Masculinity and I go a long way back. It didn’t come easy for me I had to fight hard for it as well as defend my right to own it even when most people around me were telling me that it didn’t belong to me. For the most part of it I did a good job in embracing it, partially because it was impossible for me not to. There were times where I was forced out of it, but what hurts me the most is when I pretended to be done with it out of my “free will” and betray my most natural state of being. Lesbians in general where often judged, ridiculed and frowned upon, most especially when they presented masculine. I admired these people, and felt that I am proud to be one of them however societal norms and mediocre ideas on gender and sexuality won over me at some point. I was tired of being seen as a lesser being or not being seen at all.
I am not a lesbian but I have been one for a long time, just because it was the closest thing I could identify with at the time. I didn’t know much at all about trans people, most especially trans men. This I do not regret, lesbianism has thought me a lot and been crucial to what I have become today. Not being seen as one of the boys even though sometimes I did pass as one when I was a kid, was quite painful and wasn’t something I could understand fully. Where I sit, what I wore and what I played with was often assumed for me, I tried very hard to oppose all of it.
The lack of ability to communicate what I felt made me quite silent throughout most of my childhood and late teens however this made me quite observant, I think. I always knew I was a boy, however I realised from early on that it was very unlikely I’d ever see myself as a grown man.
Being conditioned as female, meant that often I found myself surrounded by women, and I must say I am very grateful for this, even if it was tremendously difficult for me to be seen and assumed as one. I feel I owe a lot of gratitude to many beautiful women in my life who have taught me a lot and made me become the man I am today, a man who is able to embrace his femininity, welcome his vulnerability and allow himself to express emotions. This was not always the case for me. I am constantly misgendered by people whom I don’t know however most of the important people around me see me for who I am and most importantly I am starting to be kinder to myself.
For me being a man is being respectful to all human beings and non-human beings , being open to change as well as unlearning all of the toxic and harmful traits that the patriarchy has inflicted upon us.