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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. 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.
Follow TNKVRT here!