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September 30, 2019 | by  | in Editorial |
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FANTA WITH NO ICE

CW: Mental Illness, Suicide

 

Before I get into anything, I would like to apologise. A few weeks ago, I published an article that depicted sex work in the wrong light. The language used wasn’t flattering, and on an overall level, it wasn’t a good article. It was rushed, and I’d like to personally apologise to anyone who read it. 

 

Please read the last twelve years of articles that have depicted the occupation better.

 

It’s difficult to feel humility.

 

Most of the time in my life, I’m told to stand by my decisions as a boy. What I print as an editor. Unapologetically a black man, but know when you need to apologise. 

 

This is ^Salient’s men’s issue. The topic came up in the office with the idea of an issue for men, focusing on signalling and mental health. Creating the spaces for men to read about other men’s issues. I scoffed, but Janne and Rachel thought it was a good idea. The fact I scoffed made me realise that it was necessary, even for me. 

 

To you:

 

I know that when she tells you to “do better”, you hear it in your dad’s voice. It stings in your head and bounces around more than you know. Maybe you’ll turn to bad beer and cheap jugs. Maybe you’ll turn to high reps and low sets.

 

Knowing that our women have not had enough time to speak in the past, and understanding that while your confidence is beaming, your voice is not welcomed at this time. It’s hard to understand, but once you do, your mother will be proud. Your sisters will feel heard and your daughter will have fewer obstacles to her freedom. 

 

Understand it’s not all men. Knowing who those men are, you let it be known they are outcasted. I know you risk drowning in the streams of friendship you’ve created, falling from social ladders you’ve climbed, through substance abuse and silent emotional moments. I know it’s a hard conversation to have—no matter how many of those who have never faced it claim how easy it is.

I know it’s confusing. The subtle undertones of you leading the pack when the thunder hits. When someone knocks on the door. You’re supposed to have your shit together, provide for your brothers. Giving more than food on the table, but peace of mind when the darkest clouds arrive. The comments about you being trash, not being needed, and needing to do better didn’t age well. 

 

They’re the reasons why you don’t reach out. Why you feel like you can’t. Why you don’t talk about mental health.Why your demographic is on top of suicides stats every year.

 

Even writing this makes me feel vulnerable—risking the idea that I’m creating some sort of barrier shielding those who don’t need it. Throwing shots behind the wall as if they’re perfect. Those who have the social skills of a tomato and have educated themselves online for the last decade. Twitter fights and “source?” arguments. I’m sorry we couldn’t show you the love we had before that hate consumed you. 

 

This magazine means more to me than you’ll know and I hope it will shed some light on the problems that we are facing right now. Standing on a platform, without the fear of miscommunication or appearing overconfident. Unapologetically sharing. For some of us, for the first time ever.

 

RIP. Winston S. Kereta. Beau Henry. Rapata. Finn. Michael. Winston B.

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