The first Gay Fathers meeting is a big step. Who will be there? What is this about? If this describes you, then relax, you are like the vast majority of men at their first Gay Fathers meeting. Do let someone know if this is your first meeting. Then sit back and join in the discussion when ready. If asked, answering with "I prefer to listen, tonight" will be respected.
We discuss many topics related to our experiences -- past and present -- about being attracted to men and being a father, and we encourage every man to participate. However, Gay Fathers of Toronto will not advise. We encourage every man to find the path best suited for him and his situation.
T.S. Eliot wrote: "We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time."
In Thomas Wolfe's novel You Can't Go Home Again the character George Webber wrote about his home town. Later when Webber visited the town, he was welcomed by angry townspeople who felt naked and exposed. Webber eventually summarized the experience, "You can't go back home to your family, back to the places in the country, back homes to the old forms and systems..."
Coming out and [usually] leaving the marital home seems a lot like immigrating to a new land, new ideas, new ways of talking, and new types of relatipnships. Almost inevitably we will eventually "go home" again. How do we cope with those parental visits or with the kids at special events especially after having built a history and tradition while hiding in that closet for so many years?
Who has changed and how? Will we go home and again pretend to be the old self with the same old relationships? How can we make going home a return to the place and know it for the first time? What is it that we really know now that we did not know back then? How does that knowledge affect "home". Indeed where is "home"?
*When two or more facilitators are usually present, the Second Facilitator will be happy to talk privately if you prefer.*
The 519 Church St Community Centre, Room 304 Map to 519 ►[Opens new window]◄
Gay Fathers of Toronto is independent and is not financially supported or sponsored by any organization or group. Self-supported since it first met in 1978, every man is asked to contribute $5 at each meeting to defray the costs of meeting space, the website, etc. however at your first meeting, you are our guest. If $5 is a financial burden and is the reason for not coming, please contact or email (firstname.lastname@example.org)privately. We are here to support, not to inhibit or to embarrass.
Meeting leaders are gay fathers and volunteers. Please note, they are trained to facilitate discussions; they are not life coaches, marriage counsellors, psychologists, or lawyers. They cannot give advice. Gay Fathers encourages all men to seek out professional assistance where it may be needed.
Mutual respect is expected. Predatory or intimidating behaviour will not be tolerated. Gay Fathers of Toronto has a Code of Mutual Respect. Ask a Facilitator to browse a copy of it if you want more information. Talk to a Facilitator or email us confidentially (email@example.com) about anything that offends or concerns you.