Through this work I started to realize how hard it was for me to show up authentically with other gay men. I was afraid of rejection of who I really was so I would only show up masked behind my perfectionism. This brought me down a path of feeling lonely and isolated in the gay community. I never felt truly connected to because I would only bring forth the aspects of myself that I deemed were desirable. These were things like my body, my always happy and positive personality, my sense of humour, my sexuality, etc. Basically all the things that people told me were okay to show up as by validating me for them. This disconnection and loneliness was the motivation behind me wanting to discover more authentic aspects of myself. I wanted to become more confident in who I was so I could share more meaningful and intimate connections with people and not feel so afraid to let myself be seen.
I spent a greater part of my life not knowing how to have meaningful connections with other gay men. Not knowing how to share intimacy without sex, and most definitely not knowing how to be vulnerable with other gay men because I thought it would make me undesirable. What I didn’t realize is that my vulnerability actually made me relatable and this is how I began to find meaningful connections with other gay men.
This is the path I am destined to walk others down but first I had to get in the trenches and do the work myself. I now am on a full-time path of teaching other gay men how to reconcile their toxic shame so they can celebrate more self-acceptance and authenticity through meaningful connections with themselves and others.
Taking the leap to allow yourself to be seen can be scary but the work pays off in the end. It is through vulnerability and authenticity that I have found the courage to speak my truth in first person, with raw and real stories that connect to you.
I do this because practicing healthy vulnerability has been how I have overcome shame and perfectionism. I became tired of hiding behind my masks and it was time for me to show up authentically. The beautiful thing about authenticity is that you attract exactly what you need to make you happy. When you are being true to yourself, you will make connections with others that will feel true to you.
The truest act of courage is to show up as yourself in a world that is constantly trying to tell you not to.