My hat's off to you Alan for coming to terms with a difficult sequence of experinces and reclaiming your body and sexuality. Yours was not an easy path... in fact as a cis-het, cis-male you would have had the added burden of saving yourself without assistance from a visible community. At least once I was 22 and came out, there were visible brothers and sisters out there in whom I could see myself in some respects.

As we watch the 20th century fade in the rear view mirror (finally) we're also seeing the power structures that defined and cemented it begin to unravel. Women and gay men had the (relative) advantage of being in a position that obliged us to challenge the status quo and define a role for ourselves that was supportive and healthy... Heterosexual men unfortunately have been trapped by the power of the old system, a system that works so well for those who can fit in. When you look like the majority, you do your best to fit in, the alternative being actively discouraged and punished. But at the end of the day (when the old begins to cede way to the new) those men are left adrift without a place in the new paradigm.

Feminism has done wonders for humanity, but it has failed to reach out and include men. Re-defining womanhood without inviting and supporting men in redefining masculinity is like making coffee without grinding the beans. you end up with something that kinda looks like coffee, but tastes like shit to most of us.

I'm glad to see more and more men soften their self description and explore their roles further. As a gay man, that latitude offered me the freedom to explore and understand myself as an outsider. The chains of society's expectations are murder to the soul. I'm hoping the future will hold a lot more promise for all humans and allow us all to live our individual truths supported by a caring society.