Like a “virgin” canvas we start off: clear and blank; and as we grow, outlines will be drawn for us by influences in our milieu, to make sure that when we start colouring ourselves, we do our best to stay in the lines.
No matter who raised you, you are somehow convinced that you are special; you are able to do anything you set your mind to. Yes! You can be that super hero you saw on TV – because each of us has found a hero we can relate to. So you do what any little boy would do and run as fast as your legs can carry you to your room; you rip off the blanket from your bed; grab your favourite pair of undies, a pair of gumboots and swimming goggles, and then...
As you make your way up to the addict you slowly start dressing the part by tying the blanket around your neck, struggling to put on your underwear over your pants and getting your shoes on before climbing through the window to get onto the roof. As you step closer to the roof’s edge the wind starts lifting your “cape”; you place your swimming goggles onto your face and decide to just do it: JUMP!
Helpless you lie there on the soft green grass in unbearable pain and as the sunlight starts peeping through the clouds you start thinking: “What made me decide to do such a foolish thing?”
Perhaps the square “educational box” that ruins your brain daily or maybe it was your parents that lied to you! No. One day you will remember this moment and realise that God makes no mistakes and your were born this way: born to be the Hero – just like your parents told you you could be.
How can you prevent that which you cannot predict since we are taught that when you set your mind to something anything is possible?
The best description I can give to the human race is not to say we are intelligently evolved “homo-sapiens”, but cannibal cavemen, for we bite and nibble on one another until the claws are taken out and sharpened; to hold down your prey as you sink your teeth into the flesh of your victim to rip out their heart and last bit of hopeful faith.
This is why we all hide behind a mask: From the moment you open your eyes to the moment you close them again, because we all feel that we need to be more than we are, and that nothing you have achieved is ever truly enough. Secretly there is a fire in your soul burning like wildfire to get you ambitious enough to be that hero you believed you could be; the little hero with the big heart that believed that he could fly! And like all heroes our only weakness is that people would find out our true identity. That is too big of a risk to take as it will open the closet door of our secrets that makes us vulnerable, susceptible to feel pain, betrayal and even worthlessness. Yes, our masks give us power, hidden power we will never truly admit to have until we have none.
The biggest problem with these masks is not that you will lose track of them and get confused about which one to wear, but that a simple scratch could cause this mask to shatter into a million pieces, revealing your identity. Thus we have many ways of ensuring that our masks are safely hidden behind our well-groomed hair and fashionable designer clothing pieces, accompanied by expensive jewellery to make sure the focus never falls upon us as unique individuals. Yes people rarely get to know the person behind the mask as we only see one another in tip-top shape, but never when we are in our old stained sweat pants, pink fluffy slippers and morning hairdos before the first cup of coffee... We get to know the perception of who others would love to be, by following their achievements and journeys through pictures on Twitter and Facebook statuses.
We are all just human and our days are numbered, and unfortunately if you do not follow the full circle of life you will have to face the consequences. The youth of today are a lot more privileged and able to enjoy a full gay scene, but there remain a lot of guys who are less fortunate: The day they step out of the closet they have but a few years to enjoy the journey of being a Twink (if any time to do so at all), before entering the Muscle Mary stage, hoping to be the guy that the Twinks are fawning over (whilst not regretting the numerous hours spent in the gym’s steam and sauna rooms). Before you know it, the final phase has come about, which most men fear of becoming: the Silver Fox running his last mile before he catches up with the Bears, having nothing to fear or be ashamed of, except the scorn of the twinks’ judgements towards his appearance and lifestyle.
We need to help each other replace the fear of unknown queeriosity with knowledge, as our power of peeling off our masks is not as potent as putting it on; for you become part of the mask, unable to see that you are becoming the villain – something people perceive you to be – instead of the hero you once wanted to become.
Please stop! Stop seeing the person I was perceived to be in the past; look through the many masks I have created and worn. Stop and see who I can be, when looking at my soul. Look at me and not the mask I show to the world.
I will start off by losing the salon products that grant me my perfect hairdo (which took me hours to get into place), and see me as plain; let’s lose the slim-fit shirt, not to reveal my perfectly built torso, but to show you I am human, made out of flesh and bone just like you. If you look with your heart and listen with your soul you might just see that I have a heart that beats with blood, yearning for love and compassion.
Let’s lose the imported Italian shoes, to show you the many marks and bruises they have hidden so well, revealing the many miles my feet have carried me onto different roads, where I have learned great lessons and gathered the knowledge I try to use in my everyday life. Let’s take of my tight-fitting jeans, holding my butt in the perfect bubble position – neither to lead you into lust or temptation, nor to show the expensive underwear – but to show you we are all male no matter how different we may come forth as. And finally, I will drop my designer underwear not to reveal my penis, that was the central force of my lifestyle for so many years, but to reveal the source of the emotional scars which will be found upon my heart from the sexual encounters of my past...
(Edited version of a scene from Desperate Housewives Season 3; Episode 17).
I am just human and even though this “tool” declares me as male, this tool was used to inflict harm, not only to others but to myself, as it has lead me into dark places making me realise the emptiness and the broken shards inside me.
You are able to learn a lot more about a person – not from what they put on, but rather from what they decide to take off, and who they decide to take it off for.
This is it! Me bare and naked, now true to you and myself – I am real and I am asking you for an opportunity to show you who I am. Now you can see the real me... I may not be who you thought I was, but this is me: I was born this way. And all I ask of you is to see past the villain and get to know the Hero that I once believed in.
Editor's comment: here's the musical summation of this viewpoint. Cue Heather Small and M-People and "Search for the Hero inside Yourself."
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