Nat: "I have a complicated relationship with masculinity due to my interconnected Asian American and transgender identities. At times, I feel that I have to conform to standards of hegemonic masculinity to be fully perceived as "male". When I approximate this form of masculinity, however, I experience several barriers that Asian men understand all too well.  I am seen as "emasculated", "passive" and "weak"; I am the antithesis of hegemonic masculinity, which connotes whiteness, strength and aggression, hypersexual heterosexuality, etc. As a result of these barriers as well as a greater awareness of the multiple forms of masculinity one can embody, I usually choose to defy this narrowly defined, toxic and mainstream type of masculinity. I am "masculine" enough even if I don't work out 24/7, have six pack abs, or have a full beard.  I am still male, and I am proud to be Asian American."

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