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MASCulinity A Rose By Any Other Name?
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MASCulinity A Rose By Any Other Name?

What defines the masculinity of a man? We here the phrase man up so much that it has become a cliché but does anyone ever ask what determines a man’s masculinity? Is it the outfit that makes the man, perhaps how deep your voice is?  Does having a car, job, money in your pocket, or swag makes you drip with machismo? My masculinity has been called into question many times throughout the year. I dare to be different, but being different sometimes lands you with a target for judgement, stares, and criticisms. I think one of the wonderful things about being gay is that you have more freedom to express yourself through style, we push boundaries and blur lines, but that freedom comes at a price. To often we are stared at because the pants we have on are a little too tight, colors too bright, walk a little too fierce for some. We are mocked and ridiculed because what we wear is not what others would wear or deem masculine.  All to often I hear how my outfit is loved from men but would then state that they would never have the courage to wear it. That then poses the question of, why must you have courage to wear something that you want to wear? So often I tell my husband when picking an outfit, do I really want to wear this I don’t feel like getting stared at today. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Leo and attention is the main thing we enjoy getting. However, I will wear a suit and go into a store and I’m getting stared at like they have never seen a black male in a suit. Those type of stares is something I’d wish to fix. It shouldn’t be a shock to people that men especially men of color can rock a suit. Also, I think there is a misconception that most of what I wear are female clothing but everything I own is all men clothes. I have to search far and wide for fashionable men clothes that steps out of the boundary of black, blue, brown, and boring. I think that the media, our upbringing, and society has us trained to think the “man” has to be a certain way, act a certain way, even dress a certain way. I’ve heard stories of guys who refuse to wipe their behind after using the bathroom because that’s “gay”. In what world does that even make sense? Does one have to be gay to care about what he wears, what he smells like, and how groomed he is? I wish to live in a world where a man is judged by his actions and the impact he has on the world not how tight his pants are. I suppose until this day happens, I’ll continue to push the narrative that just because I’m stylish, doesn’t make me any less of a man, and more importantly, doesn’t make me any less masculine.

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