Great article, up to a point and then, I believe you derail the power of your whole argument and actually add to the problem.
You say, “The sooner being gay is normalized, the sooner we will all be free of the shrill and violent homophobic policing of boys and men. America’s pervasive homophobic anti-feminine policing has forced generations of young men to abandon each other’s support at the crucial moment they enter manhood.”
Your attempt at a solution here actually more exemplifies the problem. The problem is both homophobia and…”Homophilia.” That’s probably not a real word, but the problem young men face is that our culture has presented them with two choices: You are stoic and unconnected to other men , but only to women — that must mean you are heterosexual. Or, you know how to go deep and love another guy — you must be homosexual.
There is a problem with homophobia, but there is also a problem with everyone, everywhere in our culture attempting to sexualize friendships. Why do men’s friendships either need to be shallow or sexualized? Why can’t men hug each other and talk and go deep and say they love one another wihtout it being sexualized?
Your bringing a sexual element into the conversation only makes things worse. You put that seed into men’s thoughts who want a deeper relationship wtih another man that it is about homosexuality and gay marriage and gay rights? Shame on you.
You go on later to “connect the dots for us:”
“Let’s take a moment to connect the dots. Boys feel fierce love for their best friends → Add homophobia, the Man Box, etc. → Boys disassociate from loving best friends → Boys and men become emotionally isolated → Men enter the epidemic of loneliness → Men die.”
Here is what is acutally happening: Boys feel fierce love for their best friends →That love is over sexualized by our culture and boys are told they must be gay, or homophobia from our culture kicks in and boys are afraid to express love because the over sexualized culture will scorn them for being gay→ Boys disassociate from loving best friends → etc.
So by perpetuating the fact that close friendships are tied to acceptance of men being gay, you have simply made the problem for men worse. Why can’t men love other men without it always being sexualized?
Here is acutally a better article on the issue that doesn’t perpetuate the problem: https://medium.com/s/man-interrupted/todays-problem-with-masculinity-isn-t-what-you-think-b43e80edcf60.