The author of this column is a male who has been well trained to despise his gender.
Here’s an excerpt:
You’re 11-years-old when you sit at the computer—the keys too large for your slim, clumsy fingers—and type “am i gay?” into the search engine. You know you have a crush on that girl who’s been in your class since third grade, but some of the guys have been making fun of the way you talk and walk, so you decide to check. But the search results don’t really answer anything, so you turn off the monitor and wonder if the guys know something you don’t.
You’re 13-years-old when you get your first pair of skinny jeans. They press tight against legs of skin and bone, but they’re what’s in and you feel cool wearing them. Self-acceptance, the rare joy you lacked so much in middle school, fills you. When V-neck shirts come into fashion, you feel the same self-love again. All of the joy is undercut when an older relative tells you those are clothes girls wear. You stop wearing both.
You’re 15-years-old when you’re out on the soccer field and your teammates start talking about all the girls they’ve got their eyes set on. They spill the names of those they’ve felt up as you run drills. They talk about how they’re going to smash, rail, and bang countless others. They notice your uncomfortable silence and call you out on it. You take a penalty kick, and then join in, lying that you were distracted imagining all the crazy sex you’ve been having.
You’re 19-years-old when you realize that masculinity kills. You read about Madison, Wisconsin’s first homicide of 2016. A man shoots a woman who turned his romantic advances down.
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