Originally published on mtvshuga.com as Set Yourself Free
If you’ve been following MTV Shuga: Down South, you would have seen that the series is getting real deep.
There’s so much to explore with each of the characters in this latest installment. In episode 3, we start to understand some of the struggles Reggie is going through – one of which being his battle with his sexuality.
When it comes to who you are, the first person you need to be honest with is yourself. It takes courage to admit things to ourselves first and foremost.
Growing up, wondering why it is you don’t like who society says you are ‘meant’ to like is confusing.
Why don’t I like girls?
How come I’m not into guys??
Maybe if I try hard enough, then I’ll start liking them?
People tell you who you’re meant to love, but it doesn’t always work like that. We can’t help who we like. It’s something that comes from within and can be particularly confusing if it is not what people think is the ‘norm’.
Exploring your identity and seeing what makes you feel good is a start. We all go through that process, just in different ways. Reggie is a cool dude, with some mad graffiti skills, and just because he’s not feeling Zamo, the female friend who’s clearly into him, does not mean he’s weird or any less of a boy because of it.
Episode 3 is the first time we really see Reggie exploring who he is and not shying away from how he feels. Seeing Diliza at the Fresher’s Turn Up and showing him his artwork has left Reggie feeling like someone has REALLY seen him for the first time.
Being brave with your feelings doesn’t always pay off straight away. Challenging people’s ideas can cause them to react in a negative way. Confusion. Anger. Disgust. These are some of the reactions people may have when you reveal your true self!
These responses are NOT a reason to discard your feelings though. The inner battle we all face when exploring our identities can be long and often harsh. Constantly hiding who you are, and battling through the discomfort that comes along with it is tough. The only way to overcome this is by embracing your identity.
Being true to who you are can be hard. You want to fit in and be what people expect you to be, so to stand up and say: ‘this is who I am’ can leave you feeling vulnerable and isolated at first. However, with some encouragement and support from people who truly care for you, these feelings will pass. Despite Reggie’s parents having a dim view of his graffiti, Reggie has found that support we all crave for from Diliza, allowing him to feel more comfortable in his own skin.
It can be overwhelming to think that you ‘don’t fit in’ or that ‘you’re not normal’. Taking that first step can be tough. Once you do it though, you may discover a way to be comfortable in your own skin.