I connect masculinity with beards, fashion, male privilege and personal joy.
Beards - because my dad had a seriously long, full beard, as did his father and as does my older brother now. And I'm excited to be on my way with my own beard as I newly transition as a transman. I finally stopped shaving and had a nice goatee before even starting testosterone. Now I am growing out my beard to see how long it gets. It's a new adventure.
Fashion - When I started my own public health consulting practice a couple of years ago and was in the process of defining my brand, I instinctually started buying and wearing men's dress shirts, ties and pants. This made me very happy. And each morning as I dress for work I enjoy taking care with what I wear, the colors, the patterns, the textures. Fashion is fun and a way I express my own brand of masculinity.
Male privilege - It is unfair and unjust that masculinity is so valued over femininity and all the ramifications of that. As a feminist, having been raised female and lived as a woman for 45 years, I am adjusting to how I am being treated differently as a man. I commit to being more vigilant about being an active feminist ally. This especially includes championing trans women, who have to endure sexism and trans misogyny.
Personal joy- I am thrilled to be affirming myself as a man. I feel more in touch with my masculinity and my femininity. From four years old, I knew I was part boy/ part girl- more boy. I knew I was masculine and feminine, without having that language yet. Feeling free to explore and express my gender is life saving and such a joy.