[ PRIDE MONTH EDITION ]
1. How old are you & where are you located?
I’m 34 & live in Arlington Heights, Ca (A district of Los Angeles)
2. Tell us about yourself and your coming out experience.
Sheesh. I didn’t really get to initiate the process of coming out to my mother. A guy’s mom did lol. I was getting to know him and from the numerous calls and text messages, his phone bill skyrocketed. If you’re an 80s baby, then you know text messages were like the first 50 free and $.50 for each after. Allegedly, the bill was $600. So his mom dialed the most used number on the call log, which was mines. My mother ended up answering the phone & talking to this lady to find out she wanted the person who owned the number to help her pay for the bill. My mom said no. :) So the boy’s mom ended up telling my mom I’m gay & that the reason their sons know each other is because they’re dating. I’ll stop there lol.
2. What is important for you when choosing underwear?
I would say the fit. It’s probably why I’ve left the boxer’s gang for over 9-10 years now. I grew up on boxers & moved to boxer briefs in college. The fit of underwear helps with the comfort factor so that my experience when moving around isn’t obnoxious or irritating because of my underwear.
3. How does Badami’s underwear compare/stand out to other brands you’ve worn?
Badami’s underwear, specifically the boxers have a fit that’s so different than what I’m used to. It’s really, super comfortable. They actually fit almost like boxer briefs but there’s an extra layer of breathing room that’s fantastic. I know I just used the word fantastic, but I’m not kidding lol. I think the fabric choice plays a huge role in the reason they’re so comfortable too.
4. How has toxic masculinity affected you personally as a POC and a member of the LGBTQ community? How have you/are you working to grow from it?
Heavy question. Toxic masculinity has made me feel small & insecure all while growing up. I’m a total beta male. That puts me in the corner when it comes to the “this is how a man is supposed to be” culture that emanates out of friendship circles, family dynamics, and workplaces. As a gay man, there’s another layer of self-expression that I’ve learned to suppress because I was taught being feminine was wrong. I hate that being gay & being feminine has been synonymous when it comes to men and how they express themselves when they are not two sides of the same coin. I think that’s where we are starting to learn & understand that sexuality doesn’t have a look. Every day I’m growing to allow myself to express my body & energy in the myriad of masculine & feminine ways as I deem to do so in the moment. Why not? Isn’t God non-binary?
5. What would you like to say to your younger self or readers that relate to your story?
I would say to my younger self that the world is waiting for your creativity. There’s an artist in you that is not limited to one career, or way to show your talents to the world. That’s a mantra I would like to continue to meditate for my present-day self & my future self.
6. How have you witnessed your own manhood (or manhood as a whole) evolve in the last few years?
I’ve watched my manhood evolve in the last couple of years by unlearning the pressures of religious heteronormative standards. The pressure for marriage & monogamy is off the chain & I’ve really been studying & questioning if my ancestors lived this way. That opens up a pandora box of other styles of living & exploring partnership. This connects to my manhood because my new perspectives on relationship is an integral part on how I like to move & express myself in the world.