Love U for U.
L O V E U F O R U
Growing up as a 'gay' man, I have struggled with my identity. I say 'gay' for a reason that I will come back to soon. I have always been very feminine on the inside but not so much on the outside. I frequently felt that I should express myself more manly as other boys did because that was the way things should be – you are a man, so you should act like one. It affected my body's image tremendously because I didn't feel that I could express myself through the use of my own body. I would try to gain weight to have more muscles or purchase 'manly enough' clothes. For example, I used to love wearing skinny jeans some years ago, but I always felt uncomfortable doing so because, along with my femininity, it was just 'too much' in my mind. And I was called many things that only confirmed my fears. This experience has taught me that toxic environments produce toxic perceptions of ourselves.
And so it wasn't until I moved to the UK that I started fully own my sexuality and how I want to express myself. It has been a steady process of discovering who I am, and my body is undoubtedly a massive part of it. I've recently started to use make-up and nail polish, which to my teenage self would have been unbelievable. I have come to peace with the fact that I don't have to be muscular; neither is it my priority. Earlier, I said 'gay' because my process is unfinished. There's so much freedom in acknowledging that the gender binary in our society is harmful to people's view of themselves.
Am I a gay man? I don't know. But I am a human being just as are you, and we are both worthy of happiness.
Body image and self-love can be difficult topics and trigger complex emotions. If you feel affected in anyway, please get in touch with one of the following for support:
Student Wellbeing Services
Student Counselling Services
Riccarton Medical Centre
The Galashiels Health Centre (GP): Currie Road, Galashiels TD1 2UA, Phone: 01896 661366
Y-Talk Orkney (counselling services)
LGBT Youth Scotland
Heriot-Watt LGBT+ Society: find us on Social Media or email email@example.com for access to our Discord server!