You're very clever, and so I can't quite put my finger on it.
For some reason, the idea that keeps popping into my mind is the recent "feminist" thread, where some woman said, in effect, "Being a feminist is about reveling in your femininity and doing whatever you want to do, even if that means choosing traditional gender roles."
She got thanked a zillion times for that, but something about it raises all sorts of red flags for me.
I guess it's this: gays- like women, to some extent- are still, to this day, discriminated against in our society.
A smart woman like me is not "being a feminist" by reveling in the fact that today I have a choice of whether to work or to loll on the couch eating bonbons, accepting a subordinate role in my own household and letting some man support me.
There are other women who don't have all the options and choices that I have.
Because of their biological sex, their lives are a sort of prison.
In a climate where these issues still exist, even if mostly for the underprivileged... a "feminist" is someone who actively works toward empowerment of and sexual equality for all women, not merely someone who makes personal choices involving her own life, and revels in her "femininity" (a line which actually reminds me of that book The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan, circa 1963; anyone who's read it will understand what I'm referring to).
Similarly, it bothers me that a smart guy like you would decline to self-identify as "gay", when gays are currently discriminated against in our society and need every voice they can get- especially rational, intelligent ones like yours- to aid them in their struggle for equality.
To decline to self-identify as gay seems like a cop-out, an avoidance of the difficulties that come along with the label, simply because you have that option.
Not all gays do. When you won't self-identify as gay, it feels like you're bailing on them.
If I decline to self-identify as "feminist", or if I agree with some glib, feel-good sentiment such as "Being a feminist means doing whatever you want, including abiding by traditional female gender roles, as long as that's what you want to do and as long as you revel in your femininity while doing it", it feels like the same cop-out, for the same reasons.
Nearly everybody claims to hate "feminazis", aka militant feminists.
Who would want to be something that everybody hates?
Nearly everybody claims to hate "aggressively queer" gay-rights proponents, the kind of gays who "shove their sexuality in your face", the kind likely to be found dancing in their underwear at gay pride parades, perhaps.
Again, who would want to be something that nearly everybody hates and scorns? Who wants that stigma?
But sometimes who we are is not about what we want, it's about what the world needs.
If equal rights for all is truly something you believe in, it might not be enough to simply enjoy your life, do whatever you want, and avoid labels, thereby avoiding controversy.
Some people don't have the privilege of being able to avoid labels- or controversy, or discrimination- through no fault of their own.
As long as that's the case, it seems unethical for people like you to distance yourself from the struggles and inequities they face by refusing to "be labeled".
Sigh. I know that doesn't make much sense. I'm having trouble conveying my ideas into words tonight. I'm really tired.
Doesn't it make you feel like a sell-out, though?
I guess that's what i really mean to say, and there's no nice way to say it.