jamari fox is soft

i will never forget being a cub and going out with my father one day.
i had to be about 8 or 9.
i was very shy growing up.
i literally only spoke when spoken too.
my father brought me to show me off to one of his friends.
it was some older males and one older vixen.
i remember i was sitting in the front seat of his car.
i was literally just sitting there.
this older male looks at me and says:

“________,
your son is soft.
he real soft.”

i will never forget

…how much that hurt me.
even fonting about it makes me cringe.
i was already getting thrown side jabs from my mother,
and struggling with why i thought this wolf in class was cute,
but  i saw the disappointment in my father when his friend said it.
so from that day on,
i tried to be mister “yeah i gets these bitches”.
i suspect that’s how most of us were growing up.
there are three types of potential gays out here:

a) the ones who use their dicks to determine their sexuality
they fuck a lot of vixens to throw folks off their scent

b) the ones who think talking about gays makes them look straight
they think being homophobic makes them look straight

c) the ones who simply adapt to their surroundings to get through the day
they emulate their straight family members actions to look the part

yeah…
i was a c.

i was talking to one of my foxholers in dms the last night.
i mentioned how low energy i was about my current situation.
looking for a career move rather than going back to corroborate.
he fonted:

“you have such a large platform,
but you’re not using it to it’s full potential.”

at that point,
i realized that all throughout my life,
i was raised to worry what everyone thought.
my mother was the main offender.
that rubbed off on me at school and being in the forests.
one of the biggest reasons i dropped out of high school.
#dontjudgeme
after that incident with my father’s friend,
he was worried his friends would think his son was a “faggot”.
his words.
so my father tried to enroll me in every sport,
while my mother didn’t want me to get my clothes dirty.
it was a very confusing time.
i’ll add this again for my mood during those days:

all of that manifested into not being comfortable in my own fur.
so now that i have one of the biggest platforms that i don’t even realize,
one of my biggest worries is (or was)…

Would anyone take me serious with a gay website?

…and i know that is soooo small time,
but it has been why i just wrote with no future goals.
i never thought i’d be taken seriously so i fell into that mindset.
my parents made me feel bad with the idea of being myself.
this journey as a blogger showed me how little things effected my life.
why i’m not where i’d like to be.
some of us are not where we need to be due to things from our past.
so we gotta start boxing up those things so we can move forward.
we gotta confront so we can conquer.
it’s scary af and i’m scared.
trust me tho,
i’m with you too.

lowkey: folks gotta raise their cubs better.
this is kinda the reason i didn’t want cubs.
i didn’t want to destroy my offspring like mine did to me.

Author: jamari fox

the fox invited to the blogging table.

21 thoughts on “jamari fox is soft

  1. J, this hit home on so many levels. One of the defining moments of my life is when my dad told me to “put some bass in my voice” in front of a group of neighborhood boys. Up until that point, I had no issues that I can remember – I was wrestling and racing bikes with the best of ‘em but I think he suspected what we now know.
    But that moment changed the way I saw myself and how I interacted with the same boys in the neighborhood, and other males growing up. I always questioned my masculinity, and my voice (physical and otherwise) after that. And I believe that has manifested itself in my writing and putting myself out there as an author. Is my voice valid, strong, WORTHY?
    Not tryna be deep but I think about it a lot especially in how I interact with straight black men in many settings today. I’m lowkey never really comfortable.

    1. ^im so glad you shared this z.
      thank you for being so honest.
      even though i had fun,
      i was still struggling with what was going on inside me.
      my parents didn’t help me accept myself.
      they made me feel like everyone wouldn’t like me for me.
      so i’ve grown up feeling and thinking this was.
      now it has manifested into a personal hell.
      i liked what you said about interacting with straight black males too.
      i never felt too comfortable around them
      because i was trying to be them for acceptance.
      levels.

      you can sound deep all you want.
      it’s good to know i wasn’t the only one dealing with it.

  2. Jamari, let me just tell you this post right here is going to be one that touches a lot of people. I think most gay people have had a moment growing up where they were not considered the norm. It’s those moments that can really cause a lot of pain and questioning of one’s self for years to come. No one wants to be seen as a disappointment to their parents , in this case and many others it makes one feel like a failure for being their most authentic self. no child should have to go though that but alas this kind of think is bound to happen again and again.

    As far as your self doubt of this site goes, I understand. While we the foxhole know you have something special on your hands here it’s taking others and yourself awhile to see that. To be honest this is the first kind of blog of it’s kind that’s able to mix the emotional journey, lust, ins and outs, and hot topics of black gay and bisexual men. Most others blogs that cater to us ( and this is no offense to any) other cater to our sexual side and not much else. I can come on here and get everything from skincare advice, stories I can relate to, music recommendations, and even a little therapy with others men in my community. Yes this blog has a sexual side to it, but it’s a piece of the pie of other slices. I think you’re afraid of this blog just being seen as the gay blog with the nude leaks but I want you to know that is not how a lot of your readership see this space.

    It’s difficult because this blog doesn’t fill a one size fits all, I know you’re feeling lost on how to get this blog a chance of getting ” It’s Big Break” , especially now during your unemployment.

    You gotta keep on pushing, your time for happiness is coming.

    1. ^it makes me emotional when i can read a comment like this.
      when someone understands where i’m coming from.
      that helps us all to share our growing pains and life lessons.

      you got it mikey and thank you.

  3. we all share that story. I do not know a gay male who haven’t felt the way you feeling. I know I have and I’m only 40 years old.

  4. Today I was thinking of the time that I was a kid… was playing with the girls in my neighborhood… can’t remember what we playing … my father came home briefly from the end of a work day just to go back out to one of the bars… he made it a point to pack me up in the car and drive me down to the end of the road we’re there was a football field (soccer for US readers… I live outside the US)…. he told me to get out of the car and go play football with the boys on the field… I looked at the field …. looked at him … looked at the field then got out the car and went row to join the boys…he made sure to watch me join before he drove off… I knew what lied ahead … the boys allowed me to join… to which I completely embarrassed myself with how inept I was at playing the game… eventually after being teased I just wondered off back home. Yeah… this post was very timely.

  5. This is really hitting home for me. As black gay males the policing of our masculinity really does the worst number on our psyches. And it shows in how fucked up and funny acting we can be towards each other. Unfortunately a lot of us live and die without fully accepting something as plain as our sexuality. I’ll never forget one time my father reprimanded me for putting on lotion saying I was “greasing myself like a girl” smh. Ironic cuz he stayed ashy lol. It’s why so many of us butch it up or jus be plain vulgar and aggressive to counteract the “soft” stereotype. Because we all know softness aka weakness has no place in the black community let them tell it. Till this day I still dont like the sound of my on voice being played back to me. Hearing you sound like a girl 6 million times will do dat to you.

  6. Jamari you are me and I am you, as I read through all these comments I see we all share similar stories. As a child I was told I was soft too, by my parents, cousins, other adults would throw off hints to my parents. I remember sitting in the next room at my grandmas house and my aunts having a field day talking about me. Some of the things I heard was that I was soft, had sugar in my tank, going to be a stoned up faggot. My dad got hints from people and he stayed on me, making me act more masculine as a child. Even to the point in public he would always stare at me and watch my ever move and pull me to the side or talk to me when I got home that I needed to be more masculine. I remember feeling like I was an embarrassment to my parents, and basically my dad told me it was an embarrassment for a dad to have a gay son. All of these things took a toll on me and has made me who I am. I watch one of my siblings succeed in their career, while the other succeed in college, while I struggle thinking about what I want to do, workings dead end job. Jamari this post was right on time for me, it is therapy for me to write this. I understand you’re not exactly where you’re at Jamari, because I’m there too, but you’re helping others by sharing your writing with us. Thank you so much for what you do, and letting us share and express our stories too.

  7. Black men hail from Africa. If we wanted to eat, we had to take down elephants, wildebeests. We are bigger, faster and stronger.

    White people have always been fascinated with our bodies. Sarah Bartman was put on display like an animal. Now Women pay to have her body.

    White men, to break us mentally would find the biggest, strongest, most stubborn Black man (most likely yo rebel/lead a revolution) and rape him. This humiliation in front if his family broke him. Broke his wife. His children. If the biggest and strongest could be so violated, what hope was there for anyone else to escape?

    This created a cycle of fear and Black people “knowing their place”.

    We literally have the stress from slavery programmed into our DNA. We now, as Black men are so desperate to cling onto being the Alpha male, that we’re not allowed to be human.

    We don’t cry. “Man up” and “suck it up” when things bother us. Without an outlet to express all of these pent up emotions, is it any wonder that we turn to the strategically placed liquor stores on every corner to numb the pain? Get violent?

    If you don’t end up in jail or dead, you are succeeding as a Black man.

    I would suggest working in what you’re insecure about. Plenty of successful celebrities dropped out. If that’s a sore point, fix it. Get your GED. Then nobody can use it against you.

    Apply for financial aid to fund the costs for classes. As a single adult, you will get SOME form of money to help. Just have to get the transcripts of what you did complete. You can call the school to fax it over so you don’t have to go in person and relive those bad memories. Mail a money order to cover the processing fee.

    Put your energy into strengthening your insecurities with the free time you have now.

    People always say:

    I’d love to learn a new language.

    I’d love to work our more.

    But I don’t have the time.

    We waste time as humans.

    At the end of each day, think if you did anything productive to better your future.

    And don’t “I need a break for my own well being”, if you’re “on break” 5 days a week.

    Earn that break.

    And as far as jobs..don’t limit yourself to job openings.

    Network. If you see there are consistent spelling errors on BET’s website, few comments/clicks..email them.

    Tell them what you have to offer and why they need you.

    Build relationships with people whose life you wouldn’t mind.

    Go to lectures given by people in your situation to learn how they navigated. It may not work for you, but it may highlight what would for you and just be encouragement.

    Being shy is only cite if the guy you want us aggressive.

    Otherwise, you need to get out of your comfort zone. Force yourself to say a simple Good Morning to people you normally wouldn’t.

    Don’t go out?

    Email the editor of a website you respect monthly and share your thoughts on what does and doesn’t work. Instead if “you’re famous, but your website is wack”: “I loved this article. I’d love to see more of xyz. It helped me.”

    Who knows? Your eye for good content could lead to being a contributor.

    Don’t be afraid to mess up. That’ll show what you need to work on.

    Lastly, flock to people who wouldn’t flinch if they saw your website/found out you were gay.

    Find LGBT friendly/Gay mentors to surround yourself with. Last thing you need is to “make it” and be outed and blackballed.

    Believe in yourself. Prince Charming won’t. He will when he sees how much effort you out into your dreams and when you’re feeling insecure, will reassure you.

    Be blessed.

    1. ^this is so powerful.

      everything that is being posted is so powerful.
      thanks to everyone who is sharing and opening up.
      we are moving in the right direction with this.

    2. Most likely to rebel*

      Instead of “You’re famous, but your website is wack”

      Being shy is only cute if the guy you want is aggressive*

  8. Jamari! You do have a voice. I am was going tthu a work wolf situation and I was blinded by the attention even after reading your situation, I got caught off guard: So I had to go back into your archives and re read your past posts and comments from the foxhole that it help me get over the mind fuck I was getting. So don’t ever feel that you don’t have a voice.

  9. My mother, bless her soul, moved her boyfriend, whom I had never met before, into our apartment to be a male figure in my life and make a man out of me. He constantly called me a sissy, picked on me in front of my friends, compared me to other boys in the neighborhood. I really felt I had no safe place to be. I was picked on at school for the same thing. I learned that me being me was something to be ashamed of and to get everyone off my back I had to wear a mask, fake things I didn’t feel, say things I didn’t mean. I had to walk, talk, and speak like the boys who picked on me. I stayed away from home as much as I could. I would wake up early to leave the house and come home late near bed time just to avoid judgement. They all broke me, I can’t believe I made it out alive. I thought about suicide daily. I forgive them all now but boy those were rough times. I really felt worthless and inferior to everyone. I couldn’t look people in the eye for the longest time in adult hood.

  10. It’s amazing how many of us have similar stories. My parents didn’t make me feel inferior as a kid for being gay but my brother sure as hell did. He stay making comments and telling me how I needed to walk and act. I always felt like he was ashamed of me. School was the worst with people calling me gay before I even knew what the word meant and what was being implied. Hell its been 12 years since I graduated high school and I have yet to face any of them because of the hurt that I don’t want to relive. I have created an entire life for myself since then and I’m happy with the man I’ve become. I have no interest in going backwards. My brother and I have made amends and that’s all I truly care about. Jamari, you have a powerful voice and never be afraid to use it. Stop all that self pitying and walk in your truth and your purpose. This is a gay mans lifestyle blog and if you are the first then pave the way.

  11. Sometimes you come across a Foxhole entry that gets you in your feelings and emotions and this is one such entry. As I have lived this Black Gay life, I have come to the conclusion that most us are damaged almost beyond repair thanks to our childhood, parents, siblings, family members, religious upbringing and the community at large. Those of us over 30 have had to grow up in a world that was less evolving and accepting of homosexuality. It is hard for Str8 parents and family members to understand us so they try to make us be something that we are not and many times in the process end up breaking our spirits.

    I have been doing a lot of self reflecting this year, I am sure its probably due to the Universe being aligned with Jupiter in Scorpio for 2018. I realize that I have wasted a lot of time and worried about things and people who have lived fun full lives while I sat on the sidelines scared to be myself. Childhood trauma is real, I never want to shine too much for fear of someone shining the light on me and finding out all about me. These stories I have read on this entry have made me literally cry but also made me stronger to know that we all have this testimony. I too have never been able to be comfortable in my own skin due to some of my childhood upbringing. I am still worried about Str8 family members and friends and I know it has to do with always hiding who I really am while growing up. I am really uncomfortable around flamboyant guys especially in public, I worry about guilt by association.

    This entry has made me more aware of why so many gay men treat each other so bad, it is because we have been traumatized to the point of being so hurt that we dont know any other way except to hurt our brothers. You truly have to be strong to withstand all the shade, messiness and down right nastiness that we as Black gay men hoist on each other on a daily basis. I am guilty of this, I live in the gym and when I see a flamboyant dude working out, I usually have a negative perception of him and me and my gay workout partner usually will give each other a look. We both are tall and muscular and can blend in with the larger Str8 society and so I think more masculine gay dudes look down on the feminine dudes, maybe its a reminder and a reflection of who we really are and the fact that we really cant accept that. I have used my muscles to shield me and got my Str8 man act done to a science due to growing up around boys who viewed me as soft because I was smart in my books but nonathletic as they come. It is funny now when I go back to my old neighborhood or run into old friends, I get a new level of respect because I fit the masculine ideal- body wise and how I talk and interact with them now years later, I literally have seen the look of “shit I thought he might have been gay” when we were growing up but now those same dudes wanna be my best friend thinking I am now one of them, and say things like I know you got a lot of Bitches. I also have to laugh to myself thinking how I used to lust over some of them and now they are hot fat messes with fat wives and kids.

    I am always a work in progress and Thank God, I have this platform to share with others, my story honestly, all the good, bad and ugly of it. I will be glad when this Blog is finally recognized for the life saving space that it is to so many. I hope my words will help someone else. J. if you dont know, we Love You Bro!

  12. Not to sound too sappy, but I’ve dealt with this too but X 10 growing up in Africa. My father and family members frequently made slight comments and disapproved of me not playing nor liking any sports. My mother never made me feel any type of shame about my being “different”( soft spoken and mild mannered) but i was horrified when she recently reminded me that i regularly played with dolls from age 3-5. and people gave her hell for it. The neighborhood kids and my classmates pointed out my difference to the point where i had to emulate their ways in order to fit in and not be gay bashed.To this day i still have issues relating to straight men and at one point i began to purposely avoid their company. It was easy since i went to college and worked in Atlanta, but living in the gay world 100% of the time got old real quick due to the constant cattiness and pettiness. I ultimately created a mask that i carried around professionally and in my social life since i had a muscular build after i became a gym rat like the commenter above.
    I still harbor massive insecurities beneath that mask of stability and professional success. It manifests itself by me still caring about whether people would like me or even approve of me. It has led to decisions i regret making just because i didn’t put myself and my own needs at the center of the equation. It is sad that a 40 yo man would still fell this way.. I am grateful for the people who helped me navigate the pitfalls of my early adulthood as a gay man 6000 miles from home in ATL of the late 1990s. Were it not for them, i’d probably be dead by now due to the fucked-up mindset of un worthiness those insecurities fostered. Thank you to Jamarri and the fxhole for giving me a space where i can just “be”

  13. Jamari,

    If nothing else shows you, THIS post is why you should be PROUD of what youve been able to do with this blog. As I am 53 and have walked through the feelings of all the commenters here, I now understand that we can control our life’s journey. Know that you bring light into many lives and keep your head up! Great things are coming and you will look in the mirror and see the light that you are.

  14. Sorry you underwent that trauma. Sorry that your parents were unkind and not supportive. This blog post explains so much about why you are the way you are. Plus aren’t you born under the sign of Cancer. That is a sign that values family connections and support above everything. And unfortunately you didn’t get that.

    Please get a GED. Please continue your education. There is a wide, great world out there. You are still young enough to grab it and make your mark. But dude, if you continue on this merry-go-round you are on you are not going to go anywhere. You can do it.

  15. Yo, I am blown away!!! Gentlemen, if we let loose like this more often in a “public” setting, showing this kind of support and camaraderie on a regular basis, WE would BE the change we want to see. I ain’t gone lie, I’m full (emotionally overwhelmed in a good way) as fuck right now. #IAmWhoIAm #NoApologies

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