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‘What Makes a Man?’ – Andrew McMillan and Joseph Cassara @ The London Lit Fest

Just back from a lovely afternoon at the Southbank Centre. Cannot wait to get my hands on a copy of Cassara’s debut novel The House of Impossible Beauties. Both he and Andrew McMillan spoke eloquently on their own struggles coming to terms with their male-ness and the contradictions of masculinity in the twenty first century.

From discussing the failings of sex education, ‘We have abandoned young queer men to the internet in a very dangerous way’ (McMillan) to their motivations for publishing the hour flew by and the discussion was enlightening.

I would encourage anyone with relationships with queer men of any age (to be honest straight men too) to explore the struggles they face in the modern world with them. It is imperative that we become better educated and that we develop new structures and vocabularies for men to explore themselves.

Suicide is still the most common cause of death for men under 45 in this country. More men than ever before struggle with eating disorders and we are staring down the barrel of a crisis. You cannot hide from this, no one benefits from the societal pressures on young men.

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