Although more and more people are starting to acknowledge how fluid gender is, defying gender roles can still be scary — partially because it could lead to familial disapproval for many. For Jauan Durbin, a boy who wears makeup, it meant being disowned by his mother.
In a viral tweet, the Morehouse College freshman shared a text conversation between him and his mom, Pop Sugar reports. "I do not approve of this bullshyt," she wrote after sharing a picture of him in eyeshadow, liner, and mascara. "Wth is wrong with you? I am so disappointed. You are a male. Wth do u have on eyelashes, eyebrows and makeup. I'm completely done." His response: "Ok."
"Lol, this hurts," he captioned a screenshot of the exchange. "It really does. But I'm going to live in my truth until the day that I die."
Durbin was devastated to fall out of favor with his mother, but he had more people to think about than her. Dozens who saw his tweet have told him he inspired them to keep being themselves no matter who had a problem with it.
And then, something amazing happened: His mom came around, too. "My mom has seen everything that's going on and realized that I was kinda getting hurt by it," he told Refinery29. "She's affirmed me and told me that she was just nervous about what people would perceive me as because of the makeup."
Not everybody has parents who will ever alter their stances, but Durbin's mom's change of heart does teach us a valuable lesson: We don't have to let others' closed-mindedness dictate who we are. And if we continue to shatter social norms, we could be giving our critics the opportunity to learn.
Durbin says his mother is, after all, the person who inspired him to be bold. "The courage I got is from my mom," he told Refinery29. "To be myself even if not everyone agrees."