Gay Men's Retreats – Why Community Matters


As a psychotherapist, I am constantly studying what makes people suffer, and what seems to help.

One of the challenges is to find the right position from which to view the problem. Many people come into therapy saying, in one way or another, "something is wrong with me, I need fixing."


Paradoxically, I often find that a person's complaints reflect more about what is wrong with society and the communities we live in. Even more paradoxically, when I am able, for instance, to show a gay man that it is his community that has failed him , that is when he is able to take the types of prosocial steps that create a community that is right for him.

Do you struggle with isolation, lack of purpose, or even depression? Consider for more than just a moment that it is social symptom. "But Ben," you excuse, "I really do have issues! I'm the broken one!" I accept that you feel this way.

And, you may have a lot of evidence to support the idea that you have a drinking problem, an isolation problem, a say-the-wrongs-in-the-middle-of-a fight problem.

What we can not see from our perspective of alienation is that a healthy family absorbs the types of distortions you blame yourself for. We spend far too much trying to get the world to like us.

What really needs to happen is for us to get disgusted with the current situation and create a situation that is good for us.

If you watch healthy, animated, social people, you will see they are just as nutty as anyone else. They just create families for themselves that are at once nourishing and capable of digesting one's foibles.

So, our job is to create community in a way that we complete the gaps in what society offers us.

Imagine all the meet-up groups that are answering a need: "gay married men", "yoga aficionados", "scrabble champions" that begin to plant seeds of community.

There is an old fable that says that God will not judge you on how much you can be like Buddha or Christ, but how much you can be yourself. Consider the possibility that your foolish, your silly-side, is really a new community waiting for a leader.

And that leader is you.

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Benjamin Seaman


Author: admin

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