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Men Holding Hands

Men Holding Hands

I bumped into this photo on twitter with the caption “kumbe pia wanaume mko na mabestie.”
Boys hold hands when they’re younger. Their friendships are authentic and intimate. But as they become adults, they’re robbed of intimacy with a world that expects them to be competing and not connecting.
This homophobic creed that men shouldn’t hold hands didn’t emanate from a vacuum. Ask yourself, why is it okay for boys to hold hands when they’re kids but wrong when they’re adults? And for girls it’s okay from childhood to adulthood?
Why is it made alien for boys to show intimacy with one another?
It’s because ever since the 6th century when slave trade hit our shores later bringing its cousins colonialism and apartheid, African men’s bodies have been exploited for industrialization and capitalist production. While the gender role assigned to women became caregiving and nurturing.
Boys were hardened and alienated from self connection from childhood so that when they come of age, their physical strength can be exploited by oppressors for capital gain. If I’m using your body I can’t allow you to feel.
White imperialism institutionalized this system by introducing their idea of religion, erasing the care we had in our spirituality that got us connecting with ourselves and nature, by focusing on a “God” outside us who resides up in the air and who it seemed White people had more access to than us.
Hold hands, boys. Pat each other on the back. Look at each other in the eye. We can only grow and progress if we see through one another in clarity and truth.
Talk. Break down. Disintegrate. Cry. Speak up. Free yourselves of the tension of being men. There is nobody to impress. This is your life. The idea that you cannot exhibit love publicly or privately is a fallacy shoved down our cultures. We are caring people. It is in us. So stop hiding for fear of being laughed at or isolated.
You’re killing yourselves and killing others as a result.

Onyango Otieno

Onyango Otieno is a cultural designer ardent in maximizing the power of storytelling for healing and connection. Onyango believes in the potent spirit of humanity collectively creating safe spaces for interaction, development, business and movement, for a more cohesive world.

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