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What does 'being a man' mean to you?

“Being a man to me is being a human being as anyone else and respecting everyone no matter their identity.”


What is revealed about you through your self expression?

“The way I dress and show confidence along with my big personality.”


What is your story?


My story starts like anyone else’s. Suburban born kid, middle class family, regular school life. But from a young age i always knew I was different from everyone else. I had barely ever hung out around guys but more girls instead but also the fact that I was more feminine than a “normal” boy. I was bullied and shamed for being gay all my life even when I didn’t know that I was gay yet. But weirdly enough when i had come out no one had even bothered to mess with me.

Do you feel gender stereotypes have held you back from expressing your truest self?


“Yes, as someone that wanted to wear makeup half my life. I was extremely held back from doing so because growing up I would always hear that boys were not allowed to wear makeup and they had to be masculine and a “ladies man” but my response to that is hell no. Men in society are way too stereotypical which is completely outrageous because we simply are all humans and all human beings should have the right to do what they want without someone telling them how to act, dress and express themselves.”


When do you feel most like yourself?

“When I am able to wear what i want, when i want and not let anyone's opinions affect me.”


What makes you feel empowered?

“Breaking gender norms by wearing makeup and not caring what others have to say about it.”

What does society need to be more accepting of?

The LGBTQ+ community. I feel as if society has demonized us for so long to the point where society treats us like we’re not other living human beings. Being gay doesnt make you a bad person no matter what anyone says. Being gay means you are different and unique in the best way possible. Being gay makes you powerful.


What kind of challenges have you faced during the exploration of your identity?

“Homophobia from a lot of people.”


How have you overcome these (or other) challenges?

“Through a lot of self confidence, and showing the world that I can be myself regardless of anyone's opinions."

What are your hopes, if any, for the future of gender stereotypes?

“My hope is that they will finally end and people can live their own peaceful lives doing what they want to do without negative opinions.”


What are you most proud of as it relates to the journey you have had with your identity?

“Having the courage to be openly out as a gay, person of color.”


Award winning photograph of "He/Him," representing the series at the 2022 Howard County Annual Junior/Senior Showcase.

  • The L. Newton Photo Award

  • Reservoir High School Fine Arts Senior of Distinction

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