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What does it mean to be "valid"?


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First, I'm not sure where this topic should go, so feel free to relocate this upon need.

Second, I know the meaning of the word, at least roughly, and I can also google up its definition in Merriam-Webster dictionary:


 

Quote

 

valid

 adjective
val·id | \ ˈva-ləd  \

Definition of valid

 

1: having legal efficacy or force, especially : executed with the proper legal authority and formalities
// a valid contract

2 a: well-grounded or justifiable : being at once relevant and meaningful
// a valid theory
b: logically correct
// a valid argument
// valid inference

3 : appropriate to the end in view : EFFECTIVE
// every craft has its own valid methods

4 : of a taxon : conforming to accepted principles of sound biological classification

 

However, the word "valid" is also thrown around in LGBTQ+ circles a lot, usually meaning roughly "you and your experiences are relevant and true, we are taking you and your experiences seriously, we don't think you are being insincere". However, while a good catch-all term, I kinda feel I'd like synonyms, too.

What does "valid" mean in your books? What other similar words do you use?

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Grey-Ace Ventura

I don't like the word valid. To me, it means something to the effect of "your experience is possible and it's true that you're experiencing it and I'll take you seriously" because that makes the person who says you're valid the authority on your experience, when the authority should really be you.

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I don't think that way, but yeah, like stated, I'd like some other words too. "You are valid" seems to be so much used in the LGBTQ+ circles that it sounds almost like a greeting ^^' Maybe stating something along lines of "whoah what an experience you had, I would have been taken aback too", which indirectly states that "I believe that the thing you experienced was significant and, by extension, something to be taken seriously".

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Black Tourmaline

well the way i was raised i've been told throughout my life that my feelings, thoughts & emotions are not valid unless they are mildly cheerful and common so i don't really like that word. what chutzpah to be the one to decide who is valid! i mean, what is the alternative? "you are invalid"? "you are an incorrect being"? maybe i'm too sensitive to exclusion issues but i'm telling you cancel culture kind of seems like a good idea but it's really going to cause social problems eventually.

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Moved from PPS to Asexual Musings and Rantings.
 

Iam9man

PPS Moderator

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Didn't realize that the word "valid" stirs this prominently negative feelings in people o___O On the other hand, I'm not a native English speaker.

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firebird8

I think people who say this are probably reacting to having felt invalidated by the world and people in their lives, and they feel like saying it is helpful to them and thus they pass it along. I would try to take it in that spirit when it is said, but you don't have to love it if it doesn't work for you. 

 

For me, I think the comparable experience would be feeling invisible, that people don't see me. And so it's valuable to me when people see me for me, and when they like me as I am and not just for filling a generic role or for what I do for them. 

 

It's possible that being ace is something that tends more toward the invisible end of the spectrum because we don't want to do what the world thinks is normal and people tend to ignore our existence, as opposed to other LGBTQIA* identities where people are actively different than the world wants them to be and so they are denied the right to be themselves. Or it might just be that different people have different experiences. 

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Anthracite_Impreza

I think it's a meaningless buzz word honestly; I can't take it seriously, like "woke" and "folx". Yes I'm a boring old man, but at the end of the day you aren't going to stop feeling how you do or being who you are cos someone "invalidates" you, so why do you need "validation"? People can prove they accept you for who you are without having to sort your feelings out for you.

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frosty starlight

I'm a bit surprised so many people have negative feelings about that word. I've never felt like I needed validation but I've met a lot of LGBTQ+ people, especially younger people who have struggled with their identities and being told that they're not alone and their feelings are real really helped them. I agree that ideally people shouldn't need someone else to "validate" them but for some people it actually does mean a lot if they haven't accepted themselves yet and they're struggling with internalized homophobia/transphobia. Although I do feel like the phrase "you are valid" has been overused a little too much.

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Artemis42

I’ve personally always viewed the word valid as a show of camaraderie and empathy, rather than a statement of giving permission. Clearly I appear to be in the minority here lol. But I like telling people they’re valid/being told I’m valid, even/maybe especially outside LGBTQ contexts. I think it’s just nice to hear “hey I see you and you’re good the way you are” from time to time. 

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ElusiveCreature
10 hours ago, Artemis42 said:

I’ve personally always viewed the word valid as a show of camaraderie and empathy

I agree here. I like the word valid, because it’s a simple way of genuinely recognising another persons feelings.

 

No one should need validation, or permission, or whatever for anything. But sometimes, people on a subconscious level, can’t get out of this self doubt and out-of-place feeling... and for me, being told my feelings are valid often snaps me out of this downward spiral. When I hear it from people, I’m not hearing that they’re giving me permission for anything. And when I tell people this, I’m trying to get across that I just, I understand what they’re saying.

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I can totally understand why people want/need to be told it. I came out as ace to a friend once and got the usual questions (how do you know for sure? how can you know if you’re a virgin? what if you just haven’t met the one yet?) and though they were supportive once the dialogue has run its course, it’s sometimes welcomed when your feelings are accepted and supported at face value. Constantly having to go through your emotional baggage and consistently having to put your feelings into understandable terms can be exhausting. That’s what valid means to me, it means that you don’t scrutinise what I feel to attach your own brand of acceptance or counsel to them, you just trust that I can walk this path without my hand needing held. “You are valid” = “I accept that you feel what you feel and do not want nor need me to try and convince you otherwise, you have figured it out via your own introspection and I will support you as best as I can”. 

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Janus DarkFox

Personally I don’t need to be told I’m valid, where I’ve already decided I’m personally valid, simply by living with what I’m experiencing being Ace and LGBT, along with all other physical, mental and neurodiverse experiences.

 

Can understand it can be overused and can feel patronising reading it on forums between regular frequent members, still it can be life changing reading it the first time, especially being regularly told the opposite.

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