2 Chainz voice- “I’m different yeah I’m different, I’m different yeah I’m different” and while I’ve never pulled up to the scene with my ceiling missing I do have my middle finger up to my competition….or those who see my difference and whisper.
Metaphorically speaking I exist in a place socially that’s similar to a flower living deep within a rain forest. It’s hard to find, hard to understand how it exist among the tall trees that block its sun and even rarer to be surrounded by other like-minded flowers. This is where I am, perfectly fine looking up at the trees, existing mostly in my plot of soil and giving oxygen and life to those who happen to stumble across where I exist. I grow here, I live here and I drop seeds here to help continue the cycle before my time has passed. I can only hope that my presence in this forest helps push the male evolution forward.
I’m a heterosexual black male but I’m different from what society accepts as such. Truth is, I’ve never felt like I fit in with any particular demographic but it wasn’t from a lack of trying. Growing up and into my adult life I was cool but never cool enough, I was nerdy but not nerdy enough. I’ve been sexy but not sexy enough and I’ve been ugly but not ugly enough.
I’ve tried to be the Alpha male, I’ve tried to be the hardcore guy, I’ve tried to be the type of black man society says I should be. Honestly, I’ve tried to be homophobic, I’ve tried to be sexist, I’ve tried being a male hoe, I’ve tried being the good Christian guy, I’ve tried believing in the philosophy that women are lesser than men and I’ve tried being the token black guy. And you know what? Fuck that shit, it’s NOT ME.
Though I’m a proud black man who believes in black love, black families and loving black women I’ve often been told by other black people that I’m not black enough because of the way I speak or the way I carry myself. I’ve had white friends think that they’re more black than me because they wear a hat backwards and talk with slang that they’re more black than me. A failed belief that what you wear makes you something else other than what you actually are.
It’s been this way since I was a teenager and obviously because of the color of my skin I never really felt or feel I fit in with my white friends completely because even though they say they didn’t see color, they definitely saw my brown skin and see my brown skin and to a certain extent, judge me based on that. I’ve always felt like an outsider no matter how much I tried to fit in to society and that continues even today.
Maybe part of that is my fault because even though I’m naturally inquisitive about human beings and am always loving, respectful and friendly to those who’s lives I come across I don’t really let most people into my life and into my circle. I also don’t talk much about what’s going in my life and so when people don’t know you and don’t know what you’re doing, those who want to know are left to make up their own stories and beliefs about you . Which if we’re being honest is mostly based on whispers and lies that other people have told.
I’m different and even though I’ve always felt like an outsider for the majority of my entire life mostly everyone that knows me; loves being around me. It’s funny that someone like myself who often sits back and people watches at events is one of the most popular guys. I’m not trying to boost my own ego or toot my own horn but those who know me always want to be around me or says how cool as fuck Jay is. They love me, they respect me and they likely won’t say a bad word about me but they will say they “don’t know” and they’re likely to say “there’s something different about Jay” or that “I don’t know” whats up with him when people ask.
But who they see and get to be around is me and they do know MOST of me but because I don’t fit into any societal description of male structure of what they’ve been taught to think about a strong black male they refuse to accept me as it is and as I am. Who am I?
I have gay friends, I tell other men in my life that I love them, I compliment other men on their style and I hug other men because I truly believe that the world doesn’t tell men enough that they care for them and I know for a fact that men don’t tell other men they have brotherly love for them. I’m all about the empowerment of people but as a black man I’m definitely about the empowerment of black men and these actions are not always accepted as manly; which if you ask me is pretty ridiculous. To think that women are the only demographic that needs to hear and feel words of encouragement and love is to think that men are unemotional.
As I stated I’m a emotionally balanced guy, I dress fairly well, I keep my physical appearance nice, I get my feet done, I’m not homophobic, I support the LGBT community, I cry sometimes, I’m in touch with my emotions, I’m not aggressive with women, I openly admit that I don’t always have the most confidence and I don’t yell when I’m having a disagreement.
I’m transparent with my life beliefs, I’m not a religious person, I believe women can be sexually free as men, I’m sexually open with the women I sleep with, I talk mostly proper, I’m quiet but strongly opinionated, I stand strong in my core beliefs, I’m intelligent, I’m genuinely a nice guy, I do things that black people “aren’t supposed to do” and I’m metrosexual. All of these things mentioned makes certain types of people,in certain types of demographics uncomfortable and though they’ll never admit it publicly they know they need to do better at expanding the life they know and live.
All of this isn’t “supposed” to be included in one man, especially a straight black man but this is part of who I am and this who I give to people every day, every get together and every person who really wants to know me. But I wasn’t always this guy and I get why it confuses people and why some people confuse this type of male with being gay, ESPECIALLY when they don’t know any. Everything they’ve learned has taught them that men think a certain way and that men act a certain way.
I was taught this too and it’s part of why it took me so long to be comfortable in my own skin. It’s part of why the majority of you aren’t comfortable with men capable of balancing the masculine with the small percentage of their feminine side. In truth we all (men and women) have them both but we suppress them because it’s “not what men do” or it’s not ” what women do”. Did you know that men and women practically have about 20,000 genes alike? And the only major difference is that men have X and Y chromosomes and women have two X chromosomes? Read more The Difference Between Men and Women
It’s not easy breaking from what you’ve been taught and I was confused about who I was as well for a while in my 20’s but I’m 100% certain that this is who I am and I love it. I love the skin that I’m in, I love the man that I am and I love the man I’ve become even if it makes me feel like I don’t fit in. Anyone that truly knows me knows that I don’t want to fit the mold of anything. Not even for myself. I want to always break the mold and challenge myself to be greater than the person I was a decade ago.
Still; it doesn’t stop the frustration from building up when you catch wind of what people say about you. Even in a spiritually conscious person who knows not to place value in the words of people who don’t matter to you such as myself, it can still create energy within you that frustrates you. Trust these next words; I’ve learned that there’s no amount of women you can sleep with and brag about sleeping with that will stop people from believing what they want if your lifestyle is different from theirs.
Similarly there’s nothing you can do to change the opinion someone has of you if they don’t really want to change their opinion of you. That’s why it’s important for all of us to live our best life right now while we still can. I know that someone somewhere needs to read the words written in this article and when they do they’ll begin to stop hiding who they really are once they finish reading this. And someone somewhere who has a negative perspective about men similar to myself will read this article and realize that they need to do better on their perspective of what real men are.
There’s nothing wrong with being the norm and there’s nothing wrong with being different. Things just are the way they are and it’s up to us to stop trying to put everyone into the same criteria that we’ve placed our friends and ourselves in to. So please; stop trying to justify what people are based on your own experiences and to the reader who’s different and unsure about whether or not they should conform? DON’T!
Ralph Waldo Emerson said “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment” and Maya Angelo said “If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be”and I’m saying the greatest thing you’ll ever want to be is the person unafraid to see their life’s contradictions and work tirelessly to become aligned with their soul.
I’m different and that’s more than okay and maybe in my next life I’ll be a mahogany tree that catches all the sunshine and who’s bark is as hard to the touch as my soul but until that rebirth I’m perfectly fine being a black flower blooming majesticly as fuck….