Unlabeled - What is it? What does it mean?

Last Updated: 12/13/2021
3 min read
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Unlabeled flag

What is it?

The Unlabeled or No Label term was created to refer to those who prefer not to have their gender identity, sexual orientation, or any other identity restricted to a specific category or wording.

As an umbrella term, unlabeled fits anyone who likes to go by without any sort of tags or definitions. It can describe their sexual attraction, gender expression, gender identity, or anything else concerning their persona.

What does it mean?

Even though they could, technically, let some aspects of their personality fall into certain groups or designations, unlabeled people prefer not to. They stamp their identity, or parts of it, as unique. When someone is unlabeled, they are choosing to undress their sexuality and gender of any labels. 

The freedom and flexibility of this term are what make it so inviting for many, especially when they're still unsure about what they like or how they feel about themselves or others.


Table of contents

History

The lesbian community originally created the wording to refer to in-betweens or undefined variations from lesbian subcultures (butch and femme, for example). With time, unlabeled gained much wider meaning. 

Currently, it completely transcends the lesbian community and even gender or sexuality in general, allowing for huge flexibility of understanding and meaning. It even promotes comfort and acceptance for those who are still transitioning, those who are unsure of how they identify, or even those who feel like their choices or feelings are too complicated to explain or label.

Unlabeled Flag

The history of the No Label community is only just beginning, but a few designs have already been posted on Reddit and Twitter. 

Unlabeled flag (four-striped version)Unlabeled flag (four-striped version)

Alternative unlabeled flagAlternative unlabeled flag

Another alternative unlabeled flagAnother alternative unlabeled flag

What's the difference between pomosexual and unlabeled?

Both concepts revolve around labels, or more specifically, the lack of them. These two wordings differ on where they stand concerning the acceptance or understanding of labels.

Pomosexual individuals openly refuse definitions, categories, groups, or belonging to anything that divides people according to their sexuality. There's an explicit opposition to sexual classifications, such as bisexual, homosexual, heterosexual, etc.

Unlabeled people see labels as optional and deliberately choose not to take part in them, but there's no rejection or denial of anything - just the wish for an absence of definition. 

Where they also seem to differ but in reality don't is that pomosexuality seems to be strictly a sexual orientation. Unlabeled, as an umbrella term, can be used to describe attraction but isn't limited to that. In truth, what happens is that pomosexuality can also be a broader term, being intimately connected to other concepts, such as pomogender.

What pronouns do unlabeled people use?   

In many cases, No Label individuals could fit into all sorts of conventional LGBTQ+ categories; they just choose not to. As so, it's impossible to assume or predict what their preferred pronouns will be. 

As always, the right thing to do is ask. Most likely, they'll be thankful that you recognize their individuality.

How do I know if I'm unlabeled?

If you don't enjoy being restricted by labels and value freedom, maybe this is the only label for you. There are no specifications or requirements to be able to identify as unlabeled, apart from wanting to stand in a neutral, unique ground concerning your identity.

Maybe you don't like to explain yourself or your choices; maybe you found that it's easier to describe yourself this way. Maybe you think that the connection you feel towards others or the way you see yourself is too complex to get into. 

Maybe you just know what you don't like, but you don't know what you like yet. Maybe your inclinations change so rapidly that you haven't found what accurately describes you. Maybe you don't feel comfortable telling others how you feel.

No matter what your motive is for not being into stamps or categories - what's truly important is what feels right (and best) to you. 

How can I support unlabeled individuals?   

People can identify with the No Label concept for all sorts of reasons, from wanting privacy to desiring singularity. For that reason, it's always safer not to assume someone's motives. 

Very often, being supportive involves being accepting and open-minded.  Acknowledging each individual's uniqueness is very important when it comes to the No Label community, as this umbrella concept welcomes anyone on the gender and sexual orientation spectrum.

Just like queer, lesbian, or transgender individuals, No Label individuals are part of the LGBTQ+ community and deserve all the respect and love we can show them. 

If you're out there today and you seem to be confused on all the terms, and you don't know what you fall under, and you don't feel comfortable under any, No Label might be what's best for you.

— Youtube creator Jasxciii

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Juliana is a 25-year old lawyer and translator born in Porto, Portugal. Since 2019, she's been involved with many projects related to the Taimi app, from localization and business development to customer support and external communications.

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