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Building, Rebuilding, Maintaining the Relationshiop with the [ex] Wife
Thursday 08 January 2015, 08:00pm - 09:45pm
Contact info@gayfathers-toronto.com

Support Group Meeting for Gay Fathers

Feel alone? Isolated? Uncertain about the word gay? Newcomers often feel alone, like an outsider, or not certain if the Gay Fathers is the right place for them. Maybe this is your first contact with the 'gay community'. We've all been there. No one needs to remain alone.

That first meeting is a big step. The future may seem uncertain, stressful, scary, even spinning out of control. Yet, that first step may also hold the hope of a revitalized future, of personal growth, of hoped-for love, and of a new-found self-confidence. It may also mean family adjustments.

We won't advise. We will share our experiences, listen to yours, and support you in the path that suits you and your situation. We demand only a mutual respect for the differences and similarities of every man's situation and experience, his personal boundaries and privacy

Tonight's Topic: Building, Rebuilding, Maintaining the Relationshiop with the [ex]Wife

Resolutions characterize most people's New Years. For gay fathers what could be more new than that issue that causes huge guilt and too often becomes the source of strife and ongoing struggles - the relationship with wives or former wives.

Whether the relationship has evolved into a close friendship, remains a successful marriage, has changed into a joint partnership to rear the children, or has descended into the bottomless legal divorce pit, the relationship goes on. It has a history, it has a future, and most important it has children. Ultimately, the kids, the most important part of that equation, form the unbreakable link mother and dad.

If you now wish things had been different, what would you suggest to others to avoid the pitfalls you have found? If your marriage continues, how have you adjusted so that it still works? If you're trying to make family changes, do you know what that ideal future would look like? What is holding you back? If you are divorced or separated and have a good ongoing relationship with the ex-, what did you do right to make that happen?

Discussion Facilitator: Paul C
*Second Facilitator: John StJ

*When two or more facilitators are usually present, the Second Facilitator will be happy to talk privately if you prefer.

Getting there: The 519 Church St Community Centre, Room 304

Directions to 519 ►[Opens new window]◄

General

Gay Fathers of Toronto is operated by and for gay dads. As a peer-support group, it is self-supporting and receives no financial assistance. It has no political or religious affiliation. All fathers, step-fathers, and their same-sex partners are welcome. Facilitators are trained to lead meetings; they are not professional coaches or counsellors.

You are our guest at your first meeting. Thereafter we ask everyone to contribute $5 per meeting to cover website and other incidental expenses. If $5 is a financial burden or is the reason for staying away, please contact a Facilitator or email the private Message to Facilitator. We are here to support, not to inhibit or embarrass.

Meeting expectations

We talk about our own experience. We do not advise or challenge. Gay Fathers of Toronto has a Code of Mutual Respect. Ask a Facilitator if you would like to read it. Predatorial or intimidating behaviour will not be tolerated.

Please tell us about anything that upsets or offends. Email admin@gayfathers-toronto.com. It is private and confidential.

Gay Fathers Support Group Meeting

Meeting Place

Room 304 (usually) - Check Lobby Notice Board (behind front desk) to reconfirm
The 519 Church St. Community Centre, Toronto, ON
Map to The 519 ►[Opens new window]◄

Feeling alone? Uncertain? Isolated? If this will be your first meeting, remember we've all been there.

That first meeting is a big step. It may hold the promise of a renewed future, to a new identity and self-respect. It may also lead to family adjustments or other changes. Personal or family issues may be pressing. The future seems uncertain, stressful, or even scary and spinning out of control. We are not here to advise but to listen and support you in the path that suits you.

First time or not, please remember that newcomers at Gay Fathers of Toronto meetings often feel alone and like outsiders. They are likley unfamiliar with and may be cautious about GFT and how it functions. Get acquainted, but respect each man's boundaries, personal issues, and right to privacy.

No one is alone.

Meeting Facilitator: Andrew T

Main Topic: Coming Out (Part 3): Your Kids - Should you? When? How?

Part 1 (Aug 25) Coming out to oneself. What does coming out mean? Is it a one-time experience or an on-going process?

Part 2 (Oct 13) talked about the issues and approaches to coming out to your adult friends and family members...

Tonight

Some frequently heard comments made by gay dads:
"My sexual orientation means nothing to my kids - they are very young" - "Coming out to teenagers complicates their own issues about sexuality" - "My wife doesn't want the kids to know"
Are these the kids' issues or the dads'?

There are no rules defining the right time when it is appropriate to talk about your sexual orientation, but there are some things to consider.

Are YOU ready to talk about it? Is the setting and time conducive to 'serious' conversation? Are the kids coping with other stressful or more urgent matters at this time? If you have more than one child, should you talk to them individually or as a group, and what could be the consequences of confiding in one before informing the other(s)?

Be prepared for the unexpected. For example, many fathers start this discussion only to discover that one or more of his kids "already knew".
Discussion Facilitator: Andrew T

Newcomer Facilitator: Jim McK

General Notes

You are our guest at your first meeting. Gay Fathers of Toronto is operated by and for gay dads. It receives no financial support and we ask men to pay $5 at each meeting to cover costs of materials, the website, and other incidental expenses. If this is a financial burden or is the reason for staying away, please contact the Lead Facilitator ( admin@gayfathers-toronto.com). We are here to support, not to inhibit.

GFT recognizes that to achieve its mission as a support group, the dignity, respect, and safety of every man must be mutual. We have a Code of Mutual Respect to define and maintain a safe and open environment that is free from harassment or intimidation. Email admin@gayfathers-toronto.com to report anything that concerns you. It is private and confidential mail.

Topics for future meetings

Have a topic you want to discuss at a future meeting? Send your suggestion(s) to meetings@gayfathers-toronto.com.

It helps if you describe the topic a bit. For example, "I would like to discuss Homophobia" could mean:

  • Dealing with my kids' language
  • Coping with homophobia at work or at church
  • Violent homophobic acts or bullying
  • Defining / understanding internalized homophobia

You can help GFT focus on topics that are important to you.

Location Room 304, The 519 Church St. Community Centre, Toronto, ON
Check the 519 Front Desk Notice Board for last minute room changes.
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