Masculinity is a funny thing. It can be the most freeing and it can be the most constricting. Masculinity is often confused for meaning the same as being a man. That is not true. Inside every human there is a level of masculinity and femininity...they are just all different. And that is beautiful. It wasn't until I started my transition that I really started to understand what it meant to be masculine. So what does it mean? Anything you want it to mean. I think we get so caught up in thinking that masculinity has one meaning or one purpose, when in reality, how masculinity is perceived and expressed is as unique as the individual. It would be a really boring world if all masculine people expressed it the same way. Unfortunately thought our society favors one from of masculinity over another, and that is the image that is put into our heads. We need to challenge that image, and that is exactly what we are doing. Masculinity comes in all forms from all sorts of people. As a trans man, I always struggled with embracing my masculinity. But as I got older, started understanding myself, and then later transitioning, I better understood what it meant to be masculine. And I refuse to shy away from it. To be masculine does not mean to be oppressive. That is called ignorance and bigotry. To be masculine means to embrace your true self and live it authentically. For me it means that I am strong, confident, gentle, compassionate, energetic, and supportive...expressed through my everyday living. You define masculinity for yourself, and that is what is so awesome about it.