Gay Fathers of Toronto (GFT) is a peer support group run by and for gay men who are fathers.
Since 1978 GFT has been helping men on their journeys. We are here to tell our stories and to hear yours. We do not tell you what to do or when; we are here to support you in the path you believe is right for you and your situation.
Many men come to their first meeting feeling vulnerable, uncertain, perhaps confused, and concerned about what lies ahead. Some face problems demanding attention. By respecting every man's personal boundaries, we try to provide a place where it feels safe to discuss personal issues. The privacy of each of us must be respected by all.
What to Expect at a GFT meeting*
When you first arrive you'll notice that the group is not large. The atmosphere is relaxed, friendly, and casual as men stand around chatting - bring a coffee if you like. You'll be greeted by a facilitator. Two trained facilitators - also gay fathers - lead each meeting. One works with newcomers, the other leads the main group discussions. Religion, politics, social activism, or personal agendas play no part in our meetings, the discussions, or the organization.
After the opening introductions, newcomers are invited to join a small group of two or three men where they can learn more about how GFT works and where pressing issues, if any, can be addressed. You don't have to share if you don't want to; you can just listen and learn.
"Sharing" just means telling your own story, your own experience, your concerns and issues, and listening to other men telling theirs. It is a peer support group. Collectively, there is a lot of wisdom in the group. In this way every man discovers strength, gains insight and knowledge, and sees new perspectives. No question is unimportant or naive. And everything you say remains strictly confidential and never leaves the room. We encourage every man to participate, but you may remain silent. You won't be criticised or judged either way.
Other GFT activities
Occasionally, GFT schedules special meetings with someone who special expertise or knowledge such as family counsellors, lawyers, psychologists, and other experts. And, yes, GFT occasionally hosts get-togethers as purely social events. You are invited to and welcome to attend even if it will be your first contact with our organization. See the Calendar for more information.
We understand how coming out to yourself, to your wife, to your children, to family and friends is a daunting experience and emotionally challenging.You are not alone, though. You will find other men who are coping with situations similar to yours. Other men have already worked their way through them. We are not experts, nor do we tell you what you should do. Our group's history has demonstrated that through mutual support, we learn, we gain confidence, we discover new perspectives and loves, and we build new futures. We share many common needs, wishes, dreams, goals, and yes sometimes disappointments and pain. Ultimately each man's journey is uniquely his.
And a journey it is. Gay Fathers of Toronto supports you as you find the path that is right for you and your situation, with the goal of being a good parent and a loving partner and a self-confident gay man. Together we make our journeys smoother and maybe someday you will help another as he seeks his way to that place.
*Support group meetings are 2nd and 4th Thursdays (8:00 to 9:45 pm) every month, except when "The 519" closes for a holiday.
The 519 Community Centre
Room 304 - 519 Church St. Community Centre, Toronto, ON
Getting there ►[Map opens new window] - ('The 519': 416-392-6874)
Just show up. All gay fathers are welcome. It is not necessary to call or register.
Click GFT Calendar or Current Events Title for more details about meeting topics and facilitators in the website's calendar section.