Once upon a time, even Hollywood recognized that, just because you called yourself something, it didn’t mean you were that thing. Indeed, Hollywood could even joke about it. In the 1950s, sex had nothing to do with the joke about meaningless labels.
Early in Singin’ in the Rain, top silent star Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) and his friend Cosmo Brown (Donald O’Connor) are heading to a Hollywood party when some girls on the street recognize Lockwood. They surround the hapless star, ripping at his clothes. As Lockwood vanishes under a sea of screaming girls, Brown pulls back and looks on with a sardonic grin. Then comes this dialog:
Don Lockwood: Cosmo, call me a cab.
Cosmo Brown: OK, you’re a cab.