Stanning for Black Panther

I’ve got to get this out my system. The Black Panther movie was so great. I don’t know how else to say it. This movie was the superhero movie I didn’t know I needed.

Marvel is a franchise that does very well for itself, but there’s one thing we have to admit… the storylines and faces of epic white men and women somehow merge into one blob of the same ol’ story.

Getting to see a movie of this magnitude with a society  and a hero made up of people who look like me was a pretty cool experience. Not only did Director Ryan Coogler manage to get so many strong, black messages on the big screen, but each and every character was fun to get to know and kept the audience interested.

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As a viewer of color, I appreciated the timing of this movie. It’s already pretty tough to navigate life as a black, gay man, but doing it in Trump’s America is even more exhausting. The Black Panther was the motivation and push that I needed – a reminder to love myself, cherish my history and heritage, and to be the best version of myself.

Sure, it’s just another Marvel movie, but this is a huge deal! Never before has the black community had something like this. Representation in all avenues and facets of life is so important because it inspires future generations (of all colors and backgrounds).

Inspiration is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the glory of this cast and their performances. All this black excellence! Lupita Nyong’o, Angela Bassett, Chadwick Boseman, Danai Gurira, and so many more. So much female strength and empowerment throughout the movie. And the attention to detail! All of the tribes were designed and styled based on authentic African tribes.

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Okay, so I’m stanning a little bit. Stanning is when you’re “being overzealous or an obsessive fan of a particular celebrity.” All jokes aside, yes this movie is amazing to me because it was based in a black society with a black hero.

Most of the black roles we see on the big screen play supporting roles of some type or there has to be some sad undertone. Not all black stories are rooted in pain, suffering, or slavery. While all of those stories are important and a major part of my history, we as a people have been waiting for stories that are brighter and share successes; our triumphs.

In the Black Panther movie we see tough, all female warriors, a thriving black society with crazy tech and scientists, and heritage and tradition challenged. As a black dude who just recently received his AncestryDNA results, this movie made me want to dig more into my heritage and also made me think about what tradition meant to me.

I appreciate this movie so much.

Black Panther nailed it.

Ok, I’m done.

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You do you. We’ll Do Fat.

FATboys: A Mostly Ketogenic Health Journey. I named this category of Gays in the Life “FATboys” because the lifestyle we follow promotes a low carb, high fat diet.  We love butter, coconut oil, bacon, and all the (good) fatty things in between. When people hear “low carb,” they tend to freak out, and I’m not sure why. My husband and I have been following this lifestyle for almost two years, and have witnessed amazing results in each other. We have energy throughout the day, we don’t get that two-o-clock feeling at work, and weight loss is just a bonus. Like any diet out there, you can over consume, but when you’re living a ketogenic lifestyle – rounding out your day’s meals with a 70-80% fat to 15-20% protein to less than 5% carbohydrates – you don’t get hungry. Your body fills up on gloriously healthy fats, and you just don’t get hungry. Don’t believe me? Add a half cup of heavy whipping cream to your coffee, and see how long it takes before you’re hungry again. Try it! And keep in mind that the feeling of thirst is notoriously confused for the feeling of hunger.

We’ve learned to listen to our bodies, and not rely on the “calories in, calories out” concept. We don’t plan on counting calories for the rest of our lives, and with low-carb/keto living, we grasped a way to do just that. I know it’s hard to be open and change what we’ve been taught as a society; how we’ve been programmed as a society. When S first told me he was going low carb, I resisted. It took me a month before I got on board, and decided to try it out. Low carb is all I know now. I’ve seen the science in my own health. I’ve seen the change in my body – with weight loss not being the goal, but an added bonus – and am more and more hypnotized with the various stories I find on the internet, and in podcasts we follow. I work out for a half an hour each day, and do yoga whenever I feel like it, and see plenty results. We feel good, our bodies respond crazily – keeping us energized and sexy – and we aren’t killing ourselves with hours and hours a week on an elliptical or treadmill.

I won’t get into all of the science just yet, because my goal here is not to convert anyone. If you’re reading this, it’s because you enjoy Gays in the Life, and you’re taking a peek into another room in the house that is our life. Everything presented in FATboys will apply to our life, and our lives only. I’ve received some pushback on social media from old high school associates and close friends regarding the low carb world, and to them I say – and to any comment or reasoning that I’ve lived, read about, studied, and researched – “That’s fine. You do you, and I’ll do me. We’ll see who’s healthier in the long run.” I say that with humor, because we as a people are so stubborn; myself included. I’ve learned to listen to others, to give ideas a chance, and if the pro-carbohydrate police showed up on my doorstep, trying to sell me on their views, I’d listen and think. The science of the life I’ve been living for the past two years is too rich for me to seriously leave it now, though.

Today my husband shared this TEDx talk with me, and it made my day. Watch it if you want, and be open. We FATboys were pretty excited to see another doctor helping the low carb and keto communities spread awareness. The proof is in the (carb-smart) pudding!