@Phaedrus, I think a lot of people get labeled early in life and don't want to disappoint people by behaving differently. I'm not saying it's a healthy way to live, but I think back on my own days at school and remember acting like the "nerd" other people thought I was. Even if I went home and did something the "cool" people did, like listen to the best rock albums or see the hippest movies, I still felt like I had to act like my label in class.
It's one thing if you're talking about personality quirks, like being intellectual or athletic, but labels like "queer" and "loser" can really scar people for life. I can joke about being a nerd, and I actually embrace that lifestyle now. But if someone is labeled a criminal as an adolescent, he or she might not be able to shake it off as an adult. I think back on some people I ignored back in the day just because of their labels. Some did go on to commit serious crimes, or harm themselves out of shame.