Masculinity

Coming of Age, the Young Men sometimes ask me about Masculinity,
Often wrestling with the Question: Are they “Masculine Enough?”…
I tell them to be careful of ever placing a Question Mark after that word, “Enough,” when referring to themselves — in the context of one’s self, it is a word best followed by an exclamation point.
I am Enough!
I have Enough!
I do Enough!
I give Enough!…
And to always align with their own Inner Being about how Truthful these statements feel,
in terms of how they are Showing Up for their Life
at any given moment.

What is Masculinity?
Masculinity is Gentleness.
Caring.

Helping the Homeless is Masculine

Being Sensitive to the World around You.
Owning one’s failures.
Celebrating the successes of others.

Masculinity is to be human
to be Strong
to be Vulnerable.

Changing My FIrst Tire on a Car (Just a Year or Two ago!) Is this what you consider Masculine?

To be Masculine is to Respect Women.
Sexual Harassment is just about the most UnSexy thing in the World.
CLARENCE THOMAS is Not Sexy.
HARVEY WEINSTEIN is Not Sexy.
Donald tRUMP is Not Sexy.
JUSTIN TRUDEAU is Sexy.
BARACK OBAMA is Sexy.
MARK RUFFALO is Sexy.
Respect in general is Very Sexy.

Brian is Masculine when Climbing Icy Mountains

…And even moreso when attending Synagogue.

To be Masculine is to Love tenderly.
It is to get the newspaper on Sunday mornings for your elderly neighbor.
It is to cook and provide abundant Feasts for Friends,
for Loved Ones,
for the Homeless.
If you cannot cook, it is to help your Wife or Girlfriend or Boyfriend or Husband in the kitchen — setting the table, doing the dishes, making their Life easier… Better…
And Celebrating Togetherness!
My Father was a World War II Military Veteran, and a New York City Cop.
Born in the 1920’s, his place was not in the kitchen.
He worked three jobs, and when he got home, my Mother had his dinner on the table. She did all of the domestic work that went with that.

DAD carving the GivingThanks Day Turkey

My Father would do the shopping,
Carry the groceries up the steps of our Fourth-Floor-Walk-Up,
And any Heavy Lifting.
As they aged, my Father began helping my Mother in the kitchen — he still couldn’t boil an egg, and had no interest in learning.
But he would wash all of the dishes by hand, wipe the table, clean up afterward, and do everything he could to assist MAMA in her Artistry.
I remember how odd it appeared to have him at the kitchen sink washing dishes,
even bent over it, leaning on the edge for support, at 90 years old.
He didn’t care.
He Loved her So Much!

Today, October 11th, is National Coming Out Day!
When I came out to my Parents, back in my twenties,
I explained that I had no wish to hurt them with this News,
But it was something I needed to do so that we could continue to have a Good and Healthy, Long Term Relationship,
So that I could be a Man.
My MOTHER responded, “But to be a Man means to marry a Woman, and to have Babies and to raise a Family!”
This is what she had always been taught, and all that she knew.
What followed was a series of Countless Courageous Acts, on all our Parts,
Teaching me and my Parents that Being a Man is an evolution.
The Kindness and Compassion and Love to be shared in the Truthful Expression of One’s Masculinity
Are Often beyond what may be dreamt of in our Philosophy.
The Journey that ensued was a Healing and Positive Joyful Growth Experience for all of us,
And enabled us to have a fuller experience of ourselves and one another.
Sometimes, all it takes is one Wildly Courageous Act,
Followed by Infinite Compassion
And Boundless Understanding on All Parts
To have a Full Experience of what Love is!

KEITH HARING’s Famous Graphic (Image from the Internet)

I went to a rather Kooky Tarot Reader just before I Came Out.
Her name was MILLICENT and it was at Nadine’s down in the West Village.
She laid out the Cards and said to me, “This doesn’t make sense. I don’t know how to read this configuration! I can tell you what each card means, and perhaps you can help me to interpret what’s here.”
She went on to explain that my Romantic Love Card was in the Center but it was crossed over by the card that represents “Home” and “Parents,” and that she had never seen these cards appear together.
I told her that I am Gay and had been feeling it was time to Come Out to my Parents.
The LightBulb went off, and she sighed with Clarity, “Ahhhhhh… Now it all makes sense!”
Nodding slowly she went on to say, “If you do this, you must Love them through it! And what that means is Even if they Stop Loving You, You must Continue to Love Them!”
This is one of the Greatest Lessons in Masculinity that I have ever received,
And it is exactly what I did.
Although my parents and I were close,
The Love we found on the other side of this process brought us closer than any of us had ever imagined.

Masculinity is to give of your time without thought of how little of it there is in a Lifetime.
It is to give of yourself, without thought and without reserve, to others in need.
It is to be a good Father,

Looking Masculine like CLINT EASTWOOD

Same Hat — more like DOLLY LEVI here!

A good Son,
A good Uncle,
A good Nephew,
A good Brother,
A good GrandFather,
A good GrandSon,
A good Partner,
A good Husband,
A good Man.

It is a Process, not a Result.
It is something one learns again and again and again.
It is to Accept, Embrace and Love one’s own Feminine side,
One’s Masculine Self,
One’s Whole Person.

Who can live up to perceived standards of Masculinity? (Photo from the internet)

True Masculinity is to not beat someone up, but rather to fight for a Cause,
Be a Hero for the Environment,
Fight for Social Justice,
And Always Always Always help those less fortunate than yourself.

To be Masculine is to be Strong.
The Willingness to Admit that you are wrong
Is one of the Sexiest Qualities a man can have.
Does it leave you feeling Vulnerable?
In your Vulnerability, there lies your Greatest Strength.
Be Vulnerable!
Be Strong!
Be Masculine!
Be Sexy!

Baking with our GodChild, CASSIDY

Celebrating our nephew JUSTIN’s Graduation

It is a Beautiful Thing to be Masculine, but it is more important to be a Whole Person.
The fullness of one’s Masculinity, or one’s Femininity for that matter, is really found in the interpersonal relationships amongst one’s Friends, Family, Loved Ones, and all Human Beings.

ELLEN’S GARDNER, Nick — Love the Tattoo! (Photo from the Internet)

BILL T JONES — Wildly Masculine! (Photo from the Internet)

To be masculine is to be a member of the Human Race, of Mankind,
And your interactions with other Living Beings define the man that you are.
Your ability to shoot a bow and arrow, or lift 140 pounds at the gym is most impressive.
However, it is your ability to hold your newborn Baby with tenderness,
To Listen to your child as he or she grows up,
And to Love with Passion, Gentility, and Greatness that are the true measure of your Masculinity.

Robyn & Eric… Kissing with Wild Abandon is HeartFully Masculine!

We have heard it said,

The Naked Cowboy with Beloved ERIC, an accomplished Musician… Both Masculine, and So Full Of Wonder!

“Be a man,”
“Man up,”
and “You’re a man’s man!”
But what do these things actually mean?
They are not a measure merely of one’s Physical Strength,
But of Mental Potency
Emotional Capacity
And Spiritual Valor
They are a Measure of Courage
Openness
Honesty
They are a measure of one’s Willingness and Capacity to Love
To stand Up for what you Believe In,
Both for YourSelf and Others
To set Healthy Boundaries
To Live with Compassion
To Love Tenderly
“…To do Justice
To Love Kindness and Mercy
And to walk humbly with your God…” — Micah 6:8
Therein lies One’s Masculinity.

Eating a Bug in the Amazon Rain Forest …Masculine!

Walking THE AIDS WALK in New York Together …Masculine!

Praying at a Temple in Japan …Masculine!

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2 Comments

  1. Bravo, Arnold. May your loving, bold masculinity inspire any who are tentative on the path of love, candor and authenticity.

    Reply

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