The Masks We Wear

Posted: August 27, 2012 in About Me
Tags: , , , , , , ,

We all wear some sort of mask.

From the woman who can’t let her partner see her without makeup, to the hard-bitten cynic who secretly just wants to be loved.

The life and soul of the party who never feels more alone than when they’re in a room full of people.

The guy who  says ‘I’m fine’ when asked how he is — when he’s anything but.

Yes, masks are a fact of everyday life.

I neither advertise nor conceal the fact that I’m gay. I look relatively masculine and can pull off the straight/butch act if I’m in a rough area, or in unfamiliar company. But I don’t respond well to homophobia and I challenge anyone who’s seen me when I’m pissed off to tell me I can’t handle myself.

What I mean is that I never feel like I’m putting myself out there when I exit my front door. I don’t walk along the street feeling like I’m under the scrutiny of other pedestrians, wondering if anyone’s going to spot what makes me ‘different’ and jump on it.

If you were black in the 1950s and 60s you didn’t have the luxury of concealment. Insults and attacks, segregation, fear and hostility would have been part of your daily life.

Why are people still so scared of anyone different that they have to hide their fear behind a mask of stifled laughter, taunts and sometimes even aggression?

So I say this:

To the freaks and the weirdos, to those that don’t conform, the skinnys, the fatties, the shorties and the lankies. To the men with guyliner and the girls with tuxedos and painted-on stubble. To all those who refuse to go through life with a mask on.

I applaud you. I respect your fearlessness to turn round to the world and say “fuck you, I am who I am”.

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