Förebilden Danny Lam: det är svårt att prata om känslor.

Role model Danny Lam: it's hard to talk about feelings.

Role model Danny Lam: it's hard to talk about feelings.

Do you follow the Instagram account TNKVRT? There, Danny Lam makes oppression, macho culture and everyday racism visible in an educational and easily accessible way. We had the opportunity to interview him, and the result was a strong and important text about emotions, written in Danny's own words.

It's hard to talk about feelings. Especially difficult when you have learned since childhood that certain feelings are not desirable. That certain feelings are only for the weak, and that those who show them should be shamed into silence. You should not show that you are vulnerable. You should not show that you are sad, that you are not feeling well, that you are devastated, that you cannot bear it, that you are weak or that you need support. These feelings are diminished, ridiculed and made invisible. "Men don't cry", "Are you a man or a mouse?", "Take it like a man", "Bite it up". These words still resonate today, even though I am 30 years old.

It's hard to talk about feelings. It is difficult, but so important to talk about, and to show. Not only in the form of anger and aggression, which are usually the emotions men are allowed to convey, but also vulnerability, joy and everything in between. We are human and emotions are one of the most important phenomena that make us human. Holding back these complex emotions has never benefited us, quite the opposite: we become mentally isolated and lonely, and that's not good for anyone.

It's hard to talk about feelings. But I'm getting better at doing it. I talk about how I feel with my friends, and they do the same. We encourage, we support, we listen, we advise, and we share the loneliness together. And most of the time it actually doesn't feel so lonely anymore. To know that there are many people who have these feelings and to know that there are other people who can relate to you, and that you yourself can relate to them.

It's hard to talk about feelings. But it works. It works if we break the pattern together and start talking, showing and encouraging others that emotions are natural and human. That it's OK not to be able to cope sometimes, that it's OK to be sad, that it's OK to ask for help and support. That it's OK to show the full spectrum of emotions without feeling ashamed. It's hard to talk about feelings — but it can be done and you'll feel better for it, I promise.

Thanks Danny for showing the way! ❤️
Follow TNKVRT here!

Tips for children's books that help start conversations about feelings:

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