My guest, Jarrod Bruce Lee, identifies as an authentic gay man. He shares his journey from childhood to present, recounting the many experiences that carried him away from the authenticity that he came into the world with. Physical and emotional violence between his parents and living in fear. The weight of his father’s disapproval. Realizing he was different from the other boys in school and feeling like he didn’t belong. Being overweight and having body issues from being constantly ridiculed. When he reached dating age, being rejected because he is Asian. Then, in his early twenties, having a life changing experience that turned everything around, bringing him a profound sense of love, compassion, and gratitude for his parents, his life, and ultimately brought him back in the direction of his true authenticity… coming home to himself.
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Coach Maddox 0:03
Hello, Jarrod Bruce Lee and welcome to The Authentic Gay Man Podcast. I'm so glad to have you here.
Jarrod Bruce Lee 0:10
Thank you, Maddox. It is an honor to be here. I'm really, really excited to be here.
Coach Maddox 0:14
So tell the listeners where you are right now as we record this episode.
Jarrod Bruce Lee 0:20
Yeah, I am currently we're currently in Danna, Vietnam, on our world trip at the moment.
Coach Maddox 0:28
That is so exciting. I can't even imagine. I'm hoping a little bit of this will come into the story somewhere along the way.
Jarrod Bruce Lee 0:36
Yeah, I'd love to share. It's, it's been a journey. It's been a journey.
Coach Maddox 0:41
So tell the listeners how you and I know each other. What brought us to this point where we're recording a podcast episode together.
Jarrod Bruce Lee 0:49
Yeah. So firstly, matters, I found you somehow stumbled upon your Instagram, and Facebook. And I watched a couple of the videos you share now just drawn in by the authenticity that you share. And how there's something about the way you spoke Maddox that was easy to listen to. And yes, so insightful at the same time. And I just I was watching a few videos, I found myself watching more, and listening to podcasts. And I just thought I wanted, I think I commented on a few things, right? And then we started talking on Messenger. And yes, as they were connected on Zoom, and I was, again, just the space that you hold matters is beautiful. And I just I'm very grateful for you. I'm honored to be here.
Coach Maddox 1:43
Thank you. Well, I really appreciate your kind words. And I also felt that coming in that in the opposite direction, you know, just when we got on the Zoom, you you'd bring such a kindness and gentleness and a respect that is just kind of lost in the world these days. You are what I would consider a true gentleman. And that's a rare thing these days. You're very gracious in your energy and the way you interacted with me and it was ever so refreshing. And it made me feel very honored.
Jarrod Bruce Lee 2:23
Thank you, Maddox that's move by your words. Thank you.
Coach Maddox 2:27
Thank you. So to let the audience know, Jared is a body competence coach, specifically for gay men. And so we'll just go ahead and let you know right now that if you're if you'd like to reach out to him, that you'll do that via his Instagram page, and I will put a link in the show notes to make it easy for you. And with that, let's let's jump in. And I would love to hear Jared, what does it mean to you to be an authentic gay man? What is your personal definition of that?
Jarrod Bruce Lee 3:06
Wow. That's a great question Maddox. I've got a couple of answers to that, I'll say so the first one biggest one that really rings true for me is it's peeling away. The layers, the layers of armor, the layers, defenses that we build, build up as human beings protect ourselves, especially as kids to peel those away, and then get down to their core self and go Well, their core self is so much more powerful, so beautiful, and lovable, and falling in love with that and really falling in love with our true core self there.
Coach Maddox 3:57
I love that. So you're talking about falling in love with yourself that? Yeah, that's, that's beautiful. You know, I personally believe that's where it all starts. How can we really love another when we don't fully love ourselves? How can we fully accept another if we don't fully accept ourselves? So beautifully stated? I love that. Is there more? I don't want to cut you off. Is there more?
Jarrod Bruce Lee 4:24
Yeah, there's a little more to it. So well, that core salvors or your thoughts, emotions, actions being aligned. So the five feel something, I don't share something different. I don't I don't say I don't feel a lot of anger and just say everything's fine. If I say I want to do something, I go ahead and I follow through I do take the action steps. And once all those lines, that authenticity is just it's a powerful place to be
Coach Maddox 5:00
It is a powerful place to be and I find and you can tell me how, how this works for you. But the more I lean into that authenticity and the more I I really embody that, the more comfortable I feel in my own skin. Yeah. And people reflect that back to me. Yes, just via the either the way they just respond to me or the things they say to me. It's continually reflected back to me about that. Comfort in my own skin.
Jarrod Bruce Lee 5:34
Yes. And I so see that pneumatics right is when you are comfortable in yourself. That allows other people to feel comfortable in themselves, they get that they see. And they see and feel that. Yes, yes.
Coach Maddox 5:52
Beautiful. I love your definitions. Wonderful. Well, let's let's dive in to what we're what we're here you know, the big topic. You do so you, you consider yourself not not that we've ever we ever arrived, there's always more we'll be leaning in until our last breath. But at this point in life, you consider yourself an authentic gay man.
Jarrod Bruce Lee 6:19
Yes, absolutely matters. And I love what you share just now is it's a lifelong journey, right? It's not we're here and this is it. Plus, at this point in my life, the most authentic I've ever been beautiful.
Coach Maddox 6:41
So I want to hear and unpack what it took to get you there. What life experiences did you go through? What did you have to overcome? And then sometimes I think there are experiences that aren't about overcoming that aren't about hard things that just experiences that draw us farther into ourselves and toward that more authentic self. I just want to hear it all.
Yeah, thank you for the question that if so but let's start at the beginning this at the beginning Yes. So I can see already there's been the big Disney pivotal points in my life where there's big shifts big big shifts, but if we start for everybody beginning so at a my younger years so teenage years How far do we go back? I my parents we arrived so I was born in Taiwan and we moved to New Zealand when I was four and my parents they had some struggles and big struggles financially back home my dad right he had struggles that was a difficult challenge for them to get to New Zealand and to bring us up the way they did and in that in the changes well my parents they have loved me so much and I love them with every single core of my being there were parts that moments with emotional support and mental understanding wasn't what I needed as a kid there were moments as a kid where I my parents they do have moments with Yeah Is there were there were fights which sometimes got physical and
Fights between the two of them that you observed or fights with you?
Jarrod Bruce Lee 9:54
So between the two of them between. So we have in terms of the physical side of things and was challenging as a kid to feel there was the emotional and safety
Coach Maddox 10:28
Is talking about this bringing some of it up for you right now?
Jarrod Bruce Lee 10:31
Yeah 100% Maddox I can feel as though there's a few things going on being authentic riders I feel very lucky sharing it for myself sometimes I do to protect the people that I love about how much I share about others and I guess this my love for my parents right it's it's it's completely different place today but in those moments before the healing that I've done it was something I just covered away and I felt I just had to hide hide from for myself and from the world yes, yes.
Coach Maddox 11:32
So as you talk about what's coming up for you
Jarrod Bruce Lee 11:39
Yes, so I can steal what is coming up from your great question matters it's a feeling of well I've how far I've come to be where I'm at today there is bit of I guess fear right fear about because that in those moments there was a lot of anxiety a lot of fear a lot of beinginside being so six movie six or seven hiding hiding with my siblings and feeling just not knowing any moment any moment yelling could start any moment something could go wrong stay with it. I can see it I can feel it on your stay with it yeah
Coach Maddox 13:03
How did you move past that? How did you learn to deal with that? Was it something that was an ongoing thing
Jarrod Bruce Lee 13:14
that say yes I feel that's when the when the defense or the defense has started right has he find ways to protect yourself and I started feeling that I that I had to solve my parents problems that I had to fix everything and I had to I had to be the one that helps them be together and everything be okay and I had to be that that person
Coach Maddox 13:58
that's tall burden for a six year old. So did Am I understanding that those experiences took you in the opposite direction of authenticity. Like there's this you know, the armor that we put on I believe that we come in we're born into the world fully authentic as newborn babies and very young children we are fully authentic and then life teaches us not to be authentic and experiences make us afraid to be authentic. You what you just described was like armoring up Yeah, yeah. And so what I'm what I'm hearing and you can tell me if I'm I'm accurate is that this is the part of the story where you were moving in the wrong direction, moving away from authenticity and sometimes We have to experience that before we can come back. Yeah, to ourselves. You know, I personally believe that our journey in life is to rediscover our authentic self that we were when we were small children that life mixes up and, and really draws us completely away from that and out of that as children, and then we spend our life trying to get back to that trying to rediscover that part of ourselves. So am I hearing you correctly, my understanding that that's what was happening, there you were, you were going in the wrong direction and needed to go in the wrong wrong direction, because in that particular time in your life, being fully authentic, might not have been safe at all.
Jarrod Bruce Lee 15:55
And that's the nail on the head, right? There matters, right? So that was the beginning. That was one of the beginning phases, right? When I stepping away from the authenticity and in order to protect myself at the time, and stepping away from that, that core self. Yeah, that absolute resonance.
Coach Maddox 16:24
And from there, did you find that there were other experiences that continue to take you farther into that lack of authenticity? Or was there a point where you begin to move back in the direction? Back to you?
Jarrod Bruce Lee 16:41
Yeah, so it only kept on going. I love to say it just that. So along the way, too, I was I was a bit I wasn't, I wasn't overweight as such, but I was I was a chubby kid. And then I would have friends or strangers, even wall family members, comment on my weight, or comment on people in tapping on my belly and say, Hey, you're getting a bit of weight here. And pinching my cheeks, they, how cute my chubby cheeks looked. And I remember feeling just at those times really angry about it, I felt angry, I felt angry. And I remember being this, I don't want to be this chubby kid, I didn't want to be this person, I don't want to be this person. And then would you fast forward a little bit then getting into 1314 15 with sexuality, side of things are starting to discover about my own sexuality. Realizing that I that I was interested in, I had a crush on one of my high school classmates. And then not being able to share it. And then to hide that were not being able to share that about my sexuality with my parents with my family and feeling like I was wrong, that there was something wrong with me. I was I went to an all boys school where people would make jokes like faggot or gay people, or that was so normal. And that was an environment I was in so there was a lot of fear around my sexuality, what that was gonna be like
Coach Maddox 19:03
well, in what you're describing, I think is somewhat of this part of the story is kind of universal to most came in. At that point, when we realize we're different that we're not looking at the girls. We're looking at the Boys and, and we've already gotten negative messages about that. And the fear and we this, I believe, right here this part of the story right here that I think is so universal is what I believe makes it so difficult for us as gay men to be vulnerable to be authentic.
Jarrod Bruce Lee 19:39
Yeah. Yeah. So that is right, because it's, it stops us from what was sent a message from early age that who you are at a fundamental level as wrong as And at the time I believe this I believe that now you believe what you hear and you go okay this is something I don't want people to know I don't want to share this
Coach Maddox 20:16
so what what things did you do to safeguard yourself the things that obviously were not authentic but the things that you believed you needed to do during those high school years to create a sense of safety for yourself yeah I wouldn't I do i
Jarrod Bruce Lee 20:44
i was i was pretty smart at school. So there were different class ranges right from top to bottom where I was in the in the top top class and what I did though, because that was something else I was bullied or teased for was being a nerd so well that but what I did there to cover up I became the class wagon I will skip class I would write as much as it could be the cool kid of be the be the kid that didn't didn't care about things I
also, a big part is
I started to try and please people. So every every person, every person, whilst doing this weird thing of trying to be cool at the same time, to keep myself safe in the end, trying to please people by making people like me.
Coach Maddox 22:15
And how did you experience all that all those proverbial hoops that you were jumping through to stay safe? Yeah, how was that on an internal level
Jarrod Bruce Lee 22:29
I didn't realize this at the time that as well everything I've shared so far from from the younger age or those experiences a lot of anxiety. It's a lot of anxiety of
Icould this feeling like things could crash down on me any moment and I remember constantly being inside my head wondering what other people were thinking
try to get inside other people's heads, oh, she or he might must not like me
a lot of anxiety and I also remember there was a moment where I had to realize is that the time also I remember getting myself into one of the classrooms and locking myself away in the classroom, crying underneath the desk was almost my attempt to yell out for help. And I remember some of the one of the guys who actually had a crush on and then two other few other classmates. They will knocking on the door trying to get me like hey, wait, why are you there? It's lunchtime come out. And then I was just doing my best to to gain help. But I didn't know how to ask for it. Looking back
Coach Maddox 24:13
now and in retrospect in hindsight, how did all of that affect you energetically
Jarrod Bruce Lee 24:26
going back in time that it's right energetically.
was draining, most training a lot of a lot of energy because my I couldn't focus I couldn't. I couldn't truly be myself and
Coach Maddox 25:02
It's exhausting to be someone different than what you really are. Yeah, it is extremely exhausting. And we don't realize it when we're doing it. Particularly, but looking back, I know I can clearly see how exhausting it was to keep the charade going all the time.
Jarrod Bruce Lee 25:25
Coach Maddox 25:32
what was the next step in your story?
Jarrod Bruce Lee 25:35
Yeah, so it just just built right that honor addicts is I started going online online dating, there was a site called New Zealand dating.com. And trying to put myself out there to meet other remember, I think I was 16 at the time because I didn't know how else I could meet meet other guys. And I did it was secret. And I remember a lot of rejection. I remember a lot of seeking or seeking approval, right seeking love and all that. I remember a lot of rejection where other people didn't respond to messages. People maybe just commented, not said Not interested. Or and along with how I felt my body that's how it manifested got got worse, right? I just thought there's something wrong with me. I told myself I was ugly. That I was unattractive. People will never find me attractive. I hated and notice a lot of extra there's a lot of what I call a verse sexual racism where people just did Sorry, just big no, not not into Asians as an example. You know, I think it's a threat or not no firms, fat Asians or. And I wanted to reject that part of myself of that identity of my skin color. They're tired. Didn't want to be that because obviously that's unattractive. I'm not okay, I along with the body, image students at the time, it just created this big snowball effect where I started to do these crazy thing with eating so I developed some form of eating disorder, I would say where I still remember I will fast forward in time a little bit now do I remember being sitting outside? This was when I was working as an accountant sitting outside, waiting for work to finish, I can go to the supermarket. And I would buy bags of chocolate ice cream bag of crisps, sit in my car. And then I would eat the whole thing in 10 minutes flat, gone. And then what would happen then I would go on a diet again where I would say Okay, I can't have sugar. I can't touch that. I tried crazy things say orange only diet. I tried to completely not having carte carbohydrates. I tried. I went for it. And then I would also go for runs of 20 kilometers after a big decision going I need to run this off and I was I was just fighting with myself Maddox of you're ugly, you're unattractive. You need to fix yourself. You're not okay, those are all those messages I was telling myself. And I didn't recognize at the time. And was the cycle.
Coach Maddox 29:16
Yeah, go ahead. I'm sorry.
Jarrod Bruce Lee 29:18
Yeah, I tried to go into the gym as well tried different workouts and try looking things up online. And I spent three four years of just trying and failing miserably. And I remember feeling especially with that binge eating side of things, feeling like this was it I was I was so stuck. That's all I could think about because that became my way of fixing all those emotions fixing everything I didn't want to face it was i i fixated on that I felt I felt obsessed with food. I felt obsessed with it. And finally really angry at myself for not being able to see the changes. angry when I saw people who were in shape going, they're really lucky. They just had better genes. Why are they so lucky? I'm just destined to be feel this way for the rest of my life and just angry.
Coach Maddox 30:23
Well, in you, you said you were trying to fix things. And all the things you describe, really are mostly forms of avoidance, and denial. And what you're describing sounds like a great deal of self abuse.
Jarrod Bruce Lee 30:46
Yeah, of course, you
Coach Maddox 30:48
probably didn't realize that at the time. But is that accurate? Would you looking back? Would you say yes, that was very abusive of self. Yeah, that's, it's,
Jarrod Bruce Lee 30:58
it's taking. It's taking all the messages, right. So to say, with my upbringing, I want to make this, I can share this actually, I share this later
on. But I constantly feel felt I wasn't good enough for my father as well. So that was another thing that was played was everything I did some people things were wrong, or I couldn't do the right thing. And along with a sexuality of side of things, and not the rejections I was facing. Yeah, that was my way of punishing myself. So you're not you're not okay. You're not enough. I didn't realize it that I'm addicts. I had no idea. I just thought if I just fixed this body thing that was going to solve everything.
Coach Maddox 31:49
Well, and you're you're just everything you're describing is just going farther and farther away from the real you. Yeah, like you were away from that? Authenticity that came naturally when you were a very young child. What was the turnaround? Yeah, so
Jarrod Bruce Lee 32:11
there's three key turnaround points in my life matters. And this first one, this is life changing for me, was at the age of 21, when I decided actually I want to pursue, I want to really make a real change. And I wanted to pursue personal training. So I was in an accounting job I really hated. And this was the very first time that I truly stood up for something that I really wanted to me, against everyone else. So I remember if family members, friends, colleagues, I wasn't a top accounting firm Maddox. And on the outside people say, Wow, Jerry is doing this amazing thing that a lot. That's so incredible, inspirational. Whilst on the inside, I hated what I was doing. And then when I decided I wanted to pursue, I want to help other people with their bodies. And then in the same time, help myself great, what I wanted to really see and feel those changes. And I went to personal training, personal training, nutrition school. And that was the biggest one, I remember this moment. So clearly matters. I was sitting in the office, sitting in my chair after conversation with the guy on the phone sharing about asking me these questions, and opened my mind up to what if, what if I can actually go for something I wanted, and turn it into reality. And then I went for it. I went for it. And then the next to about a year and a bit, right, it was when I was very fortunate that the school I was at that encouraged you to eat foods that you love, they encourage you to feel yourself in ways that nourish your body to that you don't need to go for these runs six, seven days a week, you don't need to work out for this long hours. And it completely there's two things going on in matters, right one is on an educational level of going oh, this is actually everything I was doing was really not helping me on a scientific, physiological level. And then also number two was the grace compassion they gave me to go actually. You can be okay you can you can actually look after yourself that you're worthy of something different. You're worthy of these changes, you're worthy. And with those two things combined I actually started to uh made a dramatic body transformation the one I always wanted I started doing become a personal trainer help a lot of people with their their transformations and this was with things on that the confidence front of me actually believing myself for the first time to go wow I can actually want something go after it and do it and then I'm capable that I can actually stand up for myself in this way.
Coach Maddox 35:37
I don't like to tease out a particular part of the story or coax out you know, I through my lifetime I've known many men who decided to get the body yeah thinking that when they had the body it would resolve all of their issues that life would be grand as soon as they had that body did you go through a period where you thought that would fix everything you know, I'll get the body and then the rejection will stop and it'll open up all the doors and did you go through that where you thought that was going to be like the the answer
Jarrod Bruce Lee 36:17
Yeah, this we talked about this briefly ran our previous conversation that is is a funny thing where I do this to two things going on here right is I absolutely thought that and I was half right. So I was definitely there's a lot of it's 100% not true that is not going to solve your problems. What it did do matters right is
I did open doors suddenly my dating life trends changed people I started getting a lot of people in message I went on dates and I didn't think with people I didn't think was I always thought wouldn't want to date me
and now also on our at least on outward level matters it started to bring a lot of confidence of the dating scene and those that just have the discipline and all of that build that build a lot of that that confidence yet exactly what is shared man that's right there's other portion all those feelings with my sexuality all those traumas in the past that wasn't dealt with Now wasn't that wasn't that was mad it's bad. So then I would go on to these so when what happened that is I remember periods a good 234 years maybe two three years four years where I was thriving off of this were going on these dates seeking a still still seeking approval right on from these days with different people. And remember, though, either I will lose interest very quickly because they gave me what I want. You know, they they they gave that interest back to me so then I because I didn't heal on the core level. I thought Oh, something must be wrong here because they're actually liking me. They actually so then I would turn away and then when I went towards dating people say at some stage three, four or five whatever happened didn't work out. I would remember things crashing and burning on the inside for me because that panic that anxiety of there must be something wrong with me. There must be something wrong.
Coach Maddox 39:06
Was there a point when you realize that perhaps some or many of these men were interested in you not for who you are. But for your body?
Jarrod Bruce Lee 39:25
Yes to 100% That is right. I would say there was there were a lot of people that I did date where there were real connections and I the ones where the you know when you meet someone briefly and all that 100 Yeah, so that's that's just purely purely physical.
Coach Maddox 40:02
You know, I'm kind of getting the gist that it would be people that if you didn't have the body, they wouldn't have looked at you twice. Yeah. Yeah. They weren't interested in Jared, the man they were interested in Jared the, the muscle. Yeah. Yeah. So you had this realization that, yes, it had, there had been some positive things out of working on your body. But there was still something missing. Yeah.
Jarrod Bruce Lee 40:40
So what I worked on the outside, I worked on the asset, also, I do work on my mind in terms of belief. And
I worked on the physical and mental as what I would call it, I worked on my physical self made that transformation there. I worked on my mind where that self belief and what I was capable of, but the emotions, the healing, that was just that was Unturned that wasn't dealt with. Yeah.
Coach Maddox 41:09
And as you're you, as you have built the body, and you're going through this process, but still realizing something is missing. Where are you in your authenticity? At that point? Are you starting to come back in that other direction? At least some? Or are you still kind of in the place of not really being who you really are?
Jarrod Bruce Lee 41:31
Yeah, that's Wow. I would say that true authenticity. This is a funny, this is a funny thing. That is I will say I was kind of doing both at the same time, the authenticity because I was going after what I wanted. So as an example, right, glad for personal training and doing something against what everyone else was telling me to do. So that was authentic? Because I believe
Coach Maddox 41:58
you were being authentic with you. Yes, God, yes.
Jarrod Bruce Lee 42:04
As people tend to say, I wanted this and I went for it. I I didn't deny those desires, I didn't shove them away. So that was authentic. For I will say that that's real authentic. Where could be inauthentic is when the moments where I was seeking approval when I use that to seek approval from other people in the dating world.
Coach Maddox 42:37
So what was the turning point there? Yeah, got to that point where you realize that wasn't really working. It wasn't feeding your soul or your spirit in the way you needed it to be fed? Yeah. When? When and how did it shift?
Jarrod Bruce Lee 42:54
So it shifted. I won't, I'll go this was our precursors. This puppet briefly is I went to, I actually went to pursue musical theater. So musical theater school, I did a Masters musical theater. And there was another authenticity, right? I want out. I wanted to go for this. They went for it. But the point isn't this. I had met incredible people, but during my year at musical theater school, in London, I started having a lot of this armor stripped away. And that wasn't the point of the school. But because it required us to act authentically and go into our motions. A lot of those Amistad is stripping away and I think that was one of a key turning point. And then the biggest public key turning point was your meeting my now husband, my now husband, Tommy, beautiful soul. So just before I met him, I made a vow to myself with all of that going on with emotion, the dating side of things that I didn't want to settle anymore. I met incredible people, and there's been beautiful souls I've met. But I did not want to settle any more for a relationship that didn't fill me up about 100%. That's amazing.
Coach Maddox 44:27
That's truly a powerful statement that you just said. I no longer was willing to settle. Yeah. And as a result of making that declaration, I'm not willing to settle. Yeah. How did the universe respond to that?
Paul Haynes 44:44
Bro, me, Tommy.
Coach Maddox 44:46
And how long you tell me tie them together now?
Jarrod Bruce Lee 44:50
We've been together for four years now. And you are legally married? Correct? We are legally married. Yes.
Coach Maddox 44:59
And would you Say that Tommy is an authentic man.
Jarrod Bruce Lee 45:03
Yeah, so we're both 100%. So Tommy is very authentic in
it, he's a kind of soul and his authentic, authentic, that and how he what he believes in and what he believes in what he values he sticks with it is
Coach Maddox 45:30
the the world and life is a mirror. And things, you know, the world people life reflects back to us where we are in our process. You know, when he showed up in your life, and you realize that he was an authentic man, even though there's always more, he was an authentic man. He was reflecting back to you your own authenticity, you wouldn't have attracted him if you hadn't achieved a certain level of authenticity yourself. Because like attracts like. Yeah. You know, when when we really get to that? Do you find this to be true? I know for me, when I leaned really into the full of being what I consider fully authentic out once again, there's always more. It literally just repelled an authentic people. Like they just, they don't even want to be around you when you get to that authentic place. It draws other authentic people to you. And it repels people that are inauthentic. Like they just they move away because you make them really uncomfortable. Do you find
Jarrod Bruce Lee 46:48
it like, I do matter so like attracts like, right? And when you are authentic people. What I found, and I share that with us with with clients all the time, just like you have shared matters writers. Sometimes you can be afraid of losing connections, but when you're so authentic, it's the right people. You've been truthful to you. Yes, the right people come,
Coach Maddox 47:21
it's the people we most need to be surrounded with that there was something in my mind, let me see if I can recall it, but it just went out but it's gone. Maybe it'll come back. And maybe it won't be something I really wanted to call out. But it's gone.
Paul Haynes 47:49
Oh, so that's what I want to call out.
Coach Maddox 47:54
It's back. You know, I talk a lot about doing the work. I do a lot of videos I'm always talking about if you want the life that you're that you dream about, you have to do the work, we can't sit back on our ass and expect somebody to dump it in our lap magically, you have to do the work and the work looks a lot of different ways. And what I want to call out right now is you have done such an amazing job of like, probably not even consciously demonstrating that the work can look a lot of different ways. You got involved in acting school. That's something that your heart wanted to do. And for a lot of people that would sound like ooh, fun. wouldn't sound like work at all. But when you described you know enacting you have to get down to you have to find out who you are. So you can be other things you know, you have to you have to embody other characters and other energies. And in order to be able to successfully do that, you got to really get down to you so I mean, I don't want to put words in your mouth but as you described it, it felt to me like the biggest part of your transformation happened while you were in that acting school.
Jarrod Bruce Lee 49:14
Yeah, so with that authenticity, that emotional level, right, that afternoon school was this the peeling of layers, right? That was when all those a lot of those layers are peeled away and
Coach Maddox 49:36
yes, and that's what the work is about. Yeah, work we always refer to is about peeling the layers away to get get them self awareness. You know, and you because we can't be comfortable in our own skin until we know who the fuck we are. Yeah.
Jarrod Bruce Lee 49:54
Yeah. That I love that matters. If so, they're peeling away of the armor. And I remember I cried more times than I could remember was there. A lot of insecurities, all those things started coming up. There was another pivotal point right after, though. So this is after meeting Tommy, which is crucial to the journey.
Coach Maddox 50:22
Please go on, I'd love to hear this next Pivotal, Pivotal. Yeah.
Jarrod Bruce Lee 50:27
So then I I had an a big awakening moment where I was, I was touring around the world seeing performing on a cruise ship. COVID happened, I'll send back home to New Zealand. And suddenly I was away, I was away from Tommy. I was back home with my parents. And I started doing just, I don't know what happened just causes natural gravitation, I was meditating a lot. I was walking out in nature. And then there was this moment of I remember this. This moment, I was speaking with my dad, my parents that were fighting at this time, not physically, that they're stopped a long time ago. But they were arguing my, my mother got into a car crash. I started contemplating that she could have, she could have died. And I remember, my dad was crying, and I'm missing looking at him and into the eyes. And because I was so present with myself with meditation, or their self care work, I remember seeing my dad for the very first time as not my father, and then not there's all this emotional baggage, but as a human being, just as a human being in with his own complexity of his own emotions. And I suddenly this moment, Maddox, I think, was all everything leading up to this point where I suddenly felt this, or that baggage that carried around, lift off. And I suddenly felt what you shared this in that child that we come into the world with a sense of flooding of energy and presence of wow. And it was a really bizarre scenario was where I was watching my dad, crying. And I was really joyous and happy and loving Him, loving him and loving myself. And
what people, some some people, they call it a spiritual awakening, right? I didn't know what it was at the time. That presence matters why what I found that point, seven that left off, that lasted for good six, seven days where I was just in this state of this child like, what was even before it, it almost felt like I was on on drugs, by not having drugs. And just there's this incredible, authentic expression. And then it hit a point. It didn't last, though, a hit a point where it all started crashing down. Where I started to realize how much of that honor or how much of that inauthenticity was still in the way
Coach Maddox 53:48
there was more work to do in other words, yeah, and then. So there was more work to do.
Jarrod Bruce Lee 53:56
Then I got in contact with a spiritual counselor therapist. And then I really dug deep. And this was the moment when I actually started to examine my childhood, because that was something I just I shoved away. So what I shared with you in the beginning medics of this conversation right, from the childhood, to the rejections and all those defenses, that's something I just never, I would not have dared talk to you. In the beginning right now about that. There's something I would not dare touch. And in the work, what I found medics was a lot of gratitude and love for both of my parents. They went through a lot, I won't go into their stories. That's another thing of my brother's a burn survivor. They went through a lot of hardship. And so just this undoes this both this understanding and love from my parents of how much they were him through, to bring us to give us the life they've given us. And just incredibly grateful for both of them. And at the same time recognizing the hurts I went through and healing that. Not blaming my parents, but with loving them and loving myself. And it's incredibly powerful to go through that healing to heal.
Coach Maddox 55:34
Yes, and it's obvious how much you have healed. Very obvious. So in the beginning of your story, you talked about how draining how exhausting it was to be in that place. That lack of authenticity, that not being even remotely who you were all armored up. Now, you're on the other side of that? Yeah. What's your experience? Now? What is life feel like now? That the other side of that not that there's not more to heal, there's always more to heal. But you're, you're in a good place, right? Yeah, yeah. So how do you how do you experience day in day out life? You describe the, the, the anxiety and the exhaustion and feeling drained all the time? What's present? Now?
Jarrod Bruce Lee 56:28
That's a great question, man. As far as what is prison now this authenticity is, I feel I feel really grateful for the life that I had. My partner, the marriage, my body, my family, friends, and I, and authenticity. Now, I'm fully 100% out, by the way, as on my Instagram, everything, it's all out there. Now this authenticity matters as to exactly why I'm also drawn, I said, Yes, straight away to this podcast was to share the story, my story, first and foremost. And then second, is using this authenticity, to help other gay men who are struggling with their bodies who feel like solving their body issues will solve everything to heal, how can I use my authenticity to allow that to the spread and have a wider meaning? bigger purpose, then,
Coach Maddox 57:31
yes, a contribution to humanity. You know, I want to call out, you know, so the listeners know, we had a previous conversation, maybe a week or so I'll go on Zoom. And what I learned was Jared is not a personal fitness trainer. He is a body confidence coach. And so it's not just about let's go to the gym and build big muscles, there is an aspect of it, where he helps people achieve the physical form that they want. But correct me if I'm wrong, during the bigger the bigger part of it is, he he works with clients to do the internal work that needs to coincide with the external, you got to do both. If you only do one, it doesn't work. You know, I see lots and lots of people who do all the inner work and they don't do any external work. So they're they're sickly, and they have very, very frail bodies or, or they're, they're, they're ill they have disease, yet they're doing all the all the inner work, all the spiritual work, and you can't separate there's this thing called mind, body and spirit and you got to address all three. And I really get with clarity that that's what you do. In your business, as the body competence coach, you address mind, body and spirit, which is quite different than what we see mostly in the fitness world and the conversation about bodies.
Jarrod Bruce Lee 59:13
Thank you for highlighting their merits right as I see so much of this and people reach out to me all the time about feeling their shame for their bodies, and feeling that they want to fix things. But just stay gesturing. You can do the body X both external that's very important. During the external, so you create that body change you You do look after your health, self care, you love your body. And I see that as a big form of self love when you exercise when you eat well. That's loving yourself. Yet at the same time, the emotions you have to heal that. Well you don't have to but if you want to live freely if you want to feel free living
Coach Maddox 1:00:00
Tell me what you think about this. I have this conversation frequently about, you know, few things are innately right or wrong. It's not about the thing itself. It's more about the motivation behind it. Because that makes sense. Yes, you know, if you're, if you're motivated to get the body because you need external validation, yeah, then that's probably not self love, that's probably not the healthy thing to do. If you want to get fit, because you love your body, it's, it's this vehicle that takes you through life, and you want to respect it, love it, and take care of it. That's a completely different motivation. Yeah, and that is self love.
Jarrod Bruce Lee 1:00:46
That is, and this is, I love what you share, then that's bang on as writers I share with clients all the time is when people reach out this Yes, you. What are you doing this for? Are you doing this to please other people? Are you doing this because you know that you need to do this for you. And when you can find this space, when you're looking after your exercise, you're doing all this all the work, because you know, it's important for you for yourself and for your health, your well being. And for you to show up the way you want in this world and express yourself really when it opens doors, right for free self expression. It's powerful.
Coach Maddox 1:01:26
So much more powerful. Absolutely. It's authenticity. Yeah.
Paul Haynes 1:01:33
Coach Maddox 1:01:35
what a wonderful story, and there's no doubt in my mind after being in your presence now that you absolutely have done the work it shows, you know, energetically I can see it. Visually, I can see it. You know, it's it's very apparent. Yes, I love what you stand for. And, and I would, I would, without hesitation refer any gay man I know, to work with you. Because I think you are approaching it holistically. And that's what we need.
Jarrod Bruce Lee 1:02:10
Thank you so much Maddox. I really appreciate those words. And thank you for holding this space.
Coach Maddox 1:02:18
Because of the work that you thank you, I believe, because of the work that you have done, you are highly equipped to help others. I mean, what you do literally is leading people, it's, you're, you're doing something very similar to what I do, you're just doing it from a different angle. And it's, it's beautiful. It's truly beautiful. Well, I, yeah, what an amazing story. And I loved I loved hearing it, every bit of it. And I know the listeners are gonna love it as well.
Jarrod Bruce Lee 1:02:59
Thank you. Thank you, man. Thanks, again for holding this space. And I just want to really acknowledge you for what you're creating on this podcast and the space you're creating, because it's at allowing, having people share their stories, not just mine. But stories are powerful, because it helps other people to feel like they're not alone in their world. Very
Coach Maddox 1:03:25
Jarrod Bruce Lee 1:03:26
Thanks for holding the space.
Coach Maddox 1:03:27
Thank you. I get that feedback all the time about how people say I don't feel alone now. Thank you. So do you have one simple tip that you can share with the listener about how they could lean in a little bit more to their authenticity the way you did?
Paul Haynes 1:03:49
Yeah, so I was the tip I would recommend is
Jarrod Bruce Lee 1:04:00
first, you really need to carve out space where you cut off things like social media or the constant technology and the things outside of you. Spend time with yourself whether it's in nature. If people meditate, maybe they don't that's okay. But spend time with yourself and really ask yourself what it is.
What it is that you truly want. And what will likely happen what I see all the time right is you probably have fears that come up. You probably have fears that will tell you you can't do this. You shouldn't do that. For example for me, you can be a personal trainer. You can go to acting school, you can't you can't come out he can't be gay. You can't do these things. You can't transform your body. Have you can't run a podcast? You're gonna see all those fears they're gonna rise. And then once you've done
Coach Maddox 1:05:07
all of that, you've done that, haven't you?
Jarrod Bruce Lee 1:05:11
Yes. And this is part of my truth right is my hope to bring contribution to the world as being that example was, you can have those fears, right or some people will give you fears. And if you still want it if you still feel that poor desire to listen to that, a take action anyway, you go forward in your way, don't let those fear stop you.
Coach Maddox 1:05:34
Because life is you. Yes, we will be figured do it anyway.
Jarrod Bruce Lee 1:05:40
Yeah, life is far too short medics, I just I think this is the thing about you think I go to when I'm at my deathbed. Looking back in my life. If you're looking back your life, how would you want to see your life? Would you people do not regret their failures or for trying? People regret for not trying for the things that should I pointed?
Coach Maddox 1:06:01
Exactly. I love that. The zoom forward to the time of your death, I I use that a lot. In my coaching, I use it a lot in my own personal life, I'll ask myself, you know, is this something you're going to be worried about when you're about to take your last breath? And the answer's no. Then why are you so concerned about it right now? Yeah, this is a very useful tool. Yeah. Well, let's, let's shift and go into some rapid fire questions. What do you say?
Jarrod Bruce Lee 1:06:30
Let's go Maddox is this.
Coach Maddox 1:06:35
Okay, first question. From the viewpoint of a man of color. What is the one thing you wish would change about the GB tq? Male Community?
Jarrod Bruce Lee 1:06:49
I would, I would really hope that people open up their ideas of what is what is possible, what is possible. They open to dating people have a different color. And
that's an ideal, right? And being being open to that. By the very, very, very bare minimum is just acceptance and celebration. celebration of all the differences. Yes. Yes. Beautiful.
Coach Maddox 1:07:30
I love it. What has been the most joyful part of being a gay man?
Jarrod Bruce Lee 1:07:40
I would say it's this beautiful connections just like this. Yeah, Maddox. Is this a it's a there's a knowing and a kindred spirit and connection where you go. Yeah, we've we all have different tapestries, right. Different ways, different lives. But this is this connection. Go Yeah. I am just I get you. I get you. I think that's the beautiful. That the beauty of their connection. I agree. Yes.
Coach Maddox 1:08:15
And I get that you get me I feel that.
Jarrod Bruce Lee 1:08:20
Thank you. Last question.
Coach Maddox 1:08:24
What is your superpower? What is it that you consider your superpower?
Jarrod Bruce Lee 1:08:31
I've been told this many times I say my biggest superpower, is helping other people believe in themselves, believing those things that they've previously thought impossible. And go well, actually, this is possible. Beautiful.
Coach Maddox 1:08:47
That's a very powerful superpower to have.
Unknown Speaker 1:08:52
Yeah, that's awesome.
Coach Maddox 1:08:54
Well, this has been truly a joy. Thank you so much for sharing your story. And so openly, honestly, vulnerably and authentically. It was it was beautiful. It is beautiful. And oh, I'm sorry. I want to leave you with one thing and that is I absolutely in my eyes see you as a man.
Jarrod Bruce Lee 1:09:20
Thank you, man has been an honor. Pleasure being here. And I see that authenticity in you too. And thank you for the work that you do.
Coach Maddox 1:09:28
Thank you and thank you for reflecting that back to me.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
Gay Men's Body Confidence Coach
With over 300+ lives transformed and 3,000+ lbs of body-fat lost...
Jarrod Bruce Lee is the CEO of The Daring Academy - helping gay men overcome body-shame, and build the bodies and confidence of their dreams - no matter their experience, genetics, family background - or how many times they have failed in the past.
In particular he helps gay men demolish the beliefs that they aren't "worthy" of having the bodies they want, that “fitness isn’t in them”, that wanting to look good is “shallow”, or that they need to go on extreme diets or workout for long hours to get in shape.
By simplifying fitness and nutrition, members often share that fitness has become fun, that healthy eating has become enjoyable and sustainable for the first time - and that they didn’t think they could look and FEEL positive changes in their bodies and selves so quickly.
Jarrod knows firsthand how lonely and challenging the journey with your body and confidence can be. If you'd like help with building body-confidence, authentically - the best way to get in contact is to DM @jarrodbrucelee directly on Instagram with the message - "The Authentic Gay Man Podcast".
Alternatively you can also complete this free 40 point checklist to help you identify the areas needed to turn your body-confidence into reality: https://form.jotform.com/230411434285448