Let’s be honest with ourselves, Obama didn’t use the embracing of LGBT rights to deflect attention from his failed economy for the benefit of CLOSETED gays in denial of their sexuality (okay, that one was a low blow but I couldn’t resist). It was for the open and Out gays who made their presence (and voting demographic) known. If you’re over 25 and have sex with men, even only occasionally, you’re Gay or Bisexual at the least. There are so many men still denying this truth about themselves. To be honest, it’s getting old.

Admittedly, I had a long journey to finally being comfortable enough to go to gay clubs and the such. HOWEVER, that doesn’t mean that I was in denial during those years. Although I may not have been comfortable at gay events, I accepted that I was gay pretty early on in my life.  My journey is different than everyone else’s…but come the fuck on, its 2013…not 1983. I personally witnessed grown Gay men wave the Frank Ocean flag when he came Out all while living in denial about their own sexuality. These were not 14-year-olds being bullied, these were 30+ year old independent men.

Recently I went out to a gay club with a small group of gay friends. One of the friends said he had invited another friend of his to join us but he declined because he was uncomfortable. Here’s the kicker: That friend has been to gay clubs many times before, he just didn’t want to go with a group (if it matters, we’re all masculine guys). For some reason, the intimacy of a smaller group scared him while the idea of going to a brightly lit gay club full of hundreds of gays with only one other person didn’t.

In another instance, I once wasted my precious time dating a guy who felt uncomfortable even saying the word gay or even acknowledging that we were dating at all. Another situation had me befriending a 30-year-old (clearly) gay man for over two years that was only comfortable getting together in dark theaters to watch movies, sitting at least a seat or two away from each other. Once I caught on and said we had to meet in lit public places like normal friends, I never heard from him again.

Again, everyone has his own journey but that kind of paranoid shit is for 20-year-olds, not 30-year-olds. No self-respecting gay man wants to be around that shit. It’s like going to an amusement park with someone who’s afraid of heights and doesn’t want to go on ANY rides, total buzz kill.

Get over yourself already. No one is saying you need to come Out and jump on Gay Pride floats with nipple rings and a leather WWII Muir Cap. However at the very least you need to look yourself in the mirror and say, “I’m a Gay man…I’m Good Enough, I’m Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me!” No matter how many straight people you think you will lose by coming to terms with your sexuality, you’ll gain another person to fill their place. I promise you this.

Life is too short to live under a dark cloud of other people’s perceptions and expectations of you. You’re a grown ass man now, live your life for you not them. This website proves that not all gay people are like the stereotypes. There is a liberation that comes with finding like-minded people who allow you to be 100% yourself.

No matter if he’s a 4-hour-a-day gym rat that downs egg whites and protein shakes like water, 95% of all gay men indulge in some sort of unhealthy behavior.  From alcohol consumption, marijuana and/or cigarette smoking, or high fat/cholesterol/sodium foods, aging gay men (and all men in general) put their future health in jeopardy.

Go on any random dating “hookup” site or cell phone app and you’ll see gay men aplenty proclaiming that 420 is a plus. What this means is they’re looking for fellow drug addicts to get high with. We here in the Cypher Avenue are not prudes, anything is fine in moderation. However many Gay men indulge in excess. No matter how “safe” a man may think marijuana is, they’re still willingly inhaling smoke into their lungs. The dangers of excessive alcohol consumption are widely known, yet gay men of color are still in denial about the problem of alcoholism in our community.

The documentary, “Soul Food Junkies” (previously highlighted on our site) deftly examined how the foods we eat slowly deteriorate our health. We freely ingest foods high in calories, fat and cholesterol just for the taste or tradition of what we were raised eating by our equally non-health-conscious parents. True a person may “look” healthy and fit, but you never know what medical and physical ailments they suffer from, not knowing it is the result of the highly processed and preservative filled foods they have been eating for years.

Speaking of looking healthy, no bigger false indicator of health is appearance, especially when it comes to sexually transmitted diseases/infections. Not only do many gay man of color risk their health by engaging in sexual activities with many different partners, often times they do so unprotected. I can almost excuse this behavior with young men, but men over the age of 25 not knowing the dangers of unprotected sex is more unbelievable than a person saying Frank Ocean gave a great performance at the 2013 Grammy Awards.

For all we know, we only have one life to live. Take care of your body while you’re here, it’s the only one you’ll ever have. This doesn’t mean that you have to become the guy drinking a casein protein shake in the club. Nor does it mean you can only eat rice cakes and teaspoons of peanut butter for dinner. A lot of things are acceptable in moderation. But whenever you have that internal inkling that you may “have a problem,” most likely your instincts are correct. That is your subconscious sending you a message.