We are initially taught that masculine and feminine energy are to be opposite, disconnected entities. Boys play with hot wheels, fire trucks, and G.I. Joe. Girls wear pink, play with the timeless Barbie, and have tea parties. The traditional, stereotypical gender norms subconsciously programmed into our mind, which ironically, for the most part, keep the peace for some. For others it can be quite chaotic, destructive, enslaving and deadly.
Some may consider gender nonconforming or transgender people as abominations: things to be taken with disregard. Such thinking and inability to respect others right to exist, causes transgender and gender nonconforming individuals the inability to freely be themselves and even subsequently want to depart from a realm in which they can’t bare. The Trevor Project states: “suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people of ages ten to twenty-four. Also reported is that “suicide attempts by LGBTQ youth are four to six times more likely to result in injury, poisoning, or overdose that requires treatment compared to their heterosexual counterparts.” I was one of those youths that desperately tried to escape the darkness with no other solution in mind but suicide.
“Put some bass in your voice.”
“Men don’t do that.”
“Stop being a BITCH!”
I’ve been told so many times who I should be, how I should act, how I should dress: all because I wasn’t your stereotypical guy. I tried tirelessly to please those around me and in the process I walked closer to the black hole. Wondering constantly what about myself is so unappealing that the majority of the people around me felt the need to change it? I didn’t even know who I was at the time so how the hell could possibly anyone else know? They knew something though: I was not the standard male. From my physique to my mannerisms, I naturally allowed my masculine and feminine entities to intertwine eventually becoming an unapologetic hybrid of Adonis and Aphrodite.
I know what you may be thinking. “Well why is it so hard to be yourself?” “You should be yourself regardless of what people say or think.” While I can agree with such a statement to a degree it’s not quite as simple. It can be extremely difficult to “be yourself” when you’re a person that is outside of a standard, especially if you’re not in a position to be completely independent. Tell me once more how a fourteen year old gender nonconforming person is suppose to be themselves when doing such can potentially get them kicked out of their place of residence?
As a society we have to keep in mind of the variety amongst us. There are various minds, opinions, energy, and people that inhabit this Earth. I’m sorry to break it to some of you but you are not the sun of the universe. You’re way of life should not oppress and invalidate another individuals despite your beliefs. The unfortunate reality is that it happens more often than not. Yet we fail to not only acknowledge that it happens but how others are traumatized by it. Or are we so numb to the injustices we continuously hear about? Not everyone has the strength to stand on their own against an army. Very rarely do we come already equipped with our swords and shields.
So where do we go from here? How do we make a difference? There are quite a variety of different ways we can do such. From gargantuan to nearly microscopic, the smallest of efforts can make a huge difference to someone seeking out darkness for solitude. It could bring them hope: A vision of a life where they not only exist but are proud, brave, and fearless. It’s not about a “gay agenda” or the theorized “effeminization of black men.” It’s merely getting to a place in our world where we can all acknowledge that despite if you dislike something you don’t have to antagonize or destroy it. Try to be sensitive to others. Step outside of your comfort zone to better understand the world around you. Share your stories of triumph. Be the light in a world filled with so much chaos.
- Alex N. Wanderland
Graphic Design: Rig’D Branding
Publication: Urban Socialites Magazine