familyfor boys who lovelovemasculinity

what is masculinity?

some years ago i had a party to celebrate a friend. not sure how, but i had about 20 people in my tight, comfy one bedroom apartment. about an hour into it, my cousin arrived. he’s about 6’2″, bald head with linebacker broad shoulders. he turned heads. he strutted thru, dressed in all black like the omen. my friends, mostly black gay men, were gawking like he was the black clark gable. i knew what they were thinking – he’s masculine. i also had to tell a few of them that his wife would kick their ass. but what about his energy was so attractive to them? they didn’t know him and he hadn’t spoken a single word. defines masculine as: having qualities or appearance traditionally associated with men, especially strength and aggressiveness. and says: often defined as aggressive, strong, and unfeeling or stoic. being masculine means in modern times, at least, no shows of emotion, no flamboyance, no hugging… i remember a lot about my grandfather. his height. confidence. stubbornness. his slicked, wavy, 18 year-old boyish hair line. he was over 80 years old yet somehow at 41 mine looks like most men his then contemporary. i remember he’d always cross his legs. one long leg bent, swinging over the other. what he wasn’t, was those definitions of masculine. he was a gentleman. and when usher sang “don’t leave your girl round me.” that was connie. 11 kids. enough said.

i’ve been on my share of dating/social, dare i say ‘hook up’ apps. don’t judge me…you up there, too. i seent cha! a lot of black gay men say they want ‘masc for masc.’ i always wonder what they mean. and i’m sure if you polled 10 black straight women, at least 7 of them, too would want a ‘masculine’ man. i don’t think men like my granddaddy have people hitting them up in their dm. if those wanting ‘masc’ prescribe to those definitions, do they want aggression? no feelings? do they have to be strong all the time? can a brotha get or give a hug?

i’m not ‘masc.’ i’m a cute nerd. i’m nice. dope. and i open doors for women and men. i express my feelings and let others do the same. i can be in target wearing a yellow shirt and people would still come to me asking where an item is. “ma’am, i don’t work here,” is my reply in every store. i’m inviting. i write poetry, watch documentaries, love women’s basketball, will play any sport, i’m considerate and consistent. 9.8 times out of 10, i do what i say i will. when i don’t or do something out of character, i apologize. i’m confident in my interest, my thoughts and my walk. i know what i want and pursue it without regret. i’m gentle…man. that’s attractive to me.

a boy who loves – j. darius greene

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