I am a boy.
I am a boy.
I have all the feelings girls do.
When I fall down, I hurt.
When my friends exclude me, I’m sad.
When it thunders, I’m scared.
When I’m hurt, I want to cry.
When I’m lonely, I want to be connected.
When I’m scared, I want to ask for help.
I want to talk about how I feel.
I want to be loved and accepted.
But boys don’t do that.
You told me not to do that.
You called me a cry-baby, a pussy, a sissie, a momma’s boy.
You told me to suck it up.
You told me to “man up”.
You told me to “hit that ass”.
You didn’t give me words for my feelings; you told me not to have any feelings.
You gave me a truck, a bat, a hammer, a gun.
You sent me to war.
You sent me into the coal mines.
You sent me away from my children for ten hours a day.
You sent me into burning buildings.
And when I turned out to be just as you conditioned me to be — divorced from my own emotions, devoid of my humanity, alone, fearful, and disconnected, I used the only tools you gave me to express my powerlessness and rage — the hammer, the bat, the gun.
So then you put me in jail.
With all the other boys.
Who were told not to feel anything.
And you want to blame a politician.
And you want to blame public schools.
And you want to blame religion.
And you want to blame, me.
For being a boy.