He wasn’t man enough for me.
I know some of you clicked this link thinking you were going to find something you feel you knew about me. But, sorry, jokes on you. I picked this title for click bait, but it’s also the main topic of this blog.
I lived in a home with a very masculine father and brother who loved the sports channel, football, and basketball. They spoke ”manly”, and used all the correct ”manly” gestures when expressing themselves. However, I wasn’t given the same vibes as my brother and father. I enjoyed all types of music, pop to be specific, and I hated sports with a passion. My desire for “manly” things were very low, and it definitely showed. While growing up, I was constantly reminded that I sounded like a girl, walked like a girl, moved my hands like a girl, and I was always judged for it. When I was around my brother and father I would try my best to put on a manly voice, sit up straight, and try not to speak.
I remember a particular time talking to my father. He said to me, “Why are you talking like that? You sound-”. But, he didn’t finish his sentence. He just paused. I believe he looked directly in my eyes and saw the tears beginning to build up. I wanted to finish his statement and say “like a girl”, but I didn’t. I got up, and walked away from the table. Growing up was so intimidating because I didn’t feel ”man enough” to be my brother’s brother or my father’s son! I was willing to do anything to make my father and brother accept me.
So, when I was in the fourth grade I played Pop Warner Football (I was #99). That shit was HELL!! I hated every moment of it, but my father and brother were proud to see me doing something that was deemed normal for a young boy. Trying to please my brother and father only made me miserable. I spent most of my time growing up and trying to please people, but never pleasing myself.
When I was in the 10th grade, I reunited with a male buddy from preschool, and it was like we hadn’t missed a beat. We were both much older, but our personalities still clicked. During our reconnecting stage, I was insecure about our friendship. I felt like I was not the “homeboy” who he could call and talk to about the “hoes” or football. Previous homeboys never stayed around because they were afraid to be seen with me when their other friends came around.. Sad huh? Yeah, I know.
However, my male best friend never once gave me the impression that he was ashamed of me. Being around him meant I could be my genuine self. I didn’t have to pretend. This allowed me to embrace myself, and bump what others thought about me. He accepted me the way I needed my brother and father to when I was younger. To be brought up in a culture where being masculine was a must can really send someone like me through a stage of identity crisis.
I want to say that my brother and father never mistreated me, but I feel like they mishandled me when I was younger. This is one of the hardest things for me to talk about because I still get asked, ”Are you gay?”. The crazy part about is when I ask, “Why do you ask?”, they say because ”You look gay”. WHAT THE HELL DOES GAY LOOK LIKE?? Does anybody know?! No one knows 🤷🏾♂️..
Being gay is being attracted to the same sex. Not being masculine does NOT make you gay. If men weren’t so afraid to be sensitive or get emotional, then maybe we will have better relationships with our wives, girlfriends, and daughters!