Navigating the pressure of labels

Navigating the pressure of labels

Exploring gender & sexual identity labels 💜

Gender, sexuality & identity

Quick summary 🫶

1️⃣ Labels can help as well as hinder: gender and sexual identity labels can be helpful, but at the same time they can be intimidating. You don't have to force a label on yourself - your identity is complete with or without one

2️⃣ Identity can change: your identity can change over time, and that's completely normal. You don't have to have all the answers right away; it's a process of self-discovery ⏱️

3️⃣ Be careful of social media: What you see on social media isn't the whole picture. It may look like people online have their whole lives figured out, but many people are still exploring their identities, and you're not alone in your journey 🤳

4️⃣ Dealing with uncertainty: If you're unsure about your gender or sexual identity, give yourself time and space to figure it out, talk to trusted people, and explore resources ✨


Gender and sexual identity labels can be helpful in some ways. They can help you feel like you belong and help you connect with people who have had or are having similar experiences to you 💜

That being said, labels can also be limiting and intimidating – we get loads of questions from you asking about this. So luna’s here to remind those of you feeling the pressure of this that…

📦You don’t have to force a label: you might feel like you need to fit into a certain box to be accepted or to be understood, but that’s not true! With or without a label, you always have a complete identity

📊Your identity can change over time: maybe you’ve labelled yourself as one thing in the past, but now you’re starting to feel differently. That’s completely okay! Growing up you might feel you have to have all the answers right away. The good news is that you don’t. Most people (teens and adults) explore different parts of themselves and figure out who they are over time. This never has to be set in stone 🪨

🤳Be careful when it comes to social media: you might see people on social media who seem like they’ve got their whole lives figured out, and this can make you feel like you’re the only person who doesn’t. Remember you are really not alone in this. What you see on social media is just a glimpse of what people want you to see, and that doesn’t mean that they have everything figured out

So, what should you do if you’re feeling unsure about your gender or sexual identity? 

  • Give yourself time and space to figure things out. You don’t need to have all the answers right away ⏱️
  • Talk to people you trust, maybe a friend or a family member 🗣️
  • Look for resources that can help you learn more about the different sexual identities (luna has some really helpful pages on what these identities are in Learn) 📚

Remember that it’s okay to not have a label at all. You are valid no matter what.

Figuring out gender and sexual identity can be a really tough process, but it’s important to remember that there’s no rush or pressure to label yourself if you’re not ready. Give yourself the time and space you need to figure things out and don’t be afraid to reach out if you need help and support ✨

Also remember that whatever you decide on (whether that is a certain label or not), you always deserve to be treated with love, respect and understanding ❤️

How we created this article:

luna's team of experts comprises GPs, Dermatologists, Safeguarding Leads and Junior Doctors as well as Medical Students with specialised interests in paediatric care, mental health and gynaecology. All articles are created by experts, and reviewed by a member of luna's senior review team.


Pub Med 'Changes in Sexual Identity Labels' | Accessed 25.05.23

Young Minds 'Looking after your mental health while exploring your gender identity' | Accessed 25.05.23

sex, etc. 'Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity: To Label or Not to Label' | Accessed 25.05.23

headspace 'what is gender identity?' | Accessed 25.05.23
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