Men & Flowers

i want more ‘men’
with flowers falling from their
skin.
more water in their eyes.
more tremble in their bodies.
more women in their hearts
than
on their hands.
more softness in their height.
more honesty in their voice.
more wonder.
more humility in their feet.

-less
Nayyirah Waheed

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Masculinity: today was my student and I’s second time discussing this topic.

He is an effeminate, beautiful, bright boy, but, unfortunately, the only description of him that gets attention is before his beauty. He is constantly teased by his friends about his feminine ways.

They call him gay,
letting each letter borrow deep into his self-esteem like a snake making its home. (even if he was, why should this be an insult?)

My beautiful, bright, effeminate boy had a difficult life growing up, one I’m not comfortable in sharing, basically the way he swings his hips and breaks his wrist is a product of his past.

(I wonder if his classmates even know…)

“I feel like I put on a mask, Ms. Kami. I don’t feel like my true self,” he opened up to me.

I shattered.
Yet, it didn’t stop there.

He continued, “I’m weak and emotional. I saw something on the internet that said men should not show emotion.”

Gosh, I freaking despise the internet, how it has our young ones suckling at its toxic breast. Our Tiny Futures are eating that garbage up, and if we don’t say anything then we’re practically giving them a spoon–graduating the insanity.

Please tell me we’ve matured as humankind to see that heavily guarded gender roles have the potential to feel like prisons.

Am I saying gender roles are inherently evil? No, but let us be careful of how much influence they have in governing lives; allow room for exceptions.

By the way, the belief that men should be more stoic–less flesh, more bone–is outrageous and should NOT, by any means, be included as a trait under the role of male.

Anyway, we had a lovely talk about real friends; Jesus, a man, THE man, and how he wept; also, David, his harp, his sheep, and his weakness that still was able to defeat a giant.

He’s such a spectacular boy–a born leader without having to manipulate anyone or hide his heart. I just wish he saw what I see each day instead of what the media wants him to see.

For the love of beautiful, bright, effeminate boys wanting so badly to be men, please, allow room for them to grow into masculinity that’s stronger than a flimsy plastic mask.

We’re so quick to give our little boys rocks,
what if some of them just want to hold flowers?

Is that okay?

Can our boys be delicate, too?

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