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.
Have you ever reacted to a person or situation, only to realize later the behaviour was inappropriate, even unjustified? These assumptions and beliefs about right & wrong, good & bad, desirable & undesirable help us navigate the minefields of life; but where do they come from? What assumptions have we brought with us from the “previous” life we were a part of for so long? Are they still relevant as we become authentic to ourselves?
Words and judgements hurt even when aimed toward someone else. We may have lived in silence, became super-dad, overachieved, or created a zone just for ourselves. Maybe we lashed out at the world, or we observed and said nothing when we saw something that fit our personal beliefs; this is the lens we viewed the world as a “straight” dad. Now, surrounded by so many differences than what we lived (such as types of relationships, gender identity, gender expression, fashion, or different religious tolerance), the world may seem to be in upheaval. Our past and future may seem different and not meshing the way it was intended.
Are your values and beliefs the same as they once were? Should they change? If so, how much? Indeed how does a person first recognize and begin to unlearn the attitudes of childhood or influence? What about the misinformed ideas, judgemental assumptions? Tonight is about discussing attitudes and how they can evolve as we grow into ourselves.
*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.