WYATT! does a deep dive into those timely and critical issues that impact Gay/SGL (Same-Gender-Loving) men with a diverse set of LGBTQ movers, shakers, and change agents. The podcast is absorbing, informative, provocative–and sprinkled with sly, spicy (and sometimes a wee bit) scandalous humor!  The fast-growing podcast airs on both YouTube and Spotify.

This Saturday, January 21, is Part Two of my special series on depression in Black Gay/Same Gender Loving (SGL) men. Our special guest is Mr. Mark Tuggle, whose upcoming book, Cultural Silence and Wounded Souls: Black Men Speak About Mental Health, is an essential work that provides a deeper understanding of this critical societal and health issue. Tuggle states, “As (Black) men, we have always been silenced about our feelings, our thoughts, our beliefs. I believe we are wounded and need to heal.”

Cultural Silence and Wounded Souls: Black Men Speak About Mental Health, according to Tuggle, profiles “thirty different men from all walks of life—advocates, clinicians, educators, filmmakers, journalists, lawyers, musicians, rappers, and they write either about their personal experiences with mental health and mental illness or their professional views. And that’s the balance I wanted: the personal and the professional.” His new work is both riveting and eye-opening. Visit https://culturalsilencewoundedsouls.com/

Before discussing depression’s effect on Black Gay/SGL men and delving into Tuggle’s book, we travel through the corridors of time to learn about his beginnings. “My back story is my Black story,” he quips. Born on the southside of Chicago, the author says, “I went to private school from age three to nine, and during those years, I was socially isolated, and I didn’t feel like a part of anything.” He describes why he felt that way and how challenging childhood experiences—including coming to terms with his sexual orientation—impacted him.

Mark Tuggle

Next, we dig deep into how depression uniquely impacts Black Gay/SGL men. The Hivplusmag.com article, “Depression Is Teaming Up With HIV To Kill Black Gay Men. Can We Stop It?” states, “Here’s where the numbers tell the story: Gay and bisexual men are twice as likely as straight men to experience anxiety or depression in their lifetime. Among those who are also black, a full 33 percent suffer from depression, in part because of the impact of other factors like poverty, discrimination, and mass incarceration in addition to homophobia.”

According to Antoine Craigwell, founder of dbgm.org (Depressed Black Gay Men), an influential non-profit organization committed to raising awareness of the underlying factors contributing to depression and suicide, “The biggest contributors to depression in Black Gay men (are issues around) sex, sexuality, and sexual identity; the role of the church; contracting HIV; being out as a black gay man; and sexual abuse.” We unpack all that. (Craigwell was the guest for Part One of this WYATT! series.)

We call out stigma as a significant factor that prevents Blacks, particularly Black Gay/SGL men, from seeking help for depression. Stigma is that albatross around your neck and keeps us swimming (and drowning) in a sea of denial.

Tuggle chats about his own battle with depression and anxiety and how he’s “made it through the storm.” We break down the obstacles and hurdles that prevent Blacks from accepting that they suffer from mental/emotional health challenges.

“Mental health is my responsibility,” states Tuggle, who speaks on the necessity of being more proactive in safeguarding and nurturing our mental and emotional health. We emphasize the importance of finding effective treatment options and outlining various coping strategies.

Don’t miss this crucial installment of WYATT! It’s enlightening, instructive, and moving.

Simply put, WYATT! is “Eargasm For Tha Grown Folks!” 

Visit: www.wyattevans.com/podcast/