Tag Archives: Gay Men

Intergenerational couple

“The Daddy/Sir Playbook”: 4 Younger Guys

     A little more than a week ago—I’m sure you recall–I wrote a Wyattevans.com exclusive entitled, The “Sugah Daddy’s” Playbook (or Sumthin’ Like Dat), based on a recent Queerty article on intergenerational dating.  That article gave tips on “being the best daddy for your boy.”    

     Well, guess what?  You readers made The “Sugah Daddy’s” Playbook one of the most popular Wyattevans.com articles—and one of the most talked about!  And I thank you for that. 

     As a result, I swore I’d flip the script by sharing Queerty’s “Six Pro Tips for Being a Good Daddy’s Boy” as soon as it was released.  And to flesh out that media outlet’s piece and give it fuller meaning, I promised I’d provide analysis and commentary.

     But before I do that, let’s review exactly what intergenerational dating is.  It’s dating outside your age group.  Generally, it’s at least a 10-year difference between couples.

     Keep in mind that intergenerational dating and relationships have always existed.  However, according to “Are Intergenerational Gay Couples a New Trend in Dating,” a Bilerico.com article from last year, these relationships “…do seem to be more common these days.  One reason might be the shift towards more conservative, traditional views of couplehood.  Now that we can get married in so many states, now that we can adopt children, now that we can bear children on our own, gay males are without question settling into more stable ways of dating, expressing our love, and getting into relationships.”

     The media outlet added, “There is a great hunger on the part of many gay men to be in stable, loving relationships and this just might be a driving force behind the possible rise in intergenerational couples.”

     Now, to my analysis/commentary.  As I mentioned in The “Sugah Daddy’s” Playbook, I take umbrage to the use of the word “boy.”  Younger partner/guy/man is more appropriate.  

     As well, too much subservience and neediness are ascribed to the younger partner for my taste.  For instance, I know a few intergenerational couples in which the younger man is the more emotionally evolved/secure.  The more dominant.  The more financially secure. 

    However I agree with the publication’s assertion that younger guys have “figured out something that most gays take decades to realize: experience is sexy, and smart older guys can teach you things you never knew you never knew.”

     And this is very important:  you’ll see that actually, BOTH the younger and the older man need to take these tips, pointers, guidelines to heart.

     So, in conclusion:  I found that the tips for being “a good daddy’s boy” resonated more–and were more relevant–than those for “being the best daddy for your boy.”  However, you be the judge.

     Now, here are those tips—right outta Queerty’s mouth!  Listen:  as I said before, if you don’t like the info, don’t shoot me!  I’m simply the messenger.  (LOL.)  However, do feel free to give Yours Truly your feedback.

     [To Note:  the accompanying photo is of UMass NCAA B-Baller Derrick Gordon (right) and actor-screenwriter Gerald McCullouch—an openly gay intergenerational.] 

  • Be honest. What are your intentions?  What do you want out of this relationship?  Be up-front and honest at the start of the relationship.  That way you can both make sure you’re on the same page.  Maybe one of you is looking for a fling while the other wants to settle down—well, you’d better make sure that’s clear before things get too far.  Intergenerational relationships are particularly prone to mismatched expectations, so you’re better off clearing the air from the start.  (And remember: expectations can change over time, so a periodic check-in is advisable.)
  • No more games. Older guys have learned the value of being direct and honoring their word.  They’re far less likely than your flakey young friends to play mind games or manipulate, and they’ll respect you if you follow through on your commitments.  Being considerate is the key.
  • Think like a daddy. If you’re looking for a daddy, go where daddies go. (‘Nuff said.)
  • He deserves your respect. Being young doesn’t make you special, so don’t think that your pretty soft skin makes you more important than he is.  A successful intergenerational couple enjoys mutual respect, even if he can’t figure out how to program his DVR.  Don’t make the mistake of thinking that he needs you more than you need him.  And don’t think that just because he’s more financially successful than you are, you’re entitled to his cash.  Let him decide whether he’s going to treat you to dinner.  Acknowledge it when he does something nice.  And if you can’t match him, dollar for dollar, you can still do nice things for him that don’t cost money.
  • It’s OK to be you. Being the younger guy can sometimes feel a little marginalizing.  His advanced knowledge, success and poise might discourage you, or make you feel stupid and small.  But hey, you have nothing to apologize for.  It’s OK that you’re still young.  So don’t think of your youth and inexperience as a liability.  Don’t deprive yourself of doing young-person things, watching young-person shows, and hanging out with your young friends.  Remember, those are the very things that attracted him to you in the first place.  If he wants to cut you off from your life and isolate you,
  • Let him surprise you. You might have a lot of pre-conceived ideas about what a daddy is.  And to be fair, a lot of those stereotypes are true:  older guys are often more genteel, worldlier, and more in-control.  But they’re also full of surprises, and you might discover that your daddy can be as silly and playful as your 20-year-old friends.  He might even—gasp—be a bottom.  Don’t assume anything.  Ask him what he likes.
  • Don’t let him take advantage. Sometimes, it’s hard to define the boundary between a fun power play and an unhealthy relationship.  If your daddy is asking too much of you, taking more control over your life than you want him to, or being condescending, let him know.  Remember, you should be in a relationship because it makes you both happy—not just to make him

     So you guys, both younger and older, and older and younger—shake  yo’ groove thang (Oh, Lawd!  Am I dating myself…that is, as in the age department?), and go on and git busy, with yo’ baddddd selves!  LOL.

Domestic Violence

Does Lovin’ Me Include Battering Me?

      Kwame Harris.  William Ewell.  What do these two men have in common?

     Well, they are (were) Black.  And, both men got caught up in separate incidents of the “nasty bizness” of Intimate Partner Violence and Abuse (IPV/A). 

     In his particular situation, Harris was the abuser.  

     In his particular situation, Ewell was the victim.  

     And unfortunately for Mr. Ewell, he died from it.

     You may recall the story of Mr. Harris.  On December 20, 2013, the former San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders lineman was sentenced to five days in jail and three years of probation for battering Dimitri Geier, his ex-boyfriend, in August 2012.

     At the time of the violence, Harris and Geier were romantically involved.  They’d previously lived together.  According to the San Jose Mercury News, “While dining at a Chinese restaurant, they began to argue and Harris then pinned Geier against a glass wall.  When they went outside, Harris hit Geier several times in the face and head, causing a compound facial fracture that required surgery and insertion of a metal plate.”  After a six-day trial, Harris was convicted of misdemeanor violence and assault charges but acquitted of felony domestic violence and assault charges.

     Now on to Mr. Ewell.  According to the Nydailynews.com, “William Ewell died after getting into a fistfight with his 20-year-old beau on a Bronx street when the two came to blows.  According to friends, ‘Ewell was a devout minister who preached loved and respect for others’.”

      You see, on Sunday, November 30, Ewell was arguing with his boyfriend at Bronx Park East and Mace Avenue, near the Bronx Zoo.  His younger partner punched him, knocking him to the ground. 

     Ewell died sometime later.

     “Friends said that the couple were recently engaged.  Police stated that charges against the younger man were pending the medical examiner’s investigation.”

     These are two horrific examples of the vicious cycle called Intimate Partner Violence and Abuse, or IPVA.    The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs defines it as “a pattern of behaviors utilized by one partner (the abuser or batterer) to exert and maintain control over another person (the survivor or victim) where there exists an intimate, loving and dependent relationship.”  

      New research suggests that a greater percentage of LGBTQ individuals are living in fear of an abusive partner than previously thought.  It is estimated that each year, between 50,000-100,000 lesbians (or more) and as many as 500,000 (or more) gay men are battered, and about one in four LGBTQ relationships/partnerships are abusive in some way.           

     As a journalist, I’ve made this dehumanizing and potentially life-threatening behavior–which tends to be heavily stigmatized and notoriously underreported in the LGBTQ community–my signature issue.  I conduct IPV/A seminars and workshops around the country. 

    I’m so passionate about this issue because I know individuals who have been victims of IPV/A.  And in my twenties, I experienced this demeaning behavior first-hand .

    My experience was psychological—the tearing down of my self-esteem, verbal abuse, threats, isolation.  At the time, I didn’t have the tools and information to make my “Great Escape.” 

     Fortunately however, I eventually did.

      With my continuing coverage at Wyattevans.com, Huffington Post, Baltimore Gay Life, BaltimoreOUTLoud, and The Wyatt O’Brian Evans Show (on the progressive Papichuloradio.com), I’ve been shining a bright light on this critical issue.   Part of this coverage includes telling the personal stories of IPV/A victims.

     At my seminars and workshops, I’m frequently asked, “Can abusers really control their behavior?”  The answer:  if they want to, they can!  Research has borne this out.  

     Currently, it’s unclear whether or not there was a pattern of violence and abuse in the relationship of Ewell and his partner.   But what we do know, however, is this:  there must be ZERO TOLERANCE for even one incident of IPV/A. And the faulty thinking and lame excuse (that too many people have) that “boyz will be boyz” just doesn’t cut it. 

    Here’s the Bottom Line:  Intimate Partner Violence and Abuse (IPV/A) ain’t the way that you love somebody.    

     If you or someone you know is experiencing IPV/A, call: the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-7233) or the Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project Hotline (1-800-832-1901).

Sir Elton John

Sir Elton John Continues to Step Up to the Plate, Batting Home Runs

     While conducting my usual round of research, I uncovered a rather timely article by Darryl Hannah for Inside Philanthropy entitled, “With HIV Infections Rising among Gay Men, This Funder Aims to Sound the Alarm.”  Hannah stated, “Here in the U.S., AIDS can feel like yesterday’s news, and many funders long ago moved on to other issues, including many LGBT funders who’ve been focused on rights issues.”

     The writer continued, “In fact, though, the rate of new HIV infections remains very high, and is rising.  But you’d never know that judging by the complacency of the media or, unfortunately, of many gay men.  Which is why the Elton John AIDS Foundation’s (EJAF) latest grant making includes funding to raise awareness of the persistent threat of HIV.”

     According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the following dire and gloomy realities are concrete, undeniable evidence that we continue to need EJAF support, clout…and dollars more than ever:

  • In 2010, over 15,000 individuals died of AIDS.
  • Although gay/SGL (same gender loving) men make up just two percent of the U.S. population, they account for 55 percent of all AIDS deaths.
  • This two percent comprise the majority, 56 percent, of people living with HIV.
  • Gay/SGL men account for 66 percent of new HIV infections.
  • 12 to 13 percent of gay/SGL and bisexual men in the U.S. are HIV-positive—including one in five in many major American cities.
  • When you examine HIV/AIDS infections among African-American gay/SGL and bisexual men, the numbers are nearly doubled.

     Hannah wrote, “In short, AIDS is hardly a plague of the past in the gay community.  But it’s seen as such, and the Kaiser study found that few gay men said they discuss HIV with friends and sexual partners and 30 percent had never been tested for HIV.  Only a third knew that HIV infections are rising.  A majority said they were ‘not concerned’ about HIV.

     “It’s frightening findings like these that has the Elton John AIDS Foundation, one of the nation’s largest funders fighting HIV/AIDS, sounding the alarm more loudly and looking for ways to challenge rising complacency about AIDS in the LGBT community.”

     Recently, EJAF formed a partnership with the Human Rights Campaign.  The Foundation awarded this national LGBT organization a $300,000 grant to increase awareness of HIV prevention, treatment, and care among LGBT persons—with a specific focus on young gay/SGL and bisexual men, and transgender women.  The Foundation also hopes to increase awareness and access to care for low-income individuals.

     Additionally, EJAF has just announced $1.5 million in grants, which includes funding to combat stigma confronting those who are poz.

     According to Hannah, “Sir Elton John himself remains as dedicated to this issue as ever.  And deeply worried, too, about issues that he wants more widely shared.  In a recent op-ed for the New York Times, he wrote:

     “’…as engaged as the gay community and civil rights activists have been in the fight for marriage equality, we have lost ground on the fight that so intensely galvanized the gay community to begin with:  HIV and AIDS…we are failing to maintain the kind of basic awareness and education that is needed to save lives’.”