• CYPHER AVENUE STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS •
We’re Two Years Old! Yeah, our second birthday or anniversary (or whatever you want to call it) passed this weekend on August 24th! Well…Technically Cypher Avenue is only a month and a half old, but we’re including the time spent on our previous site, Discreet City, since most of its’ old content was migrated to this site as well. Whatever, yo! We’re Two Years Old!
This is no big deal to some of you but to us its kind of major because, two years ago, we had NO DESIRE to be gay advocates, representatives or media personalities when we first started blogging. Hell, we still don’t, to be honest. We just saw a void that needed to be filled and stepped up to the challenge. Who knew that some people would feel threatened by that action. But like they say, “you don’t enact change without ruffling a few feathers.”
Either way, few can deny that Cypher Avenue/Discreet City definitely made its presence known and is now a solid and necessary fixture in the gay community. Not only is this one of the few highly trafficked websites that consistently shines light on gay artists of color and their work, we’re also one of the few that tackles taboo/controversial issues head-on from unique points of views. All without besieging our readers with gay porn imagery and advertising. Don’t get us wrong, we’re not against pornography, we just think there’s a time and place for everything.
We’re also one of the few black gay websites not afraid to say words like “Class”, “Self Respect” and “Your Web Series Sucks.” We keep it real. Our word is bond. Anyone that visits our site daily can read the tea leaves and deduce that underneath our biting criticism and satirical snark is a desire for gay men of color (no matter the shape, size, sexual role or gender mannerisms) to strive to do better. This includes us, which is evident from the bump in quality from the previous site to the current.
We may have opinions that people disagree with but we always welcome dialogue about the topics in our comments section. We take pride that our site can feature substantive debates on serious (an not-so-serious) issues without devolving into petty, messy name calling. This is how adult men should communicate with one another.
This is a reason why our comments section is for “members only.” We don’t want random trolling strangers coming into our discussions just to shake things up and never return again.
Cypher Avenue is a fraternity. Its easy to join and its open to all, but there are still certain expectations of decorum once you get here. Having said that, Nick Delmacy and Ocky Williams contradictorily live by the motto: “Do what I say, not as I do.”
WORDS FROM NICK DELMACY:
TO THE SUPPORTERS:
Big thanks to the dudes out there that have been riding with us since the rough early days when we were still figuring out exactly what we were doing or what kind of site we were trying to be. Many of you O.G.s are still riding with us and we appreciate the support. Same goes for the New Bucks that maybe discovered us at the tail end of Discreet City or for the first time here on Cypher Avenue. Its great to have such a wide range of people contributing to the site and adding to the discussions.
No one can deny that our site pushes people to not only think critically on how they view seemingly mundane and routine issues and topics. We also try push gay men of color to step up their lives when it comes to creativity, finances, presentation, marketing, education, dating, physical fitness and mental health.
This is not your gay house mother’s favorite website featuring Ru-Paul news, Terry McMillan worship, James Baldwin quotes, Gospel Music updates and Gay Pride Event Flyers…No No No, Cypher Avenue is collectively bringing “Gay” into the new millennium with Fitted Caps, a backpack full of comic books, a glass of vodka and a stack of Beat CD’s in tow!
The original goal for starting the blog was to speak specifically to and for masculine Gay men of color like us and show the masses that there are many gay men out there that are not just into Beyonce gossip, Gay Clubs and Sex.
We quickly learned that even non-masculine gay men were interested and open to hearing what we had to say. So even if you ARE heavily into those aforementioned things, at the least we hope to continue to fill the gaps of your varied interests left by mainstream gay media. Thanks for keeping us going! Here’s to another year!
TO THE REST:
There’s no other website like ours. That’s not said to brag (well, not entirely). I actually say it to point out that if diversity and tolerance is such a big deal for us when speaking to heteros, why is that not the case when applied to the gay community itself?
Also, we all may be gay but there are differences between many masculine gay men and effeminate gay men regarding their lifestyles/interests. Deal with it. There are differences between many white gay men and gay men or color regarding their lifestyles/interests. Deal with it. Occasionally, we like to discuss topics under those umbrellas on the website. For Cypher Avenue to not even speak on those differences, to put our heads in the sand, is unrealistic and delusional. That’s like a Men’s Magazine never being allowed to discuss the differences between men and women.
We have been and always will be a site who examines life from a masculine gay point of view. Whether privileged or not, that is how we specifically identify as gay men. If it is totally fine for some gay men to identify on the feminine side, it is equally okay for some men to identify on the masculine side…and even be proud of that.
If a website like Cypher Avenue existed when I was a confused 16-year-old or a closeted 20-year-old masculine gay college student living in Atlanta, I likely would have become more comfortable with my sexuality sooner knowing there were gay men out there with similar interests and experiences as me. We’re helping a lot of brothers out there, so we’re here to stay!
“They tried to shut us down ’bout a year ago but we still in this bitch!” – B.o.B
TO OCTAVIUS WILLIAMS:
Once again, thanks for putting so much time, effort and energy into Cypher Avenue. I say that not only as a close friend and business partner, but really just as a fan of the site itself. This is def a place I would have welcomed if I was not also a founder of it…and a large part of that draw is due to your contributions. The behind-the-scenes discussions (and heated debates) we have about the direction of Cypher Avenue are as vital as building the site itself. We’ve come a long way not only as bloggers but also as friends. SALUTE!
WORDS FROM OCKY WILLIAMS:
Are my eyes too big for my stomach? Is my lavishness visionary ambitions only hoop dreams from a black gay dude who wants better? Perhaps. I do know I want Cypher Ave to be a mecca; a crown jewel on the web. I want Cypher Ave to be the website that you go to first when you get on the internet. I want us to be The Authority, The Go to Guys, The Dons and The Chiefs In Charge when it comes to gay male content for men of color.