Whether it is big or small screen,gay men are everywhere.
We are often served images that reinscribe stereotypes: the raving queen, the hard core -rough trade -nobody knows I’m gay, the “I will fuck anything” and have no moral center gay, and finally, the culture expert/innovator who entertains.
It is time we reclaimed our brilliance,creativity,power and yes “ovahness”.
Reclaiming the aforementioned without asking for permission and an obsessive focus on white supremacy would also be a wonderful addition.
I know three things that if given up will make our lives suck less: a severe lack of attention paid to mental health; an over dependency on drugs and alcohol; and not handling our finances.
Some years ago, I wrote about cruising and the deeper implications it exhibits regarding issues of mental health, loneliness and shame.
Many people chose to share comments that labeled me prudish, judgmental and self righteous(despite my sharing that this world had seduced me on more than one occasion).
As with any group that has been shamed for who we are and what we do, it was easier to attack me and my suggestions than it was to have an honest look at what I’d drawn attention to (death, STD infection and incarceration and being labeled a sex addict which would prevent and inhibit employment and livelihood and the fear that keeps many of us from building a well thought out deeply intimate relationship with another man).
Delusion and denial are the roots of serious mental health issues.
These issues create individuals who will use and manipulate others to meet their own needs.
As I mentioned in my post, cruising was not fun or fulfilling. It always left me hungering for real connection. It fed the loneliness monster and provided entertainment.
People are not entertainment.
When our mental issues are ignored, we feel the need to dominate others by creating oversized personas and bitchiness masquerading as bravado designed to hide low self esteem, shame and feelings of “not enough”.
Competing for scraps left by Supremacist culture, we are often nasty and biting to other gay men when it would be just as easy to offer support, understanding and solidarity.
If you are a sociopath with a large ego,insightful suggestions as to how you can make better and more productive life choices are perceived as threats. As a result, you must obliterate all attempts directing you to more favorable solutions.
I have known gay men who pitifully try to seduce straight men then terrorize everyone in their social circles when their ridiculous and pointless plans are thwarted.
Are we so filled with self hate that we must endure misery and angst to give ourselves something to do?
Making mental health as important as being fabulous and over-the-top would change an entire culture and have severe repercussions for the larger (straight) community.
Gay folks can then come to the table and demand change from a place of “enoughness”.
Along with attacking things that attack us and claim our minds, we must let go of our fascination and dependency on drugs and alcohol.
Regardless of weed’s (non harming properties) and alcohol’s benign affects, the folks I know who partake are not indulging periodically.
A celebratory drink to honor an achievement is one thing. Needing a drink daily or a toke on the regular is something else.
I used to have an alcoholic friend whose witty retort about his daily cocktail was an insightful : I’m not an alcoholic; Alcoholics go to meetings.
While we all had a good chuckle at this brilliant and ascerbic comeback (which is what you do at 23), the constant and daily imbibing told a different story.
All of the folks I know who do drugs constantly make awful life choices: quitting jobs for no reasons with no plans or financial safety net, dating all the wrong people and a general lack luster existence replete with no goals or long term desires.
I know folks who defend their drug use and will argue with anyone that suggests they let it go.
There might be something to look at when you fight or attempt to legitimize your choices.
How do you feel about not doing it ?
What comes up when the thought of saying no is presented.
I take pride in saying no and feel great about it.
If gay men really want to thrive and share our brilliance with the world, it is imperative that we handle our coins.
I know of no other group that has the earning potential of gay men.
I also know no other group that makes such ridiculous, short term decisions.
If kids and all that comes with that is not a part of your future, does this give you the right to screw up piles of money?
Some years back, I wrote a post that highlighted gays men refusal to grow up and Capitalism’s reliance on this refusal as a money making machine.
When you don’t feel great about yourself, you are ripe for pimping and being used.
Gay male culture,regardless of what progressives and liberals tell us about working class and poor gays, has access to a plethora of resources.
I have been a poor gay.
It is not fun being broke all the time and at the mercy of (so -called)friends and their constantly shifting compassion levels.
Gay men who want to “own” their lives must get clear about their money, what it’s doing and the power it wields.
I’m often amazed that gay men in their 50’s are no further ahead than gay men in their 20’s when it comes to financial planning and money management.
Social Security is on its way out regardless of what our elected officials tell us.
Gay brothers no one is coming to save us.
I recently created a financial power of attorney and a medical equivalent should my health deteriorate.
I have also started creating a living revocable trust along with a will and a way to protect my home despite which one of us goes first.
Many people think death preparation sounds morbid.
Most folks think that if they don’t discuss death it will kindly skip over them.
While that might work in fairy tales and t.v.shows, in real life we are all gonna check out at some point.
No One’s Coming !
We have to figure this shit out and become responsible for living well and protecting those we love.
Have the uncomfortable conversations.
Make this the year you handle the present and the future.
Take full control of your life by also taking full control of your mental health, dependency on substances and finances.
There are people depending on you.