Gender roles are defined by society and more specifically cultures. The definition of masculinity is not the same across the globe. It's in the eyes of most other people that I'm masculine strictly based on my appearance.
In truth, I am both masculine and feminine as is every person. My outward appearance has never been based in the desire to be a man. I don't even like being referred to as a Boi within the gay community. I'm female. I love that part of me. I embrace it and am proud of it.
I grew up playing sports, getting dirty and shopping in the boys section for as long as I can remember. It used to hurt my feelings when people would tell me I looked or acted like a boy. I was confused when I was told to "act lady like". I always felt like I was behaving like a lady, my "lady like" was just done differently. I really wanted people to understand that girls look like me too. You don't have to dress or look a certain way to be a girl. Recently, when my 6-year old niece started asking questions, I simply explained that all girls are different. She understood right away.
Ultimately, to me, masculinity is about being comfortable with yourself and knowing who you are. It's about being strong enough to be yourself in a world that may not understand. It's about feeling free to express that strength through your style and how you carry yourself.
To move forward with gratitude, compassion and grace. To be loyal. To allow yourself to love deeply and to be loved. This transcends clothing or behavior. The perfect summation; the Latin phrase "Esse Quam Videri" which translates "To be, rather than to seem (to be)". Just be.