A family member suggested that my Nephew could not stay with me and my white partner because he liked to "stick with his own".
I was mortified.
Putting racist,nonthinking aside, it was clear to me that people get hurt and miss out when interactions are either not made or are not deepened.
Most of us like to construct our relationships with people who look and think like us.
For many people, this is an easy existence and one that requires little to no effort.
In world that is rife with two minute meals and the need to be connected to everyone all the time, it is little wonder that we are uninterested in building relationships.
We are encouraged to consume and rely on stereotypes to develop and then discard our friendships.
Men who want to do things differently are often confused about how this will look and most definitely how it should begin and continue in ways that rely on true heart to heart connections.
Using my "secret" attraction" to you or the belief that I will save you via my infinite pool of wisdom and insight means I have already dehumanized you and in the process myself.
Men should enter relationships with a collaborative aim.
What can we do together to care and nurture one another?
I often struggle with explaining to men that I love the depth of love and concern I have for them even though we are not sexually intimate.
Homophobia knows no bounds and touches all of our lives.
While I can be extremely thoughtful, kind and considerate with other gay males regardless of the extent of our relationship, my straight male allies are often met with harsher tones.
My fears of being bullied or made fun of often keep me in defense mode which often leads to name calling and ribbing as our initial interaction.
Building healthy, non exploitative relationships and interaction takes a great deal of time and commitment.
When men decide they want a better world for everyone, there are few things more productive than building alliances across differences.
I am often amused by folks who say they are not racist yet have no black or brown friends or they have interaction with dark folks that is based in servitude and entertainment.
When white males are pressed about their lack of friends of color much silence and bumbling explanations occur.
The same thing takes place when black folks are put in the same position.
In the great movie Lorenzo's Oil, community is formed based on improving and saving the lives of children.
Several people band together (despite race, class and socioeconomic differences) to ensure that children are not suffering.
While it was a typical Hollywood movie in most parts, the idea of people bonding and building using only their internal resources struck me as radical and innovative.
My very good friend Carlos and I struck up an interesting friendship almost ten years ago.
As my immediate supervisor, it was his job to keep all of us on task and deliver results for the corporation that employed us both.
We developed a rapport that quickly became a solid friendship with us advising one another on everything from relationship problems to ways to eat healthier and invest money.
When there was a misunderstanding that caused us to not speak for weeks, we restructured our relationship when he told me that I was one of few people he trusted with taking care of his new, then unborn first child.
This statement meant the world to me and changed the nature of our interaction in ways that still provide close connection even though he lives in Brooklyn and I live in Los Angeles.
On a daily basis, we are all provided with tons of opportunities to change our minds and the ways we interact.
Men who are interested in transforming the world don't deny their fear nor allow it to paralyze them.
Men who want to change the world change themselves first.
Men who are secure and choose to fight for the inclusion of all ensure that they find, create and nurture connections in ways and places that may not be obvious.
Men who are secure understand that attraction, homogeneous alliances and safety are not reasons to connect or dismiss another.
I know several people who have decades long interaction with people they don't like or respect and then wonder why they feel so unfulfilled in their personal lives.
Gay men it is time that we recreate our relationships with other gay men and let go of this ridiculous, teenage way of building relationships based on another's "hotness".
Gay men it is time we let go of the straight male seduction fantasy.
Straight men it is time to let go of the idea of being so irresistible that all queens can't wait to drop to their knees and will risk all manner of good sense and self respect to bed you.