I am man, feel me whisper, and hear me roar.

My innate urge to express myself is not a sign of weakness but a privilege to be witnessed. The reasons why I hold the door for you, rub your back when you’re tired, or send you sweet text messages during the day have less to do with what you expect of me and more to do with what I expect of myself. What I am not is a coward, nor a pushover. The direct scope I give you to my heart isn’t something to be taken for granted. I imagine that what women enjoy about the “bad guy” is his seemingly impenetrable character. He is rough around the edges and it is confused with decisiveness and resolve. It is confused with strength, when in actuality it is weakness birthed from between the legs of insecurity. Insecurity in itself isn’t a weakness, but becomes one when a man cannot express those issues with grace and humility. It takes more strength and willpower to admit ones flaws, than it does to mask them. Don’t confuse my soft-spoken voice with passiveness. Don’t imagine that you can demand the world of me before you demand the world of yourself. Don’t mistake my willingness to compromise as a sign to do whatever you please, my heart be damned.

Like the lion that sleeps in the shade, I am gentle, beautiful, strong, brave, and humble. However, when drawn out into the sun I become fierce, violent, combative, dangerous, and motivated to destroy whomever threatens my happiness. I will bow to no man, woman, or god that does not reciprocate the same respect and love that I exude.

I am a man. A product of billions of years of evolution and I carry those scars within my genome. I carry the ability to fight when backed into a corner. I carry the ability to show sympathy to those who need it. I carry the power to love beyond the borders of the human imagination to a place that only exists within my beating chest. I carry everything that is man, everything that is beast, everything that is demon and angel. I choose to love with the strength and fierceness of a lion, and I will defend it with my life. I am man.