They sit in judgment. Believe they know best. Continually refusing to heed the cries of others as they exclaim “See me, hear me, understand me!” All because they’ve not yet dealt with their own wounding.
Those people scare me—or they used to.
They’re the same people who didn’t believe me, either. They only believed what they’d bought into by some misguided patriarchal belief system. Neither they—nor their parents, nor their parents’, parents—have ever taken the time to question the validity of said beliefs. They don’t have the audacity to take a stand or walk away from something that is so innately harmful to the human condition. All in the name of “I can’t be on the wrong side of this!”—the psychological phenomenon called cognitive dissonance.
It’s also easier to go along with the crowd than to be an outsider.
Through it all, I knew those people, and I still decided to do the scary thing: To be that person who lives his life on his terms, owning his authenticity as a gay man, regardless of what others think.
You see, these people do scary things like demanding you follow their religious perspectives, practice their conservative ways, blindly follow leaders out of fear. Then I realized they live in fear. They fear the rejection of the other pew-dwellers. Their anxiety gnashes at their self-worth at the thought of not living on the right side of the tracks. Hidden behind their mask of false happiness and joy is an evil truth of piousness founded in their lack of self-love.
These people who don’t love themselves scare me.
They step into their roles, not out of blind faith, but out of self-imposed blindness, believing this is what good little boys and girls do. Justifying their actions because this is how people with impeccable morals live: swallowing their own tainted elixir fermented by the forbidden fruit of false righteousness.
None of us is superior to another human being. Yet, when we project that type of arrogance, it more often than not is a reflection that we’ve not come to terms with ourselves and lash out at others to protect ourselves from having to do the work to be more authentic, caring, compassionate human beings.
Oddly enough, the joke’s on them: They’re inferior in their own eyes and they’ve never come to terms with themselves because they can’t get to their souls. They hold themselves in such low self-esteem, lashing out and playing the victim when others try to help them see the humanity of being human.
Oh yes. They wear the façade of humanity, but that mask hides the ugly, twisted truths of who they are at their core. They say they stand for humanity, but their actions contradict their words. They lack human compassion.
- There is no humanity when the color of someone’s skin causes you to live in misguided fear.
- There is no humanity when who someone loves causes you to forget the definition of love.
- There is no humanity when lies become the status quo, without the slightest attempt to investigate the truth.
- There is no humanity when personal privilege easily pays off any immoral transgression.
- There is no humanity when the marginalized aren’t seen as people, but as open sores of society.
The pain, fear, suffering, defamation, humiliation, and outright hate they spew exhibits the toxic masculinity they will default to anytime a social justice movement challenges their masculine ego, an ego that’s been trained to indoctrinate minds who choose not to think for themselves or question anything.
Let’s not kid ourselves that this toxicity is reserved only for men. Oh no. The brainwashed wives proudly stand by their men, vow that “boys will be boys,” and even sit by shaking their heads in affirmation when the husband prostitutes his daughter’s words for sympathy, “We should pray for the women, too,” lest we forget, he and his family are the victims. The almighty men who bully their way through life use toxic masculinity as a tool to control women and children.
I know those people well. I’m not a woman who took the stand after years of staying silent about what happened one night at a party in a home.
I’m a gay man who, after years of staying silent, also spoke my truth, and was asked, “Why now, after all these years?”
- I’ve agonized through sleepless nights questioning whether to speak honestly or stay silent.
- I’ve been questioned about whether my sexuality is real or something I made up.
- I’ve felt the pain of rejection because of who I am and what I’m not afraid to say.
- I’ve experienced fear based purely on ignorance rather than on facts.
- I’ve shaken in my shoes, taking a stand for who I am and what I know to be my truth.
You see, I know those people, their toxic masculinity, and their narrow points of view. They are the same people who question the validity of victims of sexual assault.
Men of morality don’t attack women and others who don’t fit their worldview.
Those people used to scare me. Now, they inspire me to live my truth without apologies in the hopes of bit by bit tearing down the destructive energy of masculinity gone awry.
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