written by Charlie Razook, Founder
It's our favorite month: Pride Month and Men's Health Month.
What can be more important than championing equality and health. (And the two are often intertwined.)
As an LGBTQIA+ founder, I will always celebrate diversity and advocate for marginalized communities. After facing my own crisis due (most simplistically) to inequality and the ensuing low self-esteem, I turned to very self-destructive behavior (ahem, men's health). I attribute using drugs and alcohol to cover my shame, stress, and anxiety as part of what made me sick with cancer in 2018. These behaviors also helped me "fit in" and "be a man" as society often rewards the fun, indestructible, invulnerable man.
Not feeling equal or good enough almost ruined my life. Equality not only means basic human rights, respect, and treatment, but also access. Access to healthcare, access to better food, and access to better products, the last of which is why we exist.
As you can see, inequality has horrible effects on human health. But, as mentioned above, so does toxic masculinity. You do not have to be gay to suffer from mental health issues, low self esteem, or simply indulge in negative behaviors.
We've said it before and we will say it again. We are in the midst of a men's health crisis. Men die on average 5 years earlier than women. Sperm counts are down by over 50% since 1970. Men are less likely to seek treatment for their mental health.
While times are changing and younger generations are starting to embrace a tender masculinity instead of a toxic one, it is important to have these discussions all year round--not just in June. Health and wellness is not "effeminate" or "gay." Cue eye roll. It's good sense. Take care of yourself.
Let's all continue to embrace happiness, celebrate difference, and do better!
Stay clean and leave no trace,
Founder of Jackfir