I have recently got together with a colleague of mine, Gian Montagna, to set up and facilitate a new weekly meeting group in London, for gay, bi, trans or questioning men.
Run every Monday evening over a period of 3 months (12 sessions), Gay Essentials will be a weekly space to experiment with and explore connecting in deeper, more open and authentic ways with other gay/bi/trans men.
Gay Essentials will also be an opportunity for men who love men to experience their own rite-of-passage into a more authentic, sexual and relationally diverse adulthood, whilst also sharing this journey with others, in a safe, contained and holding environment.
The issue of a [lack of] proper initiation and rite-of-passage into manhood is particularly relevant for men who have sex with/desire/have romantic or platonic relationships or want to experience a more authentic intimacy with, other men today: From the environment we grew up in, to the day-to-day living we experience now, we continue to receive negative messages, experiences and woundings around our sense of ‘self’ as a man in today’s world. In order to cope, we develop skills and personas that keep people at a safe distance from our vulnerabilities or our sense of shame and guilt.
In a valiant attempt to either ‘escape from ourselves’ or find ways of connecting with other men, these coping mechanisms often lead to dependency on substances such as alcohol and drugs, or manifest in ways such as out-of-control sexual behaviours, body image and eating disorders, depression or anxiety. More frequently than we care to admit, these behaviours develop into unmanageable addictions and compulsions that wound us even further.
Throughout history there has been little in the way of support and mentorship for younger people or adults recognising, coming to terms with and accepting their individual and (a)sexual identities. An appropriate and healthy rite-of-passage process we are all entitled to.
It’s about time there was a space for this process to occur naturally, organically and safely, for men who love men.
Gian and I now want to offer and invite you to join us in, just such a space.
The first Group is planned to start in 2018 in London Bridge, SE1, so please take a look at the Gay Essentials website, please share with anyone you know who might be interested and get in touch if ‘you’ are interested in finding out more.