Real Men Feel: Episode 50, Internalized Homophobia

Real Men Feel

Internalized Homophobia, Episode 50, March 7, 2017

This week on Real Men Feel, Andy Grant and Appio Hunter discuss the concept and share experiences of internalized homophobia. Thanks to an organic gathering of live listeners the perspectives of straight, gay and bisexual men are expressed.

Key topics include; that the put-down of “gay” has nothing to do with sexuality and is all about making someone feel “less” of a man, the notion of separation along many different attributes, and the fact that we are really of one race, the human race.

We also talk about how easy it is to mock a label or term you don’t understand, and that so many issues of attacking an “other” comes from a lack of self-love.

The backstory of this episode can be found in this post – Why Does Being Called ‘Gay’ Bother Me?

#RealMenFeel

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It’s Okay to be Human

It’s okay to have everything, but still want more.

It’s okay to spend years learning how to walk a spiritual path, but still display non-spiritual emotions when something knocks you off your path.

It’s okay to be enlightened, but still express strong opinions.

It’s okay to be calm, but still show anger.

It’s okay to be happy, but still feel sorrow.

It’s okay show courage, but still admit to being afraid.

It’s okay to love, but still feel hate.

Why?

It’s part of being human.

It’s what we signed up for.

This experience is what we wanted.

So, embrace the totality of who you are, even if you think you don’t know who you are yet… or even if you’re redefining what it means to be you.

It’s okay… because you’re here. Completely, fully here. Right now.

All of you.

Embrace your experience and love it.

Because it’s okay to be human.


About the Author

Appio Hunter, a.k.a. The Emotion Emancipator, is a personal development coach, energy worker, author, and inspirational speaker. He holds certifications as a Happiness Champion and Infinite Possibilities Trainer.

Appio is a self-described crusader for joy. His work blends multiple disciplines to show everyone how they can embrace their personal power and experience clarity, emotional freedom, balance, inner peace, and joy every day. He is also co-host of the weekly podcast Real Men Feel along with his good friend and fellow coach Andy Grant. You can learn more about Appio at AppioHunter.com.

Uncommon Sense

the-road-less-traveledWhen I was a boy, my father didn’t take much time to talk to me about life. But on those rare occasions when he did decide to impart some “wisdom” on me, he would summon me to his presence, and give another lecture on “common sense.”

Dad’s brand of common sense wasn’t your average crop of life lessons, such as “don’t touch a hot stove” or “look both ways before you cross the street.” No, his special brand of worldly knowledge began with a reminder that I was “book smart,” not street smart. This was not a good thing, in his estimation.

Then came the pearls of wisdom, which mostly dealt with “truisms” such as “everyone is just out for themselves,” or “it’s an unfair world that makes you struggle for everything you want.”

I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t live in a world that my father envisioned, a world where it was logical and practical to be suspicious of everyone. But alas, it seems that many of us have had similar lectures from our parents or others who we admired in our youth, regarding “how the world works.”

Do you really want to be restricted by how someone else thinks the world works?

If it’s common sense to see the world as a place to be regarded with doubt and fear, I don’t want any part of it. Do you?

Uncommon Sense and Occam’s Razor

Therefore, I propose we strive for what could be called “UNCOMMON sense.”

If traditional common sense dictates a world of negativity, uncommon sense seeks out optimism, trust, and hope. But make no mistake: this is not about some warm-and-fuzzy, kumbaya, “can’t we all just get along” fluff. No, this is a matter of true practicality.

Let’s use the concept of Occam’s Razor here. Occam was a Medieval monk who famously posited that the simplest answers in life are usually the correct answers.

So, I ask you: is it more likely that other people are self-serving and conniving, constantly thinking about how to get one over on their fellow human beings? Or is it more likely that most other people are just like you: other human beings, doing the best they can in the face of life’s challenges, seeking happiness?

Does it do you any good to think most people are expending the level of energy it takes to be sneaky and sly all the time? Deception takes a lot of effort, as it drains the human spirit. It’s not sustainable.

So how likely is it that most people are vain, selfish, and actively seeking the demise of others? Yes, those types of people do exist, but they are not as prevalent as we think.

True Pragmatism

I also want to take a moment to warn you that people often disguise negativity as “pragmatism,” “practicality,” or “being a realist.” Don’t fall for this bait-and-switch tactic!

Uncommon sense is the ultimate pragmatism, because it relates to the smooth flow of society. How? Think of it this way: when we alienate others with our judgments and unthinking “truisms,” labeling them with just one or two words, we make them little more than one-dimensional things to be ridiculed and ignored. And those we push away to the fringes of society often break from the alienation.

This breakage can manifest in numerous ways, from addictions to violent outbursts and all sorts of nastiness in between. Take one of the mass shootings from the last several years: the Elliot Rodger shooting at UC Santa Barbara. His version of “common sense” blamed women, and ultimately everyone but himself, for his problems.

I’m not trying to excuse the behavior of those who harm and kill others. I believe that when someone crosses the threshold into harming others, they must be held responsible for their actions, and face strong consequences. I’m also not laying all the blame for such violence at the feet of an “uncaring” society.

But could something have been done to reduce the chance of someone like Elliot Rodger resorting to violence? I believe something might have been done, in the time leading up to his actions, to potentially steer him away from that course.

What could have been done? I believe each of us can do our part to lower the risk of alienated people lashing out, just by giving others the benefit of the doubt. Each of us, every day, needs to do more than worry and live in fear of other people.

We need to take time to value and encourage happiness among other people, even if it’s just by not giving them grief for the small, mostly imagined “infractions” we encounter during the day: the driver that cuts us off, the person in line at Starbucks talking loudly on their phone.

Be The Change You Want To See

We need to maintain perspective when it comes to what truly matters in our daily lives. Is it really worth it to make yourself feel better by flipping the bird at another driver? What is the hidden cost of even such small actions?

Remember, valuing the lives and perspectives of others doesn’t just benefit them, it benefits all of us. The person you push away today may be the person who hurts you tomorrow.

Think about what you’re telling your loved ones every day. Are you doing your part to keep the weave of society from fraying? Is your so-called common sense holding you back?

Many of us talk of being different, standing out in the crowd. If you want to be truly unique in today’s society, then be tolerant, even though the talking heads, pundits, and so-called experts are telling you to be afraid of everything and everyone.

Lead by example, be the change you want to see, and maybe we can spread some uncommon sense.

***

anthony simeoneAbout the Author
Anthony Simeone is a writer, speaker, personal development activist, and social change warrior with over two decades of experience studying the practical application of literature, philosophy, psychology, and other disciplines. The culmination of his work is the Live the Hero concept, which he offers as a “life path” for use in overcoming daily obstacles. Live the Hero combines the wisdom found in the arts and humanities with the latest discoveries related to modern neuroscience. You can contact Anthony and learn more about his work at livethehero.com.

Real Men Feel: Ep. 36, Men In Support of Women

Real Men Feel

Men In Support of Women, Episode 36, November 22, 2016

This week on Real Men Feel, Andy Grant, Appio Hunter and guests have a spirited discussion around sexism, bigotry, and white male privilege. How can men support people who are living in fear?

We’d been planning a RMF show to tackle hate speech between men and women. This was suggested by a female fan before the presidential election. Now, the hate speech really has escalated as a fearful, hate-filled minority is feeling very empowered and assaulting (verbally and physically) women, immigrants (meaning anyone not white), and LBGTQ people. This episode’s title was originally called “Men Vs. Women”, but here has been more than enough of that. I have now dubbed it “Men In Support of Women” and I’m inviting you to join in and add a comment here, or anywhere you see this episode, saying something, anything, supportive of those who are scared.

Men, be willing to speak up, offer support, an ear, a shoulder… be willing.
Eventually, hopefully, we will just be people in support of people.

#StandUpMan #RealMenFeel

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If you...

Anger, by David Whyte from his book, Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words

ANGER is the deepest form of compassion, for another, for the world, for the self, for a life, for the body, for a family and for all our ideals, all vulnerable and all, possibly about to be hurt. Stripped of physical imprisonment and violent reaction, anger is the purest form of care, the internal living flame of anger always illuminates what we belong to, what we wish to protect and what we are willing to hazard ourselves for. What we usually call anger is only what is left of its essence when we are overwhelmed by its accompanying vulnerability, when it reaches the lost surface of our mind or our body’s incapacity to hold it, or when it touches the limits of our understanding. What we name as anger is actually only the incoherent physical incapacity to sustain this deep form of care in our outer daily life; the unwillingness to be large enough and generous enough to hold what we love helplessly in our bodies or our mind with the clarity and breadth of our whole being.

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Be the Genius of Yourself

real-genius-poster

In September 1995, comedian Pat Cooper made an infamous appearance on Howard Stern’s radio show. It was another situation where Stern (purposely or not) goaded a celebrity into an argument, and the result was pure entertainment.

I clearly remember the moment during their on-air fight when Howard challenged Cooper by asking “What are you a genius of?” To which Cooper responded “I am a genius of myself.”

There’s debate on what Cooper meant by that phrase. Some think he had just spouted nonsense. Others thought he was being smug.

But my favorite theory is that Cooper believes in knowing himself, and his abilities, very well.

Wisdom from a Howard Stern broadcast? Just stick with me here.

Cooper made me think of the saying “Know Thyself.” You may have seen this phrase (also known as an aphorism) used by Greek philosopher Plato (who is perhaps slightly more famous than Pat Cooper). Plato’s gist was this: you have to understand yourself before you can understand anyone else. It’s a beautiful paradox that self-knowledge ultimately leads to other-knowledge.

This is why we, as men, have to fight against the bad habit of ignoring our mental and emotional depth. We have to commit to unlearning the stereotype of the “never-weak” male, where sensitivity and exploration of our feelings is perceived as weakness. Because avoiding internal self-improvement is the root of much of the conflict we experience in our daily lives.

When we don’t understand ourselves, how can we hope to understand others?

Guys, it’s simple: we need to stop beating ourselves up. For our own sake, and the sake of those around us.
(TWEET THIS!)

But don’t just take my word for it. You can read up on the sociological and psychological research regarding the dangers of being a stranger to yourself.

So what can you do to get to know yourself better? Start with the conscious decision to command the direction of your life.

Captaining Your Fate

If you’ve seen the movie “Invictus,” you know the quote from the William Ernest Henley poem of the same name: “I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.”

We all want to be the master of our own fate, right? The problem is, too many of us wait for external circumstances to give us the signal that we can take charge of ourselves. We tell ourselves we’ll work to be better personally when we get the right job, the right romantic partner, the right connections.

Don’t wait for outside permission to work on yourself, because the “right time” will never come.
(TWEET THIS!)

We often become frustrated when the world around us seems to thwart our plans. But if we focus on what we can control – our inner world – we can learn to react calmly and effectively to external forces we can’t control (especially other people).

So, inner-mastery should be a priority in our lives. That’s the foundation for outer-mastery. But what can we master within ourselves?

Primarily, it’s important to choose how you will react to any circumstance life brings your way.

We often cannot change the situations we find ourselves in, but we can change our reactions to those situations. It takes mindfulness and practice, but the change can be made.

The better you know your own human condition, the more tolerance you’ll have for the seemingly random events of circumstance as well as the actions of others. You’ll also develop the emotional resilience to rebound when things don’t go your way.

Remember that everyone on this planet is on a path of struggle and growth, just like you. Whether you realize it or not, your actions can seem just as random and confusion to other people. Very often, the misunderstandings we encounter in life are the result of miscommunication and the bad habit of assuming too much. This is why it’s important to simply talk to other people, and to stop believing you know what other people are thinking.

So here’s my challenge to you: make the decision today to be the genius of yourself!

***

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anthony simeoneAbout the Author
Anthony Simeone is a writer, speaker, personal development activist, and social change warrior with over two decades of experience studying the practical application of literature, philosophy, psychology, and other disciplines. The culmination of his work is the Live the Hero concept, which he offers as a life path for use in overcoming life’s daily obstacles. Live the Hero combines the wisdom found in the arts and humanities with the latest discoveries related to modern neuroscience.

You can contact Anthony and learn more about his work at livethehero.com.