I Have Nothing In Common With The Black Men In My Family *Insert Sad Face Emoji*

Discussion in 'Group Discussions' started by Nick Delmacy, Oct 9, 2018.

  1. Nick Delmacy

    Nick Delmacy is a Verified MemberNick Delmacy Da Architect
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    [​IMG]

    I have a lot of men in my family. One brother, a few uncles, some nephews and a whole bunch of cousins. I love them all, but I really don’t have a lot in common with any of them.

    And this applies to me from their perspective as well. I’m sure from their perspective, their gay (brother, uncle, nephew, cousin) isn’t really the most relatable person in the clan. However, many of them don’t even know I’m gay, and if they do (or suspect), I’m not vocal or outwardly gay around them. It just never comes up, neither by me or them. What I do project is success, intelligence, love of family, the ability to talk to anyone on their level and generosity.

    MY BROTHER

    My younger brother is great and I love him…Our father passed away when we were very young so we he kinda only had me to look to when he was growing up. Not to brag, but I think he had a decent role model with me. I never got into trouble, did well in school, went to college, started a career early and became pretty successful at it (well, at least enough to support myself).

    But besides our mother, his marriage, two kids and frivolous pop culture, we don’t have a lot to talk about with each other on a non-superficial level. He’s religious, I’m not. He doesn’t really talk politics past the news headlines. We can’t discuss my dating (or lack thereof) since he’s straight. He doesn’t really drink and he no longer “turns up.” And although he has a great full time job, he’s constantly broke, borrowing money from me or our mother.

    MY NEPHEWS

    I have a bigger social media following than my 21-yr-old introverted rapper nephew. He gets zero replies or likes, yet he posts 5x more than me…If he’s not reposting memes, he rants about girls and all his “haters.” If I comment on one of his posts/photos, he deletes the whole post/photo by the end of the day. I get it, Unc might embarrass you to your friends...but with no other likes or comments, clearly no one else is checking for what you have to say, Neph.

    I love the dude, but I do wish he was a bit more scholarly, sociable and extroverted. Same with my 15-yr-old nephew. He has no interests, goals or hobbies besides eating and watching YouTube. Typical for a teenager, but usually you see some signs of who they will be as adults around that age.

    They both just kinda take up space. Nowadays, I see so many 16 to 21 year olds who are HUNGRY AF. They are business owners, collegiate scholars, musicians, athletes, articulate advocates for causes, party promoters, YouTubers and Podcasters, etc.

    [​IMG]

    Not all young Black men will be Marques Brownlee, but can I at least get my nephews to rise to Chief Keef status, building a successful career while on house arrest?

    Say what you will about Meek Mill and Chief Keef, they put in a lot of WORK. After buying him equipment to make music, I asked my aspiring rapper nephew to send me some tracks to forward to a colleague who could help him get exposure (something he says he desperately needs help with). After getting no response for over 24 hours (he keeps his phone on him at all times), he informed me that he (coincidently) just had a hard drive crash so he lost all of his music. I can’t imagine even Meek or Keef having the same response when they were as young as 16 years old.

    [​IMG]

    There’s still hope for my youngest nephews (under 6 years old), and I haven’t given up on the older ones, but I hope one of them turn out to be something more than just alcoholic baby making machines.

    MY UNCLES

    My Uncles have never been traditional Uncles. None of them have ever done anything for me in my entire life. Not even just gifts, even just advice or being much needed male role models after my father passed away when I was a pre-teen. If anything, all I was taught (by example) was to not do crack cocaine (middle uncle) and, if possible, cut off your entire family and create a new one (oldest uncle).

    Even to this day, I don’t have a relationship with any of them besides cordial “hellos” at family functions. Just last summer, one of my uncles bragged about having a “good job” making $12/hr (without benefits) in a 100˚ industrial factory (youngest uncle, still older than me). Without any living grandparents, I don’t have any older men in my family to look up to.

    MY COUSINS

    Pretty much all of my male cousins are typical blue collar midwesterners, hourly factory jobs are seen as “winning.” Conversations consist of liquor, weed, hoes and “getting money.” They all say they want to come to Atlanta, not to network or look for career opportunities…they want to go to the strip clubs and go “where the hoes at, cuz?”

    There is ONE male cousin (my favorite), about 8 years younger, who is dope AF. He has a well paid engineering job in addition to owning several businesses around the country. He’s smart, articulate, a master at code-switching and has traveled the world way more than I have. The diamond in the rough. Even his own brothers are nothing like him.

    [​IMG]

    MY FAMILY

    The women aren’t that much better, only one or two of them are close to Michelle Obama territory (intelligent, successful, articulate women who can hold their own in a board room as well as a backyard barbecue). At the end of the day, I do love all of my family. The hood fabulous and all.

    And I’m not saying that I expect all the men in my family to be molded out of a cookie-cutter Black Millennial web series spinoff of Dear White People where everyone causally quotes Friedrich Nietzsche, Tupac Shakur and Steve Jobs in the same freestyled monologue about Technology, Politics and Race in America:

    [​IMG]

    No I don’t expect this (it would be nice though), but I do kinda wish I could go to a family reunion or gathering and be in awe about how dope and inspiring the Black men in my family were, both young and old.
     
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    I understand and have similar experiences but If you take a chance and reveal more of who you are; you will be surprised what they reveal to you. They are probably a lot more complex.
     
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  3. LeMignon

    LeMignon Your Favorite Nephew
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    Yeah, I seemed to get along great with my family when I was younger. But now that I'm an adult, I feel like I'm so different from the majority of my family. Love em, and want well for them but don't really have a lot in common with them... and I'm cool with that. I've gotten pretty used to being the outlier.
     
  4. Juan-Carlos

    Juan-Carlos Opps are dealt with by a savage Thanos snap. HNY
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    Nice share Nick. Heavy is the head that wears the crown. Whether that crown is being the most successful one in your family, the most creative, the free thinker, or being your own self-made man can unfairly be an albatross. It's your individuality that can sometimes make you feel disconnected and love your family from a distance. It seemed like the family member, in my opinion, most in alignment of you is Engineer cousin. Have you considered trying to strengthen that relationship?
     
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  5. Nick Delmacy

    Nick Delmacy is a Verified MemberNick Delmacy Da Architect
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    Yeah we're already pretty cool. I wouldn't say we're super close but we're about as close as we can be given that we live in different states, he's much younger, he's straight, he has a new baby and he's always traveling for work, leisure or to check on his businesses around the country.

    But I've def told him how I felt about him (after way too many drinks at a family gathering). Basically said that he's my favorite (male) cousin and that I love the shit out of him.

    Still, that's one out of a lot of men in the family. Luckily we don't have many ex-cons in our lineage. But we def have some. One of them, same age as me, used to be my favorite cousin back when we were kids. He ended up doing a couple years. I sent him letters, added to his commissary, all that. When he got out, no phone call, no texts, no nothing. I found out third-hand through my mother. So that shows you what I'm working with, lol.
     
  6. Juan-Carlos

    Juan-Carlos Opps are dealt with by a savage Thanos snap. HNY
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    Well....as to why we can find our new tribe and create a (surrogate) "family ". One that encourages us to be our best selves, support and unconditionally love us if we so choose. #likeminded
    Though, I totally understand and can relate.
     
  7. BlackguyExecutive

    BlackguyExecutive Je suis diplomate
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    I agree with this so much. I am the second oldest of my grandparents 26 grand and great-grandchildren and I am an outlier. I am outlier not solely because of my sexuality but my overall experience in life and interests. I was the first of the grandkids to go to college and one of the first in my entire immediate family to complete school. My parents were college educated, but they were both soldiers. I was the kid who was interested in sports but also art, music, theater, food, culture. My aunts and uncles, cousins, were seemingly only interested in the latest and greatest of our neighborhood. I am thankful that my mom and dad, but mostly mom, let me go to performing arts high school, I was exposed to so much more. I am still an outlier, often held up as an example but in all reality, I am an exception to the rule. I am childless; I am gay, I am "othered" because my jobs have led me always to be other. I am an observer and sometimes when I am home, I feel like I am observing someone's else family. It is weird.

    I am really big on the chosen family aspect of LGBTQ life. I have to build a surrogate family of sorts. I have to build a strong black community where people celebrate my interests for not being bougie but for being something I am genuinely interested. Last Christmas, I sent all of my immediate family Passport Applications and told them if they filled them out, I would personally pay for them to get a passport. Only 5 of my cousins took me up on the offer, the others said, "why we need a passport, we ain't going nowhere" for which I responded because "you can't go anywhere without a passport" This Christmas, I will develop a plan to take those cousins who took me up on the offer to go on a trip to Argentina and Patagonia. Maybe, I won't be an outlier anymore and will have some blood-family who really gets me.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Juan-Carlos

    Juan-Carlos Opps are dealt with by a savage Thanos snap. HNY
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    This is a great share @BlackguyExecutive and perhaps the most telling from you. thanks.
     
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  9. Winston Smith

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    Well, I’m sorry I missed this thread initially.

    @Nick Delmacy , your struggles and frustrations are lot like mine and others at CA. The “black gay” sign might have gotten us through the door to this site, but the recognition that our orientation was just a key part but not the ONLY part of each of our individual “otherness” that kept us coming back. If there’s any consolation it’s that CA squad are some fucking talented and intelligent black men and we found a place we could kick our feet upon the coffee table thanks to you and your struggles. For example, where else on the Interwebs could I befriend a black gay young bro like @DreG who knew and appreciated Frank Zappa? lol

    Your life is pretty much like mine except biological ran out not died, so your dad was blame free. Prior to that, I had my life planned out in my mind as a kid. I just knew I was going to be some big shot future professional, that I even had a office desk with a typewriter and in-out plastic trays on it in grammar school and started adding “ESQ.” to my name on all my homework lol (until some dream killing white teacher said “ you’re not a lawyer, stop that”).

    After my asshole father ran out, I tried to be big brother role model too, but was always secretly pissed that my perfect happy future was ruined by a typical deadbeat nigga dad and relatives who were more supportive of him than me. The nigga even stole my college money when I graduated hs as I was 17 unlike all my 18 yo legal adult classmates and couldn’t solely sign my own financial papers without a parent. So, even the college I initially chose I had to leave because of lack of funds.

    “What doesn’t kill us ....” and all that ....

    The heartbreaking core of all this for me was perfectly summed up by @BlackguyExecutive family who said to his offer

    Why we need a passport, we ain’t going nowhere?

    Might as well be my fucking family crest and motto on some dingbat flag. Change out “password” for “education”, “vote”, “book”, “job”, etc. and you get the one-size-fits-all excuse for relatives who’ve wanted keep those few of us who arrived in their self-made sunken graves. At least @BlackguyExecutive has SOME relatives who took him up on the offer. I knew long ago, even as a kid, I’d always just be floating alone like the protagonist in “Life of Pi”.

    Even if I tried the family reunion of those few of us grandkids who made something of ourselves, the fact that we had to each distance ourselves far from the madding fam to succeed, makes us emotional strangers to each other. Each has become a distant island nation.

    TLDR, all I can say is take stock of your accomplishments and successes and move on. That’s why when I see any spark of talent or intent in CA members, I dap, encourage, and nag the fuck out of y’all. I had NO ONE to help or encourage me. And I don’t take that as some sign of how great I am to do it alone as shit would have been SO MUCH better and smoother in life with encouragement and help along the way.
     
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