Masculinity for me is comfort. Ever since I was a kid, I have always felt more comfortable wearing masculine style cloths and looking masculine. To me masculinity represents strength, independence, comfort, and confidence. I would always cringe and feel awkward with the feminine look as a kid, but would also feel ashamed that I liked masculine clothing and looks. In and of myself I wasn't ashamed, but I would get shamed at times by my authoritative figures. They would let me know it wasn't "normal" to wear boys clothing, and make me feel like I was wrong for liking it. I was also shamed for wanting to play with and like the boys on occasion as well. So when I was younger I loved masculinity/boyhood as a secret. It was ok to be a tomboy to a certain level, but not quite the level I truly felt I was at. Masculinity at that time was tainted with shame. It was a slow process to allow myself to fully be myself and express my desire to look masculine as well as portray some masculine behavior. I started out being androgynous feminine, and then in 2010 made the big shift. Before that I would go in and out of masculinity and femininity trying not to rock the boat too much; though at times not being able to hold myself back. After 2010 I cut my hair short for the first time and prepared to no longer be secretly masculine. I prepared myself for the new attention, the judgment, being called "sir" all the time. Masculinity then was wearing thick skin and being myself no matter what outside elements tried to effect me. It was still tainted with separateness and fear. Luckily shame was not something I allowed myself to feel anymore. Fast forward to the present and masculinity is simply a part of me. I'm so comfortable in my style choices and self that confusing people about my gender doesn't bother me. I'm so comfortable in my own skin and expression of masculinity that I forget it even makes other people uncomfortable. Sometimes I have to remind myself that my looks and actions are confusing to some people. It just makes sense to me now that I would be this way. It's my style and how I express myself. It's how I feel sexy, cute, handsome, and balanced. My true self I would say is androgynous leaning towards masculine appearance though character wise I am very effeminate. My outer self balances my inner self. I would say I am blend of masculine and feminine, and I express those qualities in different ways. I can't really say why masculinity in outward appearance makes me more comfortable, it simply does. It wasn't something I consciously chose to like, I have always liked it. I did however have to consciously choose to allow myself to be me, and express my preference and like for masculine look and behavior. What is masculinity? It is an expression of me.