Age Ain’t Nothing But a Blunder

By Rico | Posted Jul 22 2016 | 10 Comments  

mentor

I was reading an article on Adam 4 Adam about older men dating younger men. I wasn’t trying to feel what that article had to say, as I believe in staying in my own dating sandbox, plus/minus a few years. I give equal “side eye” to black men who whine about white guys putting filters for white only in Grinder, Scruff and other apps, just as I do to older guys complaining about not being seen as viable by younger guys. This doesn’t change the fact that gay folk can have ridiculous notions about age and aging. Human beings naturally congregate with like human beings, by age, race, interests, etc. Get over it. But the article DID get me thinking about how older (i.e. Over 40) gay/bi men can and should interact with younger men. Steel sharpens steel; men should help sharpen other men.

There have to be places for gay/bi men to come together that don’t necessarily involve hookups. This is part of the reason why I joined Cypher Avenue’s message forums; for conversation and exchange of ideas. Many young gay men get this experience through personal or professional associations. I know quite a few older gay/bi brothers (very often closeted) that belong to Black Greek fraternities that mentor younger members, both sides knowing of their sexual orientation. And we all know religious or other professional men’s conventions and gatherings that—behind the scenes and in between sessions and seminars—turn into hookups, and DL parties and other offline gatherings.

But what about those younger gay/bi men who don’t belong to some fraternity, organization, or other professional association where they can interact with older men who can be professional, business, cultural or spiritual mentors without some ulterior or sexual “Daddy” motives involved? Where does the young, geeky or artsy or nerdy gay black male go for some advice for advice or encouragement, particularly if they don’t live in a big city; come from an impoverished background with no male figures; or only have access to like-minded individuals over the Internet? Having been that nerdy, arty, geeky kid that didn’t belong to a college fraternity or have some black professional mentor or role model take me under his wing, I had to go through life alone and figure out my way and successes through trial and error, being the “first black guy,” that “one black guy” or the “fly in the buttermilk” in many educational or professional settings.

As I’ve told my own nephews, I don’t mind having made mistakes in life as long as those who come after me learn from them and don’t repeat them. That’s why I’m quick with “the daps” and encouragement for all the younger members on the message forums who are entering their chosen professions, finishing school, getting out and seeing the world. When I was in my 20s, there were barely any sites like Cypher Avenue. Yeah, there were the USENET boards, AOL chat rooms, etc. in the 90s but they didn’t have the immediate impact of today’s social media tools. But I’m a firm believer in the face-to-face. Online communication is great but sometimes the Internet can flatten the dimensionality of interaction.

QUESTION: How should and in what better ways can older gay men (those 40 and older), particularly older black gay men, mentor younger gay men? Scholarships? Organizations? Personal relationships?

 

 

 

About the Author
Rico

From Chicago. Military vet. Sci-fi geek. Art. Tech. Computers. Martial Arts. Entrepreneurial economics and small business.

   
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10 Comments Feel Free To Join The Cypher.

  1. Tyroc
    Tyroc | July 23rd, 2016
    0
    Rico

    QUESTION: How should and in what better ways can older gay men (those 40 and older), particularly older black gay men, mentor younger gay men? Scholarships? Organizations? Personal relationships?

    I'm actually actively involved in being a mentor / big gay brother to two younger missing Cypher Board members.
    We live in different states and come from vastly different backgrounds and I definitely don't have any ulterior or daddy designs on them but we've forged friendships and communicate on a daily.
    Both in their own ways are taking steps and opening up their lives to new experiences and I'm enjoying being along for the ride.

  2. Rico
    Rico | July 23rd, 2016
    0
    Tyroc

    I'm actually actively involved in being a mentor / big gay brother to two younger missing Cypher Board members.
    We live in different states and come from vastly different backgrounds and I definitely don't have any ulterior or daddy designs on them but we've forged friendships and communicate on a daily.
    Both in their own ways are taking steps and opening up their lives to new experiences and I'm enjoying being along for the ride.

    That's good to hear. I've been blessed to have some offline convos with brothers on CA and I'm never unamazed at all the up and coming talent and minds 'round here! I tried to get more involved in Chicago, because we have a SERIOUS problem with hotel and hyper-religious negroes kicking out/abusing their LGBT black & brown kids, who then end homeless and on-the-streets in "Boystown" (the gay section of Chicago). Then they get in trouble with the law, so they have their families hating on one side, the gentrified, upper-middle-class gays and yuppies on the other.

    We have a so-called LGBT center in Chicago's Lakeview section (everybody here would know who I'm talking about). I went to one of their orientations when I decided to be more "out" to see how I could get involved. I didn't want to mentor personally per se, as I ironically did more of that when I was barely out of my teenage years myself (Upward Bound tutoring, etc.) than when I got older; but see how I could contribute as far as fundraising, networking, programming. I quickly summoned, and some older gay folk confirmed for me, that they were typical self-serving public sector poverty pimps that really didn't seemed to be concerned with transforming these young LGBT folks lives. I also believe, but I can't confirm, that some of these young folk are being pimped out or used by older vampires. Eventually, I'll probably just start my own 501(c)(3) so I can staff it with people who share my values and work ethic, rather than overgrown go-go boys raking in the donor dollars from undercover meth parties and shakedowns.

  3. Nick Delmacy
    Nick Delmacy | July 23rd, 2016
    0

    As I approach my 40s, the last thing I want is to be called "Uncle" or "Gay Father" by a young gay dude…the visual that comes to mind is me being the old, bitter, single dude who drinks and smokes too much with a house full of young unemployed gays who have more sex than I ever had.

    This video came to mind while reading this thread:

  4. 850famuman
    850famuman | July 23rd, 2016
    +1

    Hmmmm that is a very simply complex question. But ultimately, I feel the mentor should be in a position mentally, socially & spiritually to provide guidance to the younger gay male who is seeking guidance. Its so many older & younger gay/bi men who are too self involved and delusional to interact effectively in such a manner. Before such an investment could be made by older, successful gays the groundworks of morals, values, respect and responsibility need to be reestablished. Currently, the ageism & disrespect is too rampid & out of control.

  5. Nick Delmacy
    Nick Delmacy | July 23rd, 2016
    0

    To be honest, I've never had a mentor…even just for guidance in general life. I wouldn't know how to mentor a youngster since I never had one myself. Hell I still feel like I'm learning how to do this. I've always been self-taught/encouraged or just nurtured by my str8 male peers and heterosexual media (TV, Film, Movies), for better or worse.

    I wrote a blog about this years ago:

    Real Men Don’t Cry: A Defense of Hyper-Masculinity

  6. Tyroc
    Tyroc | July 23rd, 2016
    0
    Nick Delmacy

    To be honest, I've never had a mentor…even just for guidance in general life. I wouldn't know how to mentor a youngster since I never had one myself. Hell I still feel like I'm learning how to do this. I've always been self-taught/encouraged or just nurtured by my str8 male peers and heterosexual media (TV, Film, Movies), for better or worse.

    I wrote a blog about this years ago:

    Real Men Don’t Cry: A Defense of Hyper-Masculinity

    I never had one either but I've come to see that there are some who feel they need an older male positive voice.
    I can't see myself doing like that dude in the video but the way I see mentoring is me encouraging you to overcome you're biggest obstacles in life, which is usually oneself and I'll give you the brutally honest truth if I see you doing, being, or accepting less than you deserve.

  7. SB3
    SB3 | July 23rd, 2016
    0

    Great question. While I don't have the answer(s), I def think it's valid. I've never wavered on the fact that I think sooo many young, impressionable gay men end up being incapable of ending a sentence or thought w/o 'girl' or 'yaaassss' is because, for many, gay men who speak that way have been the only visible representations of gay men.

  8. Rico
    Rico | July 23rd, 2016
    0
    Nick Delmacy

    As I approach my 40s, the last thing I want is to be called "Uncle" or "Gay Father" by a young gay dude…the visual that comes to mind is me being the old, bitter, single dude who drinks and smokes too much with a house full of young unemployed gays who have more sex than I ever had.

    This video came to mind while reading this thread:

    Lol. You'll be okay. The whole 40 thing is such a stupid artificial cultural construct, and people wrap themselves into all kinds of self-inflicted misery based on what society says you should be for a given age. I've done more AFTER 40 then I accomplished before (why is why I admire African King and NikR for not being prodigal like me).

    The biggest thing I hated was the prostate checks, 'cause most of the time your doctor, even if a urologist, is probably straight and uptight about digging up your butt, so both you and him/her will not have a good time. I always joke that if more urologists were gay, prostrate cancer would decrease, since you'd be fingered by someone who knows how to play, not just work, down there!

    If you're not busy bingeing on alcohol, Little Debbie's, and cigarettes, you won't notice too much of a decline in potency after 40. You'll also get to the point where you'll give less to zero fuks about stuff, so your romantic and physical anxieties will decrease. I firmly believe that Nick Delmacy is going to have the time of his life after 40. Just make sure to get those regular STI checks (lol).

  9. Rico
    Rico | July 23rd, 2016
    0
    Tyroc

    I never had one either but I've come to see that there are some who feel they need an older male positive voice.
    I can't see myself doing like that dude in the video but the way I see mentoring is me encouraging you to overcome you're biggest obstacles in life, which is usually oneself and I'll give you the brutally honest truth if I see you doing, being, or accepting less than you deserve.

    THIS
    [​IMG]

  10. jpo
    jpo | July 23rd, 2016
    +1
    Nick Delmacy

    To be honest, I've never had a mentor…even just for guidance in general life. I wouldn't know how to mentor a youngster since I never had one myself.

    You already are mentoring lots of folks, you and Ocky, just by starting and maintaining the site and the Boards. That is the first thing.
    But I firmly believe you don't have to "know how" to mentor someone. What you do need to have is a good ear, patience, and have your head screwed on. Mentoring comes in all shapes and sizes. My mentor was my dissertation supervisor, a straight, World War II veteran from Ohio. He kicked my butt until I turned in my dissertation. That was the formal part. But he schooled me in how to live in Paris on next to no money, how to appreciate good bourbon and cigars (cigars since given up), how to find and read good sportswriting, and when I came out to him, how to handle my professional life. But most of all, he listened to what I was saying and he managed to hear what I was not saying and help me say it, he was patient when I acted the ass. He passed 25 years ago and I still miss him. I think of him whenever I find myself with a young gay or bi guy who is starting out, trying to figure things out and I often ask myself what he might have been thinking at that moment. I feel an obligation to help younger folks out because I owe him a debt.
    I have been following conversations here for a few years I guess. I am struck by the generosity of spirit of those who post on career and politics and health threads.
    So, Nick and Ocky, and all the others who post, you are already well into the mentoring role. Had there been anything like The Boards when I was figuring all this out I might not have made some of the mistakes I made.




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