In a world where it is still difficult to be queer men, we offer one another the best parts of ourselves. We create spaces where we can be ourselves, express our feelings and make mistakes without fear of judgement. We seek — and we create — community.
Practice: We use Heart Circles to share our journey with one another. Your truth is welcome here. We create a safe and accepting space as a group so each of us can speak openly and honestly, be heard without judgment and enjoy the support of our community. The key to a Heart Circle is found in the intention we bring to it. Here is a place far removed from the
demands of our daily lives where we can meet, share our true feelings and witness others’ stories without being judged, interrupted or offered advice. There are few places like it, and from this it draws its power.
Guidelines for Heart Circles:
- Be present. Relax. Breathe. Have no distractions. Turn all technology off.
- Speak from your heart about what you are feeling right now. Own your feelings (“I feel…” is a good way to begin). You can choose not to speak if you have nothing to say.
- Witness what they are sharing.
- Respect others. Be accepting and nonjudgmental. Honor confidentiality.
- One person speaks, others listen. No crosstalk or fixing. Show agreement by “hissing.” Put your hand to your ear if you can’t hear.
- Take care of yourself. Come and go quietly in between sharings.
- Whoever begins the circle, ends the circle and ensures the spirit and safety of the circle are maintained throughout.
Practice: Cuddles. Massage. Hugs. Holding hands. Not everyone is open to physical touch at all times, but most people need to give and receive loving physical touch at least sometimes. Loving physical touch always includes consent, or it isn’t loving.
- Anarchism and Sexuality: Ethics, Relationships and Power (pdf) by Jamie Heckert and Richard Cleminson (Editors)
- It’s All In the Eyes by Jason Tantra
- “The Mystery of Holding,” via The Sounds True Blog
- “Neuroception: A Subconscious System for Detecting Threats and Safety” by Stephen W. Porges, Ph.D.
- Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life: Life-Changing Tools for Healthy Relationships by Marshall B. Rosenberg
- The Power of Kindness: The Unexpected Benefits of Leading a Compassionate Life by Piero Ferrucci
- “Queers Read This.”
- “Trauma: Frozen Moments, Frozen Lives” by Gaetano Vaccaro, Ph.D. and Joni Lavick, M.F.T
- The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing Up Gay in a Straight World by Alan Downs, Ph.D.