that society have imposed on us.
The campaign precisely says that we are human beings, but we are all different. We have to start looking at one another like this; we don’t fit into categories even though our brains are “programmed” to see each other in this way.
teleSUR English: What organization is behind the initiative “Take off the Labels”? What purpose does the organization have and what does it do?
We are a group of five people who are initiating campaigns through a digital platform to promote equality of all identities and all orientations. In the future this will extend itself to educational projects, however, we don’t want to reveal our identity just yet because we are still in a formative process.
This is why we came out through Zike, which is the blog of one of our members. It promotes scientific information about the LGBT community and it seeks to debunk myths that exist because of the extensive ignorance about sexual diversity.