I am a feminine, heterosexual, biracial man. I can guarantee you at least one of those things will bother at least one person. Whether it is the fact that I dare to proudly announce it, as opposed to shyly hiding it. Whether it is the fact I am saying it as if it is a big deal when really who cares? Whether misogynistic and toxic masculinity warriors are having a seizure at the idea of someone being both feminine AND YET STILL a heterosexual man. Whatever it is, an admission of one’s identity often lands you in a debate with someone.
So, I ask, why the fuck should you care? No, seriously, if people are going to have an issue with at least one aspect of your identity, then you might as well be totally yourself. As long as you remain a good person that doesn’t intentionally set out to hurt people then basically you do you.
We spend so long in school, in college, in university, even at work, blending in. We’re given some idea of a hierarchy of coolness, of popularity. At least when we’re young we want to achieve the very height of such coolness, we feel as if it is the only way in which we can be integrated into someone’s circle, to feel like we belong somewhere. Loneliness is a cruel emotion that tricks us into believing we are sub-par at best, and everyone else is a deity by comparison.
How long have you spent comparing yourself to someone else? Being bullied into being someone you’re not? Feeling under pressure to bend your truth to fit the mold? Most of you will agree that the answer to that is probably “All the bloody time”.
I get it. I’m 23 and I can honestly say that I’m still very confused about who I am, but I am beginning to care less about how that impacts everyone else’s perception of me. I like shopping for clothes, I like fashion. I like bubble baths with nose strips and face masks. I like rings and jewelry and accessories in general. I like being occasionally a little flamboyant and over-jovial. I like that when I fall in love with someone, I will love her with everything I have. I like that I am in awe of my friends and will do whatever it takes to keep them safe.
I get it. It has taken me this long just to say I like these things. I also find them a little annoying. That’s okay. The point is, I’ve found some parts of my identity that I like enough to display in figurative glowing neon to the world. A large, shining, green sign that reads “I am biracial, and I love the deep roots of my heritage.“, “I am feminine and I love the sensitivity in my veins” ,“I am over-emotional and I love the love that comes as a result.”
Think of deciding one day that you were confident enough with the style of your hair that you made it brighter, you went that one step further that you had always wanted to go. Your smile reaches to the sky. Your heart is filled with a feeling of pride and the people that matter are enamored at your transformation and your happiness. Then imagine thinking that you had let a naive, fellow insecure human stop you attaining such beauty and joy. Imagine you scrolled for too long down your Instagram feed, believing you could never reach the standards of the models you’re seeing. Again, I ask, who cares? True authenticity, real self-love and a mind that has a whole plethora of ideas and passions and thoughts and beliefs, that is where the real beauty lives.
The real beauty lives within the acceptance of yourself.