Squad Member Letters to the Cypher Avenue Editors – Volume #1
From the days of Discreet City (the original name of our website) to this dopeness that is Cypher Avenue, we’ve known that we had a strong Squad of men (and women) out there that appreciate our small contribution to the LGBT sphere. Emails to our inboxes from people saying how much they appreciated the articles, essays and podcasts have made the hard word worth while.
We’ve rarely ever shared these submissions, but it may be time to change that. So we’re starting a new series called “Letters to the Editors” where either Octavius Williams or myself, Nick Delmacy, will post select emails and respond to them if needed.
Just like the editors/writers of our favorite comic books used to do in the back of every issue! Remember, these are REAL letters, unedited or fabricated (well, we’ll clean up the typos, nut the content will remain the same).
Let’s jump right into it!
Dear Nick and Ocky:
Thank you both for Cypher Avenue and what it stands for. However, with addressing the “Eden’s Garden” web series on your site, are you both going to start advocating and supporting Transsexuals (beyond just being selective), not just Masculine Gay and Bisexual Men?
The reason I ask that question is because addressing “Eden’s Garden” web series only seems to be addressed because those females, either being pre-op or post-op transsexuals, are going towards the narrative of “masculine”, not because of the issue of being transsexual. FYI: They represent the T in LGBT, not the GB in LGBT. Why only poke at Trans sexuality just to promote the narrative of “masculine”? At the end of the day, especially if any of those females are pre-op transsexuals (still having the female organs i.e vagina) they are still females by DNA. And for the most part, Cypher Avenue is not about that. Why not address Trans Masculine Females or even Masculine Gay Women, too? Why pick and choose to address anything outside of issues and things of topic c/o Masculine Gay and Bisexual Men (which Cypher Avenue is platformed on in lieu of distancing from the negative narratives put out there in social media, entertainment and society) just to promote and only do so because of the word “masculine”?
What Cypher Avenue is doing is permanently clear (KUDOS to you both). I just think that there’s no need to have conversations, even in podcast, about “masculine” this and the notion of Cypher Avenue being geared towards masculine Gay and Bisexual men, but choose to address anything outside of that ONLY because of the word “masculine”.
Just an observation!
Thanks for the letter, Dante! And we appreciate that you appreciate us and what we’re doing on this little website! People like you visiting the site, commenting on posts and spreading the word have helped the Cypher Avenue brand stay relevant in the community.
As for your criticism, I’m really not sure what you mean or where this is coming from. If you read my article about the “Eden’s Garden” web series, then you know that my stance was not really about the creator and cast being Transgender, it was about them being masculine and how that was rare to see in LGBT media. Also, I wondered if the fact that the series seemed to be Masculine-Leaning contributed to their lack of fundraising success.
Outside of that though, never have we stated that we don’t advocate for and support our Transgender brothers and sisters. If you do a search on Cypher Avenue, you’ll see that we’ve done many articles on or featuring people in the Transgender community and their struggles in the past. We’ve even discussed issues relating to our Lesbian sisters in the community.
Lastly, we just thought the web series looked interesting, so we talked about it. By doing so, you’re saying that we contradicted the entire Cypher Avenue brand? In that case, every article and mention of a heterosexual man or woman would also contradict the notion of Cypher Avenue “being geared towards masculine Gay and Bisexual men.”
I’ve been a long-time follower and listener of Cypher Avenue and Discreet City. I don’t recall how I first learned of DC. It must have been through some social network though, Facebook or Adam 4 Adam (back in the day). Nonetheless, I’m here to stay now.
I just never really got into chatting online. Alas, I took the time to catch up on recent podcasts today. Thus, I became inspired to join the site as well.
I really appreciate the recent podcast with the other tops. That was a healthy exchange. I wonder if all of the brothers were truly honest in their answers and responses.
Thanks for providing this platform!
Thanks Paul! Glad you’ve stuck with us through so many changes! The podcast you’re referring to, Podcast #29 – A Cypher with the Tops, was a great conversation with 3 great squad members. Yes, they all professed to being Tops and, yes, I also think some of their answers may not have been too revealing, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say they were not being honest.
It takes a lot of courage to discuss their gay sex life on a podcast for all the public to hear. Also, this is Cypher Avenue, not the black-and-white world that many other gay websites paint Black Gays and Bisexuals into. Either way, we’re glad that you enjoy the podcasts and the website!
– Nick Delmacy
VIVA LA CYPHER AVENUE
Hey, I’m from Mexico and your site is like fresh air to me, really. I was searching on YouTube for videos about masculine gay men and since I couldn’t find a lot in Spanish I started to watch videos in English. The video from ADTV, where they talked about the lack of black masculine gay men in TV, was the first I watched. That lead me to the video of your “YouTube hater” and in the description box he put the link to your article and that’s how I found out about your site.
I’m Mexican, so I’m not black and I live in Mexico City but I definitely know what you are all about. Sometimes I wonder what a lot of gay men would be if they weren’t gay. It’s like outside of being gay they have no personality, and your site says different it says gay men are like any other men, we just like dick and the man behind it!
Keep doing what you are doing. Big fan here in Mexico. I hope my English is not so bad!
Yoooo! I love when the international brothers hit us up…Shows us that we’re def not alone! Thanks for reaching out and feeling at home here on the site! And no, your English is pretty damn great actually!
– Nick Delmacy
IT TAKES A VILLAGE
Hey Nick, I just wanted to say thank you for this Website. As I approach my 50’s and still living behind the closet door it is good to see that I am not alone. My life can be lonely sometimes because I really don’t have anyone I can physically express my true feelings or desires at times but your site has gotten me through a lot of rough times.
Dude, as I approach my 40’s I get lonely sometimes as well…so I can definitely relate. Well, lonely is probably not the best word for it. Mostly, it’s the teenage angst filled feeling that no one else is going through the things you are internally going through. Conversing with the Squad Members on The Boards has definitely helped alleviate that feeling greatly! Give it a try!
– Nick Delmacy
READING IS FUNDAMENTAL
My name is Orlando, and I am a Author in Dallas, Texas. I’m contacting you because I would like to know if you guys do Book Reviews on your site. I know that you do reviews on Film, Tv, Web series and even short stories. However, I didn’t see in your submission column that you do reviews on Novels. I recently published a urban suspense drama that I think would interest you. Please let me know if this is something that Cypher Avenue will do.
Hey Orlando, yeah we have definitely done book reviews in the past. Actually, our most recent review was back in February of this year when we reviewed Ta’Leon Goffney’s book INFAMOUS. Admittedly though, we don’t review many books because of the time it takes to read and critique them. We’re a 2-man operation here with a handful of contributors. So when we do big projects like book reviews, they have to be either written by someone with a “name” or have a topic/subject that we’re really into and feels original.
– Nick Delmacy
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD GAY MEN
What’s going on Nick?
Hope all is going well for you. I’m a relatively new member who mostly listens to the podcasts and comments on posts from time to time. Anyways, I want to ask you a question about meeting people. From one of your recent podcast I got the gist that one can meet anyone practically anywhere and that one should just be bold which I have done from time to time when I was feeling someone.
However, I don’t feel I’m in enough situations to actually meet people. For example, I’m 27 and most of my friends are older men, 35+, and tend to be very stuck in their ways and aren’t at all really interested in going to a club or bar or most things outside their interests.
And aside from the occasional house party, which also features mostly older men, there isn’t much opportunity to meet people my age. While I have nothing against older men, my experience with them is that once they learn of my age number they tend to not take me seriously.
Another thing a friend of mine said is that most gay men meet online now and that is like the “new frontier”. That a direct quote, by the way. Although I was on Adam 4 Adam a couple of times, it didn’t really work out.
So with that thrilling bit of exposition, finally my question, lol.
What is your blunt opinion or advice? Should I try online again but like Facebook or something?
I’d appreciate any response. Thanks!
P.S.: I live in Los Angeles, if that matters.
No doubt Dr Strange, thanks for checking out the site. There’s a lot to unpack here.
1) Nothing wrong with not dating older. I date younger but not really by choice, and lately I’m starting to become like the older guys you mentioned. Younger gay men in their 20s (in general) seem to be easily distracted or not sure what they really want. Understandably. I was unsure at that age too.
2) I’ve been told that Los Angeles is a very tough place to date black gay men if you’re not White or Asian. So, not sure if any advice I would give applies to the L.A. scene.
3) I really don’t like dating via apps and sites. To be honest, I’ve had more luck meeting men to date in person. Also on free phone chat lines where voice/convo supersedes superficial photos and stats. But face-to-face meetings gave me best results. If your friends are lame (like mine) go to parties/bars/clubs solo.
Ocky is the most anti-social person I know. I talk to him often but I barely ever actually see him in person, let alone go out with partying with him. So when my gay friends don’t help, I just go out by myself. Strike up conversations, even if its with people you aren’t interested in sexually. It will be good practice and will also help eliminate the nagging feeling that you’re not there alone. Quick convos with bartenders are the easiest, then branch out to others around the bar.
At non-gay functions, if someone attractive is beeping on your gaydar, take a deep breath and step to him within the first 30seconds to 2mins of seeing him. The longer you wait the more likely you’ll talk yourself out of it. Don’t come at him “gay”, just introduce yourself and talk. You’ll get a sense of his interest level eventually. If you’re wrong or he’s still too closeted (many younger guys are) then move on to the next. Don’t waste your time with closet cases who loudly boast about “Girlfriends”, “Bitches” and “Hoes” to keep up appearances even though they are likely Gay.
It all depends on you confidence level and how much “game” you have. By game, I just mean your power of casual conversation with new people, not your usage of “pickup lines”. Good Luck!
– Nick Delmacy
YOU BOTH ARE MASCULINE, WE GET IT ALREADY!
Wassup Nick D,
Well let me just start off by saying, running across this site was quite a big deal for me. I’ll briefly tell you why. I was beginning to feel or maybe have felt singular or out of place in this gay life for a minute. I continued to run into extremes. Those extremes being hyper feminine dudes and those being hyper masculine closet cases. And after exploring this site for the last 4 days, since being a member, and analyzing the commentary I can say that while I do not agree with everything, it is refreshing to see gay men that can provide debatable dialogue, conversations, humor, serious stories and not have DICK and ASS pics throughout the website. Fuck, we all know sex is good. And GOOD sex is better. But can we break bread first? I feel like this site is that. Breaking bread. I feel like it serves as sexy ass foreplay, before the get down. Adult, grown man shit.
Now, with that being said, I can indeed see some dudes point of view about the over-masculine references and almost what seems to be efemephobia at times. For example, some of your podcasts and articles contain “masculine this, masculine that, oh yeah, did I forget to tell you that I’m masculine?” We get it dudes!!! LOL. And yes, I’m beginning to understand that that is your market and who you are as gay men, but its not ALL of what you are. There are indeed other black dudes that might wanna be called “fems” in the black gay diaspora. While you may not be able to relate to them, it seems your tone sometimes can be mistaken for the “my gay is better than yours” analogy and at the end of the day I think that can come off as very pompous as just kinda uncool.
I am a black gay man living in NYC around the same age as you two, but I am actually a southern boi that still considers ATL home after living there for close to 10 years. Being raised in Ft. Lauderdale, FL when I was younger. So I know all about the black gay scene in Atlanta. But I always felt out of place at times being that I’m naturally masculine yet also not afraid of my emotions or showing attributes that I guess would be associated with females. Just like I said earlier, the two extremes. Which left a dude like myself kinda on the outside. I don’t perform Beyonce routines and I don’t yell at football games and drink “brews”.
So driving it home, I never found a site online that I can totally relate to, and after running across this one, its not my 100%, but it has come the closest so far. So I take my hat off to you brush for putting something on the net that a person like myself can check daily and comment on. You will definitely see my POV in future posts and I look forward to all your future content. You have another Cypher Ave Kat in NYC…Harlem to be exact…if either of you are ever in the area.
Thanks man, glad you feel at home here on the site, even if it’s only 98% at home, lol.
Okay, there’s a few points to hit here. First of all, there’s really nothing to disagree with in your entire letter regarding masculinity and femininity in black gay men. From the outside looking in, I can totally see how effeminate gay men would possibly feel put off by some of the commentary. However, we’ve never pretended to represent everyone in the LGBT community. We’re just here to represent ourselves.
Ocky and myself are not like you, men who flow on both ends of the spectrum. We’re rigidly on one end (the masculine side) and we have no desire to conform to what others view “gay” is supposed to be or embrace. This is why we constantly talk about masculinity and being masculine, Gay is currently defined by femininity. When people make gay jokes, they make jokes about men wanting to be or act like women. Even gay men themselves exaggerate female traits, terms or pronouns when they want to proclaim or emphasize their homosexuality.
A place like Cypher Avenue is all still new to the gay community, I think. People like to lump everyone in together as if we’re a monolithic entity. This site proves that we’re all unique with different interests and views. That uniqueness means that sometimes we won’t agree on everything. And we may offend or alienate some people as well.
However the one thing I can definitely say is that we’ve never gotten into name-calling or blatant discrimination. If effeminate men are offended by the site, it’s because they don’t like hearing the word masculine and/or not being included in the topics of conversation on such a dope gay website…not because we’ve gone out of our way to bash femininity or effeminate men.
– Nick Delmacy
Well that’s all for this volume folks. We’ll try to drop these Letters to the Editor volumes weekly. We have years worth of letters to include, not to mention the new emails we get all the time. If you want to write us a letter yourself, shoot us an email to Contact@CypherAvenue.com.
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