‘Just be yourself’ is good advice to probably 5% of people. – Tweet from @GSElevator
The tweet quoted above may or may not be intended for humor, but the advice is all too true for many. We are taught at a young age to value our individuality; that we should not take into account others expectations of ourselves when crafting and presenting our identity. This is a lie. Its sincerity is measured by how closely your individuality matches the expectation and falls within the boundaries set by others.
Imagine the parent that tells their child to “be herself,” but then disowns her when she comes out as lesbian. What of the atheist disowned from their family when they make it known that they do not believe in the god they do. What of the angst over finding out that a close friend belongs to a political party diametrically opposed to yours? Society shuns the polyamorous, the queer, the kinkster, the asexual, the stay-at-home father, and so on. All of these people are being true to themselves and to their desires, but their personalities and their actions do not follow the mold that society, and many individuals, hold sacred. It is true. You can be yourself. However, that only extends so long as you are a cookie cutter image of what is acceptable.
I have to wear masks each and every day of my life. My true self must remain hidden and internal. I am both psychopath and transgender. Society accepts neither, regardless of the actions I do not commit and regardless of my own autonomy. If I were true to myself, I would be abandoned entirely. Others do not want to know that I lack emotional bonds with them. They do not want to know how I can use others for my own benefit like pieces on a chessboard and with as little emotion. They do not want to acknowledge that I could care less about their accepted notions of gender and sex. I could be true to myself; that is what I’ve been taught. However, it was a lie, my uniqueness extends only as far as others will accept me; the alternative is to have less control of those I meet.
I’d like to think that one day I could be open and honest about myself to more, but that would also be a lie. I’d like to imagine a world in which the psychopath were accepted as an equal, but different human, but that day will not come during my lifetime. We simply do not fit the mold imposed by others. And so, I will remain disguised as a sheep among the flock.