In this society, Black men are perceived as the epitome of masculinity. I have always been Black and effeminate so I had pressure from the men around me to eventually assimilate to their toxic behaviors.
At the same time I also had to navigate society’s infatuation with straight, cisgender, white men, as I am none of those things.
I have always known that men are toxic, and I never wanted to be considered one of them. I was taught that hair was a sign of manhood, so after I began to grow hair, I would routinely shave on Sunday nights to avoid being perceived as a man.
The razor became a metaphor in my life for struggles with my presentation.
During my time shaving I dealt with my internal anti-blackness, relationship to eurocentric beauty standards, my interactions with men, and where I fit in the gender spectrum.
I wrote this poem to heal myself from the marks toxic masculinity has left on my body & to remind myself and others that masculinity ain’t shit.
Amir Khadar is a Black nonbinary multidisciplinary artist and activist. Their artwork focuses on deconstructing systems of oppression, and practicing unapologetic self love. Amir is currently studying at the Maryland Institute College of Art.