There are words we use—words we've learned, and that are reinforced every day—to describe what means to be a man. Words that build ego and cover insecurity. Nicknames, and phrases that mask vulnerability with humor. Words that characterize who are, and who we're supposed to be. And we hear these words, internalize them, then do what every manly man is supposed to do: avoid talking about them, or how they make us feel.
But we do feel them, and we often push them back on to others. We shut down, and wind up locked into stereotypes of ourselves, of our families and relationships.
"The further we explore alternate identities, the more space it allows for those of us that occupy traditional identities to breath a little bit."
This project is simply a prompt for conversation; an invitation to dialog about how we see ourselves, and how that impacts the ways we see and talk about others. It's something we can do in any setting, on any day, and in that, it's a frustratingly simple concept. But all of this is awkward, and vulnerable, and...well, beautiful, and that's just not something manly men are taught to engage. So let's try.