You know, I like being a man.
I like having shoulders broad enough that I can pick up a set of shelves and walk up a few flights of stairs, when I've had to.
I like being able to do pushups and climb things and jump a few fences if I had/have to, or being able to sprint so I don't miss that train (or only just barely miss it, anyway).
I like feeling strong and that I can defend myself when I've had to.
I like having the genitals I have and the way they can make me feel, I like the impulses they give me, in enjoying the sight and smell and touch of other bodies.
I like the hair on my face and shaping it to look how it suits me. I like having big lungs and a big voice so people can hear me, when I want them to.
All of these things I like. It feels like I'm confessing but I have no shame about these things.
What I don't like about being a man is that somewhere between the time where I was more scared of women than they were of me, as an object, was learning all that shame.
I don't like how unsafe women feel in society. I don't like being the object of fear, potential danger, harassment, or even just annoyance.
I don't like thinking back on times, incidents, moments in my past where I have definitely done, said, allowed things like that to happen.
I don't like how I've interrupted, shouted down, ignored, competed with, and taken up more space than I needed, around others.
I don't like that it's taken me this long to get here, figuring it out.
I don't like having to connect all the things above that I like about me, my body and who I am, with all these other things that do not like about who I am.
I don't like how close to home this all is. Whether it's Brunswick or beneath the skin I live in.
I don't like trying to figure out, think through how much of this is my fault. Me. But I'm trying to.
I don't like making this about me, but it is, because I am a man, and because I am a man here with you, with other men and everybody else and we have to.
Enough good people have already been hurt and killed.
I do not like that.