Name: Eric

Social Media Handle/Username: @boujeebearded

Introduce Yourself/Tell About Yourself: I am 34, a married father of two, and an aspiring self-taught makeup artist (MUA). Over the last few years, I’ve learned my love for bending the rules of what the world perceives as masculine, trying to blur the lines to show that you can be masculine while enjoying the things the world sees as feminine. I mostly do it for the art for myself, but also to try and make strives in ending toxic masculinity.
I spent much of my life hiding in the closet, fearing for my life. After coming out, I met my now husband, who went through many of the same trials I did. In the process of coming out, I lost all contact and the relationship with my father, after he threatened to shoot me in the head.
Through looking back at the trials that came with all those years of hiding, I decided to be unapologetically me. That’s when I found my love for the artistry and beauty that is makeup.

What Inspires You Every day? : My every day inspirations are my two beautiful kids and my husband. They’re the reasons I wake every day and face the world.

What is some words of wisdom you live by?: The biggest words of wisdom I live by are: “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

What is your ultimate goal in life? : I’m currently working toward owning my own insurance agency and finally getting to be my own boss, and an opportunity like this is all I’ve ever asked for. It’s going to be an opportunity to finally be financially sound and allow me the possibility of travelling and seeing more of the world.

How have you been during the pandemic and how has it affected you? : I’ll just say this: mental health matters. The pandemic has been ROUGH on me with my mental health. As someone who has struggled with anxiety and depression, the toll the pandemic has taken really was a wake up call. I left a job over the daily fear and just waking up in tears not wanting to be in public. Every day was a massive panic attack and I had a very unsupportive boss when it came to mental health and I just snapped one day and dropped off my keys. It’s really taught me to just take things one day at a time.

What is a message you would like to give others? : Listen, I know life is hard out there for any of us that don’t fit societal standards or are BIPOC, but we will only make strides in the right direction if we continue to be unapologetically ourselves. We must show the world that even though they are against us or want us to change, we can’t and we won’t. We must stick together, support each other, and stand up when wrongs are committed against any of us. Never let anyone tell you you are less than anyone or anything else.

What else would you like to tell others about you or your life?: I’ll end with this, I’ve learned to never be afraid to reach out and ask for help when I’m struggling. I always keep myself open and available to anyone that needs a venting ear or to anyone looking for resources to get the help they need.

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