How to be a man even when you are different

Many times I had wondered if I was on the wrong side of the universe. Something that comes easy to me and I am free with, yet it is this same thing that many would want to lambaste me for. There were statements, criticisms and complaints about me being different from the rest. Looking weird. Not like them. Finally that I am not a man.

The comparison with the ideal was intense. I saw pictures, mental construct and physical examples of what a man should look like. The ideal man! That

  • He must be fearless
  • He must own a strong heart
  • He must be quick and decisive
  • He must never show emotions (like when watching movies)
  • He must not allow a lady to lead in whatever form as the head
  • He must be agile and fast in movement
  • He must relate at most times to men and not ladies
  • May I even add that I could not even hold a chicken (laugh that out).

fearless

Even if I had advanced in age, the shaming and bullying( yes, I called it that) have not stopped. Ra! Ra!! Ra!!! (A Yoruba terminology for the word NO). It has persisted till this time as of writing this.

I heard countless times “This is what society wants and expects you to be like.” They adopted and enforced so many measures to see if I could change and become who they wanted me to be.

Different comments from well-wishers, colleagues, acquaintances, friends and loved ones were, of course, amongst the top of the list ( if not them, who else would it be?). You would hear, “It is not enough to come out as a boy, you need to show how brawny you are”; “Are you sure you are not a gay?” “Hope you are not a lady in a man’s body?” And then the laughter and sarcastic quirks continue unabated. They were having fun but I was not.

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I did a lot of self-introspection. There were times I wanted to shut myself out and be ALONE. The tears that trickled down my cheeks in solitary places, dark corners were much. Moments when I did force myself to comply so that everything would end and I can have rest of mind. It appears that was my only hindrance to perfection. Though with an intelligent brain and dazzling looks (smiles).

These days, I don’t have to struggle with their evaluations anymore, as I let it be. Also, since I have no control whatsoever over that.

Yes! it was due to some realizations I had about this tug-of-war after a long while. That they won’t know what it feels like to be FULLY ME. That these are the things that make me FULLY ALIVE. That what if I am not restricted to a label and live been ME.

I knew that if I succumb and conform to their expectation and desires or even prayers, I would be “dead”. But, I choose to be ALIVE. And so far, I am enjoying it.free