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A Singer Reflects on Toxic Masculinity in Trump's America

[ I wrote this piece in June of 2016, but I didn’t publish it online or anywhere else because I was afraid. Now, on the eve after Montana congressional candidate Greg Gianforte won the election after assaulting a reporter, the day of the stabbing attack on the Portland train, the week of the Manchester bombing, in the wake of the dismissal of Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly from Fox News, as I’ve been watching The Keepers on Netflix, and with Donald Trump as president, I’ve decided to finally post it, fear be damned. ]

From about 5th grade to 8th grade I stopped singing. I made a choice to do so…no singing in church, no singing in school, no singing in public. I loved music and loved to sing, but I stopped because I was afraid. I was afraid to be called a fag, afraid to be seen as gay, and afraid that I would get my ass kicked. And I was right to be afraid, because if I was to sing the way my soul wanted to sing, all of those abuses would’ve rained down upon me in my small, rural, Upper …

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