I am not bearded. I am not overtly sexual. I'm not up on the latest football stats. I am not what society considers masculine. For those reasons, I nearly drowned in my insecurities.
Some have called me feminine. Some have referred to me as metrosexual. The vast majority have assumed I was homosexual. In efforts to mask how uncomfortable these things made me I loss myself. Loss myself in efforts of trying to disprove my outward lack of masculinity based on social norms. Masking who I truly was made me sink deeper and deeper into a pool of insecurities.
Most of my life I found myself uneasy in large groups of men. I constantly felt I had to overcompensate in order to avoid them judging me. I wanted them to see me as much of a man as they saw themselves. I questioned what was it about me that made them question my masculinity and what actions do I take to fix it. Until the day I looked in the mirror and didn't even recognize myself. I had dug so deep to try and fix an issue that should have never existed that I was no longer living in truth. I was entirely too caught up in being what they expected of me. I lost my ability to be free and vulnerable. I loss Gary.
See Gary is the type of man that respects women, loves hard, knows how to express himself, cares about his appearance, loves R&B music (including Beyoncé) and is a man by how he behaves and treats others, not by the stardards of a hyper-masculine society. When I looked in the mirror that day, I couldn't see any of that. I prayed hard to get back to me and see myself in the greatness that God created me in. I prayed to be released of the insecurities I allowed other people to drown me in. Although it's hard and I still deal with the uncomfort of people's opinions at times, I'm so much better. Living in truth is an incomparable freedom that worked and prayed to gain. So by your standards I may not be masculine, but I am a man and I'm most certainly proud to be Gary Thomas!