Hailing from Bridgend, he’s faced his fair share of struggles, including grappling with his mental health and identity.
He recalls moments when he felt emasculated and uncertain about where to turn. It’s been a journey of self-discovery, where he’s challenged the toxic aspects of masculinity that society sometimes imposes. He’s observed how media often portrays men in a negative light, leading to misconceptions and perpetuating stereotypes.
To James, being part of a men’s mental health and well-being group, known as Brawd, Welsh for Brother, has been instrumental in his journey. He candidly discusses his challenges with the group and his family, although not everyone reacts the same way. While he can openly share his feelings with some family members, others may dismiss his struggles or attribute them to something trivial. The group provides a safe haven, where James can freely express himself without the fear of judgment or misunderstanding.
James finds strength in the group’s inclusive nature, emphasising that being a man doesn’t have to conform to narrow definitions. The group is a space where they can be themselves, devoid of toxic behaviors or harmful biases. It’s about supporting each other, regardless of differing backgrounds, orientations, or expressions of masculinity. For James, this community has made a profound impact, reminding him that he’s not alone in his journey and that embracing one’s unique masculinity is a positive and empowering choice.