Buckingham Palace Breaks Silence After Prince Harry & Meghan Interview

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex
Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex (photo: Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions)

After a compelling interview by Meghan Markle and Prince Harry with Oprah Winfrey, Buckingham Palace has finally broken its silence after two days.

From the New York Times:

Buckingham Palace broke nearly 48 hours of silence Tuesday about a bombshell interview with Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, saying “the whole royal family is saddened” and expressing concern about the issue of racism the couple had raised.

Assertions that a member of the royal family had raised concerns about the skin color of the couple’s son, Archie, and that a desperate Meghan had contemplated suicide dominated national discussion in Britain, where the interview with Oprah Winfrey was broadcast Monday evening.

On Tuesday, Piers Morgan, the co-host of “Good Morning Britain” on ITV news, who came under attack for saying he “didn’t believe a word” of the interview, resigned, the network said. Britain’s communications regulator received more than 41,000 complaints about his comment, it said.

Read the full article.

Grindr Poll: How Has COVID Affected Your ‘Social’ Behaviors?

The popular gay dating app Grindr asked 10,000 users in the U.S., Brazil, Mexico, and India how their ‘socializing’ behaviors have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Just some of the results of the poll:

• 88% say discussing COVID safety helped them make a decision about whether or not to meet up with someone

• 69% say they’ve watched more porn

• 64% say they’ve been more likely to try new socially distant ways of meeting up

• 58% say they’re more interested in a long term relationship than they were before the pandemic

• 31% say they’ve hooked up with a mask on

• 71% say trading pictures and videos on Grindr helped them get off during the pandemic

• 59% of users say their sex drive has increased during the pandemic

• 48% say they’ve hooked up virtually during the pandemic

Head over to Grindr’s blog for more results from the survey.

Who’s been on Grindr lately? (stock image via Depositphotos)

Let’s All Say It Together – #EFF2020

I have to admit up front that I normally despise people doing the middle finger ‘f*ck you’ thing. It usually feels so base and so classless.

But, for weeks now, my fatigue and loathing for the year 2020 have been growing exponentially.

I don’t think I’ve ever noticed a single year being so incredibly full of bad news. And I know I’m not alone.

Check out these folks who indulge themselves in a bit of well-earned mental health self-care by expressing their thoughts on how 2020 has impacted them – from school closings to toilet paper hoarders, to lost loved ones, to the long list of ‘Karens’ we’ve endured during the pandemic and more.

Note – adult language here #duh

(h/t Boy Culture)

What Is The ‘Man Box’ And Do You Want To Be In It?

(stock image via Depositphotos)

A new study (published today in Preventative Medicine) found those men who hold more rigid beliefs about masculinity – including attitudes about acting tough, hypersexuality and homophobia – also tend toward bullying, sexual harassment, depression, and suicidal thoughts.

The researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Children’s Hospital based their study on the “Man Box” report from 2017 conducted by Promundo, a global consortium that works to promote gender equality.

In the 1980s, activist Paul Kivel developed the “Act Like a Man Box” as a way to help men discuss how society can place pressures on men to act a certain way. Men “in the Man Box” are those who most internalize messages of having to ‘be tough’ in life or being hyper-dominant in sexual roles. Young men “outside the Man Box” are those who have broken out of the box and reject these ideas.

Dr. Robert Coulter, one of the new study’s co-authors, told Business Insider that for the purposes of their study, the “man box” is defined as a “rigid set of beliefs that men have to ascribe to in order to be a proper man.”

The 3,600+ male participants, aged 18-30, in the U.S., Mexico, and the U.K. were asked to rank on a scale of 1 to 4 (from “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree”) 15 statements regarding attitudes on self-sufficiency, hypersexuality, sexual prowess, gender roles, and homophobia.

Some of the statements included:

• “It is not good for a boy to be taught how to cook, sew, clean the house and take care of younger children”

• “Men should use violence to get respect, if necessary”

• “A ‘real man’ would never say no to sex”

• “A guy who spends a lot of time on his looks isn’t very manly”

The researchers found higher scores on the “man box” scale often indicated higher levels of verbal, online, or physical bullying as well as sexual harassment.

Additionally, men who landed higher on the “man box” scale were twice as likely to admit experiencing depression and/or suicidal thoughts.

The five statements that had the strongest associations with violence and poor mental health were:

1. A man shouldn’t have to do household chores.
2. Men should use violence to get respect if necessary.
3. A real man should have as many sexual partners as he can.
4. A man who talks a lot about his worries, fears, and problems shouldn’t really get respect.
5. A gay guy is not a “real man.”

In regard to that fourth statement, it makes sense that men who repress or tamp down personal concerns or emotions would be more likely to experience challenges in terms of mental health.

Dr. Coulter told Business Insider his research team was “quite surprised to see harmful masculinity is associated with negative outcomes (like depression and suicidal thoughts) for the men themselves.”

‘Harmful masculinity,’ sometimes referred to as ‘toxic masculinity,’ can be defined as damaging beliefs that can lead to strict, controlling, heteronormative and violent norms about what constitutes a ‘real man.’

The research team hopes their “man box” scale might be a tool for health care providers and public health workers to help “measure progress toward changing harmful stereotypes and advancing both gender equality and healthier versions of masculinity.”

(source: Business Insider)

Out Music: Paul Middleton ‘When Love Takes Over’

Out singer/songwriter Paul Middleton

In the wake of Pride festivals and celebrations around the world being canceled during Pride month, out UK singer Paul Middleton lifts spirits with an all-new cover of the Kelly Rowland and David Guetta hit track, ‘When Love Takes Over’ with a Pride-themed music video to celebrate Pride Month.

From Middleton:

With pride canceled and with the lockdown affecting everyone, I tried to capture what made people happy in their day to day lives and connect to the lyrics of the song.

From a mental health approach, we all have gone through tough times together. I wanted this video to show that by doing something positive and healthy for yourself it can have a great knock on effect.

From a pride perspective, I wanted to capture the colourful diversity and beauty in the scene. I am so grateful to these beautiful people that gave their time for this video. When love does take over – great things happen to you.

“When Love Takes Over” is now available to stream/download on all digital download sites.

Out Music: Project Moses “He’s Not Staying”

Project Moses (right) in his music video ‘He’s Not Staying’

The new single, “He’s Not Staying,” from out artist Project Moses, explores the quiet turmoil of living with mental illness.

The music video for the song, directed by Zach Adam (who also wrote and produced the track) was shot in on Fire Island during the quiet, cold weeks of November. Somber and reclusive, Project Moses says it was “the perfect setting for the dark subject matter of this single.”

The story-telling for the video is artful and delicate as the artist reflects on the pensive journey of the song. Project Moses’s evocative vocals are clear and sure, never veering to hyper-emotional, letting the listener take the ride for themselves.

Project Moses admits he was drawn to the song but had to do some self-exploration to understand his connection.

“It took me a while to recognize what was going on in my head and the reason why none of my relationships with friends, family, or lovers lasted,” explains the artist. Over the years, he came to grips with the rejection he felt from his family after revealing he was gay.

“For whatever reason, the feeling of abandonment cut deep into my heart,” he adds. “While my family and I are in a much better place today, the scars from our past remain.”

Project Moses (promotional photo)

Scars aside, playing the track for his mom proved to be a cathartic moment for both mother and son.

“My mom cried when I played the song for her,” shares the handsome artist from his home in New York City. “It was the first time she realized how close I came to ending it all.”

But just as the song evolves from a gloomy, melancholy sound to a more progressive, light at the end of the tunnel vibe, Project Moses says that he too has “transformed.”

“He’s Not Staying,” from the upcoming album Better Man, is available now on all digital download sites.

Check out the moody, wistful music video below. Follow Project Moses on Instagram here.

Tips For Better Mental Health During COVID-19 Pandemic

As May is Mental Health Awareness Month AND we continue to face the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, it becomes more and more apparent that our well-being is closely tied to our mental health.

For men, whose natural instinct is to take action, these times present unique challenges as most of us follow stay-at-home guidelines.

With our regular routines interrupted and normal channels for processing stress – like heading to the gym or going out with friends – unavailable to us, thoughts and feelings can turn into anxiety and angst.

In a new article for Healthline.com, Dan Doty, co-founder of EVRYMAN, offers some practical steps on how to help men’s mental health while coping with the stresses of isolation during the coronavirus pandemic.

EVRYMAN is an online community that focuses on helping men act more productively on their emotions instead of burying or redirecting them thereby helping to build a more fulfilling life.

Dan shares these four tips:

• Feel Your Feelings – Taking proactive action for your mental health not only gets you the support you need, but it also helps break down the cultural stigma that can be a barrier to other men getting help.

• Reach out to Connect – A call with your parents, a video chat with your co-workers, or a text message to a sibling can be invaluable right now. In order to make the best of these moments of connection, you can make them count by being more vulnerable and transparent.

• Go Inside (yourself) – You don’t have to become a great meditator or world-class yogi to benefit from the amazing meditation apps that are out there. Don’t overthink it – try an exercise of setting a timer and writing for 10 minutes without stopping. Let go and write anything and everything that wants to come out.

• Take Action – It might feel very tricky to take action right now, but a helpful strategy is to slow down and find small, manageable ways to move forward and orient ourselves to simple, practical actions. What may seem small and mundane at first glance can bring an air of progress and forward momentum.

Click over to Healthline to read Dan’s full article.

Note: EVRYMAN is currently offering free support to men all over the world via community calls and daily drop-in groups as a way for men from all walks of life to band together in support.

Home Workout: If I Can Do This…

Sam Cushing’s 8-minute workout

I know I’ve seen lots of workouts on the interwebs during the stay-at-home quarantining, but I wanted to share this one from fitness guy Sam Cushing.

One, no equipment needed! It’s under 8 minutes and includes core, legs, abs, chest, and a bit of arms.

Two, easy on the eyes 🙂

Gus Kenworthy Shares Isolation Struggles, Announces Fundraiser For First Responders

Olympic silver medalist Gus Kenworthy

Olympic silver medalist Gus Kenworthy checked in via Instagram on Wednesday noting that while he’s been “MIA” for several weeks on social media.

Kenworthy candidly shared that the stay-at-home isolation thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 health threat has weighed heavily on him and his mental health.

“One thing I’ve learned is that just because we’re in isolation it does NOT mean that we’re alone,” wrote Kenworthy. “We really are in this together! If you’re struggling w/ depression and you’ve been feeling down and worthless know that I have been too.”

“In school, in sports and in life I’ve always hated asking for help because I’ve wanted to seem strong, brave, tough, self-assured, etc but I’ve realized that sometimes you just need help and when you do you need to ask for it,” he continued. “It’s literally what friends are for. Swallow your pride and text a friend saying ‘I’m feeling really down, can you talk?’ It will help.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I know I’ve been MIA for the past month and a half but tbh this whole thing has been really hard on me. I know has been a struggle for most everyone. One thing I’ve learned is that just because we’re in isolation it does NOT mean that we’re alone. We really are in this together! If you’re struggling w/ depression and you’ve been feeling down and worthless know that I have been too. In school, in sports and in life I’ve always hated asking for help because I’ve wanted to seem strong, brave, tough, self-assured, etc but I’ve realized that sometimes you just need help and when you do you need to ask for it. It’s literally what friends are for. Swallow your pride and text a friend saying “I’m feeling really down, can you talk?” It will help. I’m thankful for my friends and all of you for being my support system; I’m thankful for the people who have used this time to create fun, funny content that has made me laugh and offered levity amidst the darkness; I’m thankful for my health and, most especially, I’m thankful for my family. We had some serious scares this past month and it’s put into perspective, more than ever before, the importance of family. My 9-month-old nephew, Bodhi, had a bad cough/ fever and started having trouble breathing. He ended up being flight for life’d to Denver Children’s Hospital to be put on a respirator and spent a week in the ICU. Shortly after he returned home my 4-year-old niece, Bobbie, fell ill and had to be rushed to the same hospital to undergo two emergency surgeries. They’re both finally home again and recovering! I’m incredibly thankful and forever grateful to our healthcare workers on the front line of this pandemic. I can’t show my gratitude enough but, in an effort to help out, I’ve decided to join Cameo to make personalized videos for anybody who wants one w/ 100% of my proceeds going to #FirstRespondersFirst to raise money for the doctors & nurses risking their lives to save others. If you wanna buy a video there’s a link in my bio and I’ll match whatever we raise up to $10,000! Thank you all for staying home to help flatten the curve and also for reading my unsolicited novel of a caption. Let’s #BeatTheVirus ❤️

A post shared by gus kenworthy (@guskenworthy) on

Kenworthy added that both his 9-month-old nephew and his 4-year-old niece had recently experienced two health scares involving some pretty serious maneuvers.

Now that both are home and recovering, Kenworthy plans to show his appreciation for healthcare workers on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic

“I can’t show my gratitude enough but, in an effort to help out, I’ve decided to join Cameo to make personalized videos for anybody who wants one w/ 100% of my proceeds going to #FirstRespondersFirst to raise money for the doctors & nurses risking their lives to save others,” says the woofy Olympian.

For those not familiar with Cameo, the website allows fans to connect with celebrities and purchase personalized video greetings for just about any occasion. Kenworthy says he’s only joining the site for a limited time during the COVID-19 isolation.

Donations to #FirstRespondersFirst will provide essential supplies, equipment and resources for protecting frontline healthcare workers and their patients.

In addition to doing the personalized videos, Kenworthy announced he will match whatever he raises up to $10,000.

You can find Gus Kenworthy’s Cameo page here.