Tuesday, March 31, 2015

M3 Beacast Ep 10: The Protest Principle

Episode 10: The Protest Principle
March 31, 2015

In the realm of social justice, there’s always something to protest. Wether it be equal protection, gun control, or stand your ground laws, but when he question comes to how effective different protest methods are, where do you stand? Is strategically boycotting business within the district or states where such laws are implemented the way to go? Or should we stage demonstrations the gets media attention in an effort to decimate information to those who might be unaware of the problem? In our latest episode of the M3 Bearcast, I talk with M3 contributors Breeze Vincinz, David Vollin and Gerald Hogan about social activism and how effective protests work. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

M3 Bear Essentials: Is Being Gay a Choice?

Some people are motivated to believe that homosexuality is choice because it’s unnatural. It’s an appealing argument that has been used to supposed discrimination against gay people. Weather or not homosexuality is natural, is it a choice? When we asked this question in a recent M3 Hot Topic we got some interesting responses that might shed some light on why some people might think that homosexuality is chosen. M3 contributors Mark Estes, Breeze Vincinz and Malcolm Travers discuss the responses and why the arguments for a chosen sexuality tend to work for so many people. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

M3 Bear Essentials: The Difference Between Sadness and Depression

Do you know what the difference is between sadness and depression? We use the word depression to describe bouts of sadness, but there is a serious difference between sadness and depression. One of the major differences is duration of the mood and how unaware many sufferers of depression are that they are being affected by it. Have you ever been through a serious serious bout of depression? M3 contributors Malcolm Travers and Gerald Hogan join Mark Estes as he reads some of the responses to this topic and tells of his own experiences with depression.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Dark Shadows: A Reflection of My Life with Depression


It always started with Darkness.

The darkness would then shift into the haziest of blues. All I can remember is that subdued blue tint, or rather the grayish tones. I remember the dread of my feet touching the cold floor after only a handful of hours of sleep and enough stress to last an entire college career. I remember the frazzled static that when I did bother to decipher turned out to be my friends asking me “what’s wrong,“ or “why the long face,” or “Mark, you’re spaced out. Are you even here?” Rinse, spin, repeat.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

M3 Beacast Ep 9: Black Bears on Racism

Episode 9: Black Bears and Racism
March 24, 2015

Race is one of those issue that is difficult to address because the very impulse to discuss it can be taken as offensive. That being said, it’s an important issue that we feel it is our responsibility as socially progressive bears of color to discuss. We approach the issue with respect and compassion for those who might be offended and a dedication to telling the truth of our experiences. I speak with M3 contributors Breeze Vincinz, Mark Estes and Gerald Hogan about the effect of racism in our lives and how it manifests itself in pop culture and politics.

Monday, March 23, 2015

M3 Bear Essentials: Wanting More than a HookUp

Do you feel as though most gay men you meet online are just looking for a hookup? How do you find love in the gay community if all the guys you meet are only looking to have sex? In our latest episode of the M3 Bear Essentials we discuss a viewer’s question about the way he’s been treated in dating situations. Mark Estes, Ja’Won Blackmon, Malcolm Travers and Breeze Vincinz discuss some of the generalizations that we sometimes make about the gay community from our bad experiences and how our expectations can often dictate our outcomes.   

Thursday, March 19, 2015

M3 Bear Essentials: Between A Church And A Hard Place

Have you had to walk a fine line between your sexuality and religion? In our latest episode of the M3 Bear Essentials we answer the question of a gay dad who questions if he wants to approve of his kids going to a church that doesn't approve of his sexuality. M3 Contributors Malcolm Travers, Gerald Hogan, Mark Estes and Breeze Vincinz sort out the difference between the services that a church provides and the beliefs that it promotes. Would you go into the closest for the sake of a loved one's religious beliefs?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

M3 Beacast Ep 8: The Dark Side of the Gay Community

Episode 8: The Dark Side of the Gay Community 
March 17, 2015

In the either episode of the M3 Bearcast we dig into some of the stereotypes about gay men that can be true for some. I'm joined by M3 contributors Gerald Hogan, Mark Estes and David Vollin to  discuss an article in Thought Catalog entitled Why I No Longer Want To Be Gay which about some of the failed expectations one man had about the gay community dealing with bitchiness, cattiness, and lack of intimacy in the hookup culture.

Monday, March 16, 2015

M3 Bear Essentials: Evolution of Manhood

Now that more men express feminine traits, do you feel that it's time we reexamine our definition of manhood? M3 contributors Breeze Vincinz, David Vollin, Mark Estes, Malcolm Travers and Gerald Hogan discuss the evolving concept of masculinity in the face of feminine men and transgender women.  Do you feel as though some gay men who don't feel masculine enough run away from their manhood? Are there enough positive masculine gay role models for men who are unsure of their masculinity?

Friday, March 13, 2015

The Nigga Wake-Up Call

Nobody asks to be the victim of discrimination, but are there things that we can do as black men to reduce our risk of being another statistic? That is the question at the heart of respectability politics and the discussion that dredged up my nigga wake up call. The conversation  starts with definitions. Respectability politics is a set of attempts that any underclass can use to attempt to receive equal treatment from the dominant group. It may be conforming to their standard of behavior, fashion, or speech patterns. A nigga wake up call is a moment of insight where racism becomes real, rather than an intellectual concept. These sorst of conversations are fraught with emotional landmines, so let me state my intentions up front. This article isn't intended to demonize anyone for their perceived racial intolerance. I bring it up because, so few who have moderate views on the subject feel comfortable enough about themselves or their place in the world to discuss it without the fear of being perceived as an extremist. The fact is that racism is real, but even then people can find racism in places where it does not exist. This isn't a call to paranoia, but rather a plea for social awareness and empathy.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

M3 Bear Essentials: A Flood of Femininity?

It seems whenever the topic of femininity comes up it also reveals a bias in the hearts of most men. Whenever the discussion comes up some people imply that it's a conspiracy of media executives to feminize the black man and destroy the black family, while others feel that they are being attacked for expressing their sexuality. The truth is there there are both positive and negative aspects about the way gay men are portrayed in the media, but often time both sides seem to get upset about the state of affairs. In our latest episode of the M3 Bear essentials, Breeze Vincinz, David Vollin, Malcolm Travers and Gerald Hogan discuss the controversy that arose when the Prancing Elites promo was posted in the group and what people's reactions say about the level of homophobia in America.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

One Year Later… And I’m Still M.E.

“And then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free…” – John 8:32

Around this particular time last year, I took a (in some respects “ill-advised”) leap of faith and came out to the world as a gay man. After boldly proclaiming this fact to the world of Facebook, I waited for the knee-jerk rejections, a wave of disownment from family and friends, and a rash of homophobic remarks from both factions in my life. Miraculously none of that negative fanfare manifested (at least not immediately), but I still didn’t feel whole or complete. I didn’t feel any different and I didn’t feel any better stepping out from the moth ball tainted closet into the fresh, mentally healthy air of the world.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

M3 Beacast Ep 7: What Does It Mean To Be On the DL?

Episode 7: What Does It Mean To Be On the DL? 
March 10, 2015

There are quite a few issues to contend with in this area dealing with DL men and we touch on many of them in our latest episode of the Bearcast. Why do so many gay men decide to stay in the closet when there are so many advances being made in the area of equal rights? I speak with M3 Contributors Mark Estes, Breeze Vincinz, David Vollin and Gerald Hogan about the complicated nature of sexual politics. 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Bear Essentials: Black Gay Role Models

The black gay community is filled with many different types of gay men who feel like they aren't being adequately represented. Some people feel as if there is no black gay community at all. Who is a role model? Do you feel as though there are too many gay men expressing feminine traits in the media? David Vollin, Mark Estes, Malcolm Travers, Breeze Vincinz and Gerald Hogan respond to the feedback from the 5th episode of the M3 Bearcast on gay stereotypes. by talking about what makes a community even when all the members are different.  

Thursday, March 5, 2015

M3 Bear Essentials: What Makes a Good Friend?

What do you value most in a close friendship? When do you feel it's time to let a friend go if you've grown apart? In the latest episode of the M3 Bear Essentials Mark Estes, Malcolm Travers and Breeze Vincinz discuss the benefits and limits of true friendship. Mark talks about how loyalty can sometime be a double edged sword, creating blind spots and allowing friends to get over when normally he'd cut them off. Breeze talks about an instance in which he had to cut off a friend for being disrespectful to him and it ended up strengthening their bond in the long run.  

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

M3 Beacast Ep 6: Criminal Justice and the Black Community

Episode 6: Criminal Justice and the Black Community 
March 3, 2015

Many black men find themselves involved in the criminal justice system. What is often left behind is a trail of broken people who have trouble getting steady work and don’t know how to relate. In the latest episode of the Bearcast, I want to talk about how the criminal justice system can affect relationships in the black community, how our distrust of the law has a ripple effect on the community as a whole and what strategies we can adopt to curb the rate of recidivism.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Bear Essentials: Can Friends Be Lovers?

How would you handle a friend who wants more from you than friendship? How do you express to a friend that you're interested in them without pushing them away? In the latest episode of the M3 Bear Essentials Mark Estes, Ja'Won Blackmon and Malcolm Travers discuss the ways friendships can get complicated when one person wants more from the other.