Micro labels - What is it? What does it mean?

Last Updated: 03/21/2022
1 min read
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Microlabel flag

A micro label or microlabel typically refers to a gender identity or sexuality label that falls under a broad term but cannot be defined by it. Some people view microlabels as ultra-specific, while others believe the terminology is necessary to describe specific feelings. 

A micro label may be used by a few or many people in the LGBTQ+ community. Whether or not someone applies a microlabel that is relevant to their identity does not make it valid or invalid. 


Table of contents

Terminology & History

Microlabel comes from the Greek prefix mikros meaning small. A microlabel may sometimes be referred to as a subcategory under the larger identity and sexuality categories. 

Since the late 90s, the LGBTQ+ community started to embrace microlabels as better ways to define and understand people's identity and sexuality. 

Microlabels give people a sense of belonging. They are often a great way to validate someone's feelings and experiences. Microlabels have been embraced by many in the online community, including those on Tumblr and Reddit. People who are neurodivergent may find microlabels a helpful tool to express themselves much better.

Pronouns

People who use microlabels can use any set of pronouns they choose. Some may prefer to use neopronouns, while others may use neutral ones like they/them. Some individuals may opt to use she/her or he/him pronouns. It is important never to assume someone's pronouns based on expression or sexual identity. Always do your best to share pronouns in written and oral communication. If you're unsure of the person's pronouns - use their name. 

Controversy

There is some controversy around microlabels. Not all individuals in the LGBTQ+ community and beyond support the use of microlabels to define someone's identity. For example, some argue microlabels are unnecessary, claiming they are based on a skewed understanding of sexuality. Some critics view microlabels as detrimental to the inclusion of LGBTQ+ people in society. Some suggest microlabels add to the compartmentalization of LGBTQ+ identities inside the already-created boxes.

In general, microlabels have seen their share of criticism. Some folks find them frustrating and, at times, confusing, while others support their use and ability to make someone feel like their identity is understood.

Flag and Symbols

The microlabel flag features three stripes. The colors are the following: red, black, and blue. They have no specific meaning. 

Microlabel flagMicrolabel flag

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Julia Sotska is a former Senior PR Manager at Taimi. She hails from Toronto, Canada where she studied Communications and Journalism Broadcasting. Julia is an experienced journalist, TV producer, editor and communications manager. Her work has been featured in prominent publications in Canada, the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, and more. Julia is passionate about LGBTQ+ and disability rights, mental health, wellness, and parenthood.

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