Make the most of yourself….for that is all there is of you.
― Ralph Waldo Emerson ―
In January 2012, I attended a self-exploration weekend workshop for gay men, facilitated by The Quest. As a result of the positive transformation that manifested in my life after attending this workshop, I have collaborated with Ade Adeniji & Darren Brady (Founders of The Quest) on projects like the publication of the book ‘Love Me As I Am – Gay men reflect on their lives’.
Ade and Darren are two highly qualified and skilled coach-facilitators (though the description hardly does them any justice). A testament to the impact and importance of the work they do within the gay community, is the fact that they recently were invited to meet Brene Brown — world-renowned author and research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. Brene has spent the past decade studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame.
In her ground-breaking book and #1 New York Times Bestseller, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, Brene Brown explores in-depth the impact shame has in all of our lives, regardless of our sexuality. In her conversation with Darren & Ade, she commented on gay children who, from a very early age, have a growing understanding of their difference in the world as they receive the message day-after-day that they don’t belong:
“It’s work, and it’s trauma work, and it’s healing work, and it’s talking about shame, and it’s walking through the darkness to find the light. You know why people want to go from ‘coming out’ to ‘pride’ and why people want to go from, in my case, from a ‘feminist cautiousness’ to ‘I am woman?’ The part that we all want to skip is grief… I don’t think you can skip over the six or seven or eight-year-old who still has some grieving to do. Even though you’re an adult with an intellectual awareness, that doesn’t heal that six or seven or eight-year-old. Does that make sense?”
As the world changes its attitude towards gay people (at a tremendous pace… some for the worse, but mostly for the better), we are in an ideal position to look beyond our emotional wounds from the past, baggage and other hang-ups that can (and still do) impact our everyday lives. Exploring (and healing) the impact of shame-based trauma not only provides a stepping stone for a brighter future in which we can thrive but, like I have personally experienced, it also lays the foundation to better understand and transform the relationships we have with ourselves, others and the world we inhabit.
Two months ago, Ade and Darren asked me to begin a conversation with some of the guys who embarked on a similar journey as I did with The Quest, and to capture our conversations on film. Below are 4 short interviews that hopefully pinpoint the essence of the impact The Quest has on gay men’s lives.
For more information about The Quest, follow this link:
Introduction & Videos: FR Lubbe, Little Red Shoes