Reflections and this week’s topic!


[description: a group of transmasculine bois smile for a selfie. they range in age, race and style. all of them are defiantly joyful]

Previously at Toolbox…. (hehe)

Joy and masculinity. What do happy men (masculine identified people) look like? As many of us navigate masculinity, it seems that the range of emotions men are allowed to express is limited. Anger is understandable, and even encouraged, though there are limitations for men of color. Ambition. Stoicism. Keep your voice low and loud. Not high-pitched. Don’t get excited, but if you do, it can only be around hypermasculine things: sports and sex.

But what about joy? What about elation? What about playfulness?

As folks who were assigned female at birth, many of us were told to smile more while we moved through the world being perceived (by other and/or ourselves) as women. Now, many of us have our smiles policed. Smiles makes us gay, which some of us may be, or a pervert. Because #MasculinitySoFragile, right? So why can’t men/masculine folks express joy freely? Many of us expressed a certain pressure to conform to the hypermasculine expectations now placed on us to fit in. Or to pass more safely. To not have our identities questioned.

Many of us imagine a world where we don’t have to relinquish our expressions to be affirmed in our masculinity. So let’s be #joyfulbois! Let’s smile! Let’s giggle! Let’s bare our teeth in elation! Let’s liberate our emotions! We enjoy the idea of interrupting the narrative of masculinity. Let’s be #joyfulbois together!

This Thursday! We will be talking about pleasure. Pleasure! How do you experience it? How do you give it? Where do you experience it on your body? Join us if you can!

Jaden and Destin


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