I thought this part was over. After all sixteen years I spent tripping, stumbling, & falling all over the place I finally picked myself up and left that mask behind. Never had I felt so joyous so thrilled so relieved as the day I escaped from the cage of a closet. It was the largest load off my back. I was done hiding. No more effort towards being who the told me to be. No more fake ass gestures. Done with all the wonna be macho BS. Finished being fake to be accepting; now ready to be real to be happy.
Yet, that is not the end. Or at least not for long. No happy endings for those who "break the rules". Although I was so ecstatic to be liberated that same can't be said for everyone else. So what's my natural response to that? Fuck ‘em. Fight it. Stand up for what I believe in. Be me until the day I die because if I don't that I may as well die now. "A life not worth fighting for is a life not worth living." But that is much easier said then done. & much easier done around the people who matter least.
Those individuals I've been around for the shortest amount of time were the best at adjusting to the "new me"/ the actual me. I love them for that & they love me for me. Most of them are my friends. Most of them are my younger relatives. Most of them are not in great positions of power in my life. But then there are the older relatives, there are the my parents, there's religious people there are fucking clans of people on the other side of that fence.
I was raised by or around many of these people. The put that fear in me that self-hatred in me that denial in me that made it so I would be caged for 16 years [if it went according to their plan it'd be much longer]. That didn't change when I "changed". When I stopped pretending that I wasn't gay they continued to not accept homosexuals. They continued and still do to this day promote homophobic ideals. I know this, I see this, & they don't hesitate to remind me.
This is where the mask comes in. This is where I become not so strong. This is when my vulnerability is at it's highest. This is my anxiety. I AM BEAUTIFUL & I know this. Everything about me makes me who i am and I love every bit of myself. I love me & I let go of things that hinder my growth to really allow me to be my best self. Even aesthetically I let go of all those things set up for me to be my best looking self. But this knowledge of my beauty, this self-confidence, this empowerment fades at times where these people cross my path.
It all goes back to that fear of my adolescence. The fear of the little boy who afraid to stand the wrong way or walk to "girly". The boy who was forced to mask his true opinions of all males and exaggerate his superficial attraction to the image of females. IT still sits with me to this day. I feel it as i write this. This shit burns away at my being.
This constant fear and the way I go back to being this scared little boy in those moments contradicts the beauty of who I am & everything that I stand for. This is a constant struggle for me that I hope to overcome with time. But as of now when I feel threatened or when a person reminds me of my upbringing I tend to shut down & mask my beauty.
“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” -- Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
Be careful how you treat people it may dim their inner light.