Why I Remain Invisible

By OckyDub | Posted Jun 5 2017 | 22 Comments  


In this podcast I discuss my lack of past visibility and why I choose to remain non-visible on the site and vlogs. Even though this current podcast was influenced by CypherAvenue.com squad members @SB3 and @OmegaLevel, the topic of visibility has always been anchored to the website. I elaborate on what my intentions were for this space and in the last portion of the podcast, provide details on the Cypher Ave Anniversary party that never was.

Check out my commentary below and please be sure to provide your feedback to keep the discussion going.




About the Author

Octavius is a founder and editor of Cypher Avenue. He's here to help speak for us and show the world that masculine gay / bisexual men of color are not a part of the stereotypical gay normal that is seen and fed to the masses. No...we are a distinct breed, filled with character and pride. Cypher Avenue is here to show the world how we are different.

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22 Comments Feel Free To Join The Cypher.

  1. DC.
    DC. | June 5th, 2017

    Can i just say after listening to this I definitely have a newfound respect for both you and Nick. I definitely wish I could have seen it from this perspective from even day one. Because in life when we put ourselves out there it comes with consequences both positive and negative. And truth be told if shizzle started to hit the fan, the folks from cypher avenue wont be the ones putting money in ya'lls accounts and im just keeping it funky right now. Because when people especially even in the workplace know things about you such as your sexuality it can change how they interact with you truth be told and you don't want to feel uncomfortable where you work.

    And you guys hit a clear note, to be visible would be good for others, but where's the benefit in it for you guys? Which I never thought about it like that till now. Like even for me to have my picture on here that's my prerogative and its all up to how comfortable it is for the person. But I'm glad you guys took the time to clear up such a matter especially in the way that you did. Because you guys definitely seem to have a good understanding on how the world works. Because not all publicity is good publicity just like how not all money is good money.

  2. OckyDub
    Ockydub | June 5th, 2017

    Thank you for this. I was hoping it would clear things up for the members and listeners.

    FREEDOM TRAIN | June 5th, 2017


  4. Barnes Built
    Barnes Built | June 5th, 2017

    All of us deserve safety. Employment without harassment. And the ability to roam in public spaces freely since you’re not an actual celebrity. From your voice I imagine you a handsome medium brown. With a shapely full lip. I appreciate your haven for its deviation from group think consensus. Your opinion is the silent majority. Despite most denying you the written head nod of agreement. Easier to feel morally superior joining the shunning and shaming.

  5. Barnes Built
    Barnes Built | June 5th, 2017

    All of us deserve safety. Employment without harassment. And the ability to roam in public spaces freely since you’re not an actual celebrity. From your voice I imagine you a handsome medium brown. With a shapely full lip. I appreciate your haven for its deviation from group think consensus. Your opinion is the silent majority. Despite most denying you the written head nod of agreement. Easier to feel morally superior joining the shunning and shaming.

  6. takeyourmeds91
    takeyourmeds91 | June 5th, 2017

    Go head "Heterosupremacy" !

    I'm not mad at you tho. It's damned if you do, damned if you don't. Some of these women can really make you feel like a 3rd class citizen, like you don't even deserve to breathe the same air. And then have the nerve to feel like you tricked them as if yall went on dates and she invested time.

    And you only mentioned women but it's also men too. Word gets out and folks change up on you DESPITE you being the same person you were yesterday and the day before that. I don't get it. The most fvcked up one's are the dudes that would actually be okay with it but now they think by continuing to be cool with you, people will start questioning them.

    "I promise I won't rub gay off on him, guys" gtfoh.

  7. ColumbusGuy
    ColumbusGuy | June 5th, 2017

    The back to the 90's thing without the cellphones could have been a good think actually(making it kind of a theme or something). It is not really that different and it would not kill someone to not have their device of choice on their person for 4 freakin' hours or so.

    I totally agree on the invisibility part-especially if your ability to support yourself could be at risk. And it is more than just being gay and being black and gay even(although all of the things mentioned seem valid). It is about being gay and having and expressing opinions that may be seen as very negative by 'The gays' who run things.

    I don't think white gays could get away with it either-'the they are taking and locking up all the white men and now this good white man is GAY!! dammit' would not apply really but the 'these gays are haters and hate women/fem gay men/etc.' thing would have certain groups going after those scalps most surely.

    All you have to do is look at certain other black gay spaces online to see what unhappy black gay men have done and are doing regarding other black gay men they disagree with. Every single bit of private data being made public, employers and family members named, notified, made fun of and contacted(worse than I have seen it anywhere else online). Why deal with that possibility? And you and Nick would be prime targets. People can be especially cruel and evil when they can do things hidden from view online.

    Living in redneckland now I have no protections either and it is just something you have to be aware of-that you can be targeted for being gay in employment or housing or whatever and they can just say some bull like 'we just don't need your services with this company any longer'. Most are not so stupid as to be honest and say we don't. like. gays. so you are fired(even though they can do this). Why invite this to happen to yourself if you are in a vulnerable situation?

    Things aren't really as open for gays as they seem to be even in the best of circumstances-especially if you are not in just the right area/ line of employment, thinking the 'correct' gay thoughts, and towing the 'correct' gay line.

  8. Rico
    Rico | June 6th, 2017

    Well the previous posters have all summed up my thoughts as well. I never thought you and Nick "owe me something" in terms of visibility, etc. I've always been fascinated with the social psychology of the public and how people think celebrities owe them something, ever since I was a kid and saw the demented thinking of assailants in the John Lennon and Ronald Reagan shootings. Not meaning to get dark, but those incidents shaped my lifelong thinking later as an adult and led me to feel the same way about visibility/invisibility as you.

    Another example: I was on a business trip many years ago and my white female boss pointed out that Robin Williams was sitting in the hotel restaurant a few tables over from us. I literally had to beg and stop this lady from embarrassing ME and harassing HIM. Williams was having a meal and private convo with someone he knew. What made her think that a celebrity "owed her" an interruption/convo/autograph, etc. just because he was visible in that space?

    In that way, you and Nick are "the celebs" as founders of the site. I use the word "celebrity" in the sense of being open and notorious, not rich or famous. People are free to share as much or as little of themselves as they wish, and some of it is generational, but not all. We should respect others decisions, here or in "real life", as to presentation. If you choose to be seen in a portrait pic like some squad members, or behind an avatar, it's all good.

    I don't think the owners of the site owe anything other than what is chosen to be presented, nothing more or less. The internet culture has helped degrade folks' sense of propriety. I speak my mind in real life and pretty much have a don't give a shit attitude towards my own views and personal business, but I keep other folks and friends convo and info shared with me under lock and key. That's one of the main reasons I don't do much social media or Facebook, etc; It's hard enough controlling your own stuff but people have no sense of propriety and "degrees of separation" when handling others' biz.

    And the income/employment thing is real. Even those with gummint jobs found out real quick how shit can change when we went from Obama to Cheetolino Mussolini. Even when Obama was opening things for LGBT folk, I saw homophobic black government employees (some of them arm-carrying law enforcement, by the way) turn on him and say shit about gay people that would get you fired in the the private sector. In an office of supposedly white liberal Democrats, I watched how the openly gay white dude we hired was treated and discriminated against, in particular by black female government workers, to the point that he just up and quit one day. People may laugh at Ock using phrases like "hetero supremacy" but that hate is real, and women and blacks are no different when it comes to discrimination against LGBT.

  9. OckyDub
    Ockydub | June 6th, 2017

    For those who may not know what Rico is referring to….

    "…hetero supremacy means heterosexuals who believe they are superior to non-heterosexuals and heterosexuality is the only acceptable practiced sexuality."

    Can We Talk About Hetero Supremacy?

  10. Rico
    Rico | June 6th, 2017

    You know I also thought about you "scaring people away" (as you put it). In the end, so what? Are you really doing that or narrowing and tailoring your message to your chosen audience. If people feel CA doesn't appeal to them, there are a bazillion other sites that pandering to each and every micro-genre/group/orientation. SJWs always whine about "safe spaces". Don't masculine black gay men ( and their masculine white allies) deserve a safe space? Or are these spaces only for the elite and government designated few? Others don't apologize, why the fuck should you, Nick, I or anyone else posting on CA? I'm too old and lived through too much to be apologizing, as have y'all.

    And as D.C. pointed out, mofos often don't want to pay for supporting those who try to get out front. Where is MUSED Magazine?

    It's a free world, baby. People don't like it, they can start their own sites. GoDaddy will webhost anyone's ass for $15 a month or less…

  11. ColumbusGuy
    ColumbusGuy | June 6th, 2017

    Ocky has already shown himself anyway in that muscular shirtless looking-like-a-hot-radical-professor pic so I am satisfied with that lol. And Nick cannot and should not reveal himself as he is the enigma in a riddle wrapped in a mystery guy and that is his persona now and he should just stick with it.

  12. Rico
    Rico | June 6th, 2017


    I don't think any more or less of anyone based on a photo or avatar. Like I said, personal choice. Most folks round here are pretty intelligent with good insights. In the end, that's all that really matters.

  13. Omega Level
    Omega Level | June 6th, 2017

    Much respect for your point of view about remaining invisible @Ockydub. I can totally understand everything you expressed and share many of your sentiments about the gay community, "hetero supremacy", and being conservative with your visual image.

    My perspective on people that produce creative spaces, creative ideas/products, social platforms, etc and how visible they should be in regards to the products they bring forth is ambivalent. While some are happy to step out and promote, market, or share their product with major visibility (sometime nauseatingly so like Tyler Perry or P.Diddy in the 90s), others choose to let the product speak for its self and may weigh the pros and cons on how the visibilty could effect their lives. So I see both perspectives.

    Example – One of my favorite fashion designers when he designed for the house, Martin Margiela, never showed his face or took a bow after fashion shows. He preferred to design clothes, create what he loves, and had no desire to be a fashion celebrity. I would assume its the same ideology for the artist BANKSY and the singer SIA. An air of mystery can prove to be beneficial both in business as well as personally.

    On the other hand I personally love when I see people so proud of what they do that they put themselves out there in every way (visibly, mentally, emotionally) when it comes to their product. I get inspired from seeing people create or share their opinions and especially if I see them visually. But again, thats just my personal opinion. I understand those that don't share that view and are perfectly fine in never seeing the actual person that produces the product they support for years.

    What you state about the work place and hetero people views on gay men is unfortunate and sad but yep, its real. No race thing intended but when you deal with us as black folk and black women, it can DEFINITELY impact your professional life negatively. Maybe not as much as it did years ago, but we still have a long way to go as a people when it comes to gay issues. Just ask TANK who performed at black gay pride in D.C.

    And shit, we all got to eat and pay these bills. So being in a position where your face becomes the poster for masculine gay male blogger and it having a negative effect on your coin isn't a good look. Especially if you have no interest in being that guy.

    Thanks for the clarity Ocky. I still love your invisible ass. :franko1:

  14. OckyDub
    Ockydub | June 6th, 2017

    Exactly and you made excellent points / examples in your over all comment.

  15. ColumbusGuy
    ColumbusGuy | June 6th, 2017

    It is interesting, but not necessary, to put a face to a poster. And you are right-it does not make a difference beyond that.

    When I joined it described the space and included 'and those who support them'…which could mean anyone of any race or gender or fem or inbetween or whatever. The site is generally pro(insert here)not anti(whatever). Plus you have religious believers and atheists co-existing…so it is not like divergent opinions are not tolerated and are shut down. It is just that if you have a divergent opinion, you can expect to be questioned about it and should be able to take the feedback or questioning without getting too bent out of shape. That is not expecting a lot really. If people get a little hot under the collar(guilty here)it is not held onto and ruminated about-people get over it and move on(or leave the site lol).

  16. Trexx | June 7th, 2017

    I got it. I feel what your saying by 1 watching it happen in the work place to someone else but also having experienced it by coming out in certain work places thinking hey I just need to be me but then I watched the down side happen to myself as opinions changed by those who are in leadership who were thinking of putting me in a leadership position from male and female. Also, I’ve always appreciated your website and the topics of discussion I’ve been with you guys since were discreet. One topic I would like to here you guys create a discussion about is Frottage or Grinding I just don’t believe everything sexual between two men has to be who’s the bottom and who is the top. Is this something that we as black men like to do? don’t like doing? Look at it as only just a form of foreplay. Anyway I starting to feel I have a lot to say and I,m getting to long winded in my comments.) and run on sentences. Later you guys keept doing what you do.

  17. jpo
    jpo | June 12th, 2017

    As always, provocative. And well-argued.

    The first thing that strikes me is the labelling that goes on in the LGBTQ community. It's nothing new and certainly not uniques to our community. I remember the anti-war movement in the late 60s, particularly among the more radical left groups that were my world – nothing would shut down discussion faster than a label – he's really a Stalinist (that was me, apparently, though I like to think of myself as more a Trotsky type). Point is that it stops people from hearing what you have to say. I have heard you and Nick discuss this before. You're not imagining it. It's real. Nothing good comes from labeling you as anti-feminist or whatever. I get your reluctance to put attach a visual to your aural and written presence.

    The other point that jumped out is how much of a fishbowl world we have created – how everyone seems to wnat to be in everyone else's kitchen. I thought of this as intrusive, but after listening to this podcast I realize it is more than that, it is inhibiting. In a sense this desire to be in everyone's business and share the knowledge creates it own new form of closet. When I came out decades ago I and my friends stayed partially closeted in that we kept our business amongst ourselves – we kept it in the family. Now in a place like DC, that's not quite necessarily necessary.

    Thanks, this was good sound and the images of invisibility were perfect.

    A last question – why did this not show up on my phone? I subscribe to Cypher Avenue podcasts but the last one that appeared was May 26, Bottoms Roundtable.

  18. 850famuman
    850famuman | June 13th, 2017

    Hmmmmmm….yes, you certainly have the right to do whats best yourself in the big picture of life..but as someone who’s​ been around since this was a lil more than a blogpage……giphy.gif

  19. OckyDub
    Ockydub | June 14th, 2017

    These are separate than the Cypher Ave podcasts. These are podcast on my own channel.

  20. sekou
    sekou | June 15th, 2017

    I totally understand the rationale behind the move, It’s you who controls your own footprints so opinions on how you should live it are null. However does it seem like you are giving in to the power of “hetero Supremely” by hiding from its influence? And you can further argue that hiding from the expectation of being masculine and gay diminishes the worth of being “masculine” and gay, further ammunition to the hetero normative believers. This intern reinforces the negative narrative what feminine dudes have that only they are the ones who are forced to represent and fight the battles for the community.

    No hate from me mayn. Just another perspective . But as i said defend your paper.

  21. OckyDub
    Ockydub | June 15th, 2017

    Completely understand the POV and argument you presented.

  22. Wes
    Wes | June 20th, 2017

    Well…First off, I never needed a clear-up or a more indepth understanding of the whole visible/invisible-image thing of Cypher Ave-Producers and Owners. Although, I can see how some viewers/followers got a bit upset, we do live in a heightened more technological/Social Media era where everything IMAGE is key. You can’t even read a book without there being some sorta photo or pic to enhance the story. Because in LGBTQ the “stereotypes” of Gay Men particularly of Black Colored Gay Men-“stereotype-rules” and have no place for what appears to be closets, shadows, sneaks, and unclockable for men period, unless some of the fantasies of the more effeminate/black gay are being fulfilled. And some were not here for that!

    So at first, it seemed as if Cypher Ave/Discreet City’s angle was to promote all things masculinity only and they abhorred anything “Effeminate or the like thereof” or maybe their aim was to capitalize on finding a place where men who were more masculine or identify with masculine superlatives could feel safe in expressing themselves without prejudice. I get it!
    But as an old Cypher Ave/Discreet City alumni that I consider myself to be-hahahaha…. I always understood their overall view without needing a reason why. They wanted to raise the level of understanding in that there was much more to LGBTQ than cheap-porn, sexy-gay men and corny-ass trendy-stereotypical- Webseries without concepts that enhance the experiences of LGBTQ-I guess?!

    So, Just as there are millions of Magazines, Blogs/Vlogs, Newspapers/editorial/writers, hell-TV Shows etc….You NEVER, EVER, if rarely, see the producers or executives of those productions. So again, I get it and Thanks Ocky for creating a spot to hang that’s more than just a soft-core porn or website of super trendy topics that have no avail for the Black man seeing thru in LGBTQ.
    You’ve meticulously explained your vision, your perspectives and reasons on why you chose to stay invisible. You have a life outside of this place obviously and you have to guard that and your heart as well as those relationships seen and unseen that you possibly have or plan to have in general. Honestly, I perfectly understand! That was one of the main things that sorta piqued my interest in the first place on your website. I didn’t have to reveal who I was physically because that’s not what it was about over here. I didn’t have to agree nor disagree with all things LGBTQ. So, I too am an extremely PRIVATE guy who most times feel like an enigma. I’m not super-masculine nor am I super-flamy-effeminate. I am not a sports-head or any of those things, neither have I ever been to Ballrooms/Bathhouses/Dark rooms, Hell I never even been to a Pride-festival. I had a very difficult time in coming to grips with my sexuality in the past and still journeying. Everything came late for me, so having a place like Discreet/Cypher Ave just to take on a different perspective from a more neutral place- or point of view was refreshing for me….if that makes sense?!

    I don’t get to peruse thru here like before but I still support my brothers in what they’re trying to accomplish. Because after all, I believe as aforementioned in your podcast, that you had a whole other concept in meeting up, networking of sorts and really digging deep into building a community of people that like yourself and Nick could relate. It’s all about making the connection or relating and NOT feeling ostracized or penalized for it! This place helped me out a lot in my thinking and understanding. So, keep up the work you’re doing, Continual Success Always!

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