The Four Directions of a Queer Man: Forgiveness, Apology & Reconciliation
Queer people don’t grow up as ourselves, we grow up playing a version of ourselves that sacrifices authenticity to minimise humiliation & prejudice. The massive task of our adult lives is to unpick which parts of ourselves are truly us & which parts we’ve created to protect us.
epigraph in Last Call, by Elon Green
Gathering in a natural setting – the high desert east of the Sierra Mountains – we will look to nature as our mirror, as we aim to learn more deeply what it means to be “a man” and to be “queer.” Each of the four directions mirrors back something uniquely: call this “the four directions of a queer man.” The south, where the sun is high in the sky, is the place of the child—or for this week, the queer child. In the west, where the sun sets, is the darkness of adolescence: where a queer man must navigate their “coming out”—however many times, and during whatever stages of life. In the north, the direction of night, is the place of the empowered queer adult who knows how to survive and thrive in dark times. And in the east, with its daily inspiration of the sunrise, is the place of Queer Spirit. We will explore each of these four directions – a day at a time – culminating in an overnight solo on the fourth full day, the day in the east.
Through the week, we will weave in the themes of wounding, forgiveness, apology, and reconciliation. We recognize that growing up queer in a homophobic world may have left each of us with old wounds and complicated ongoing relationships – with family, community, and even chosen friends. That has left many of us with lots of unfinished business.
To do this healing work, we will draw upon an old hospice teaching. To complete a relationship at the end of life, five things need be said: “Please forgive me”; “I forgive you”; “Thank you”; “I love you”; and “Goodbye.” One of the great opportunities we all have is to do this work now – to keep our relationships current rather than waiting for our final days. Otherwise, we risk being weighed down by a lifetime of woundings, angers, and regrets.
We are calling in a circle of “GBTQ men.” Put another way: people who identify as “queer” and as a “man” – whatever those two words mean for you. We aim to be inclusive. If you would like to attend but don’t identify as a queer man, please talk to us.
Program information: Enrollment is limited to 10. This program will be held in the Inyo/White Mountains east the Sierra Mountains and immediately east of Big Pine, CA. We will start midday on the first day, a Saturday, and finish by noon of the last day. We will be camping together the entire week, likely with a simple toilet set-up and no showers. More detailed logistical information will be sent out a few months before the course begins.
Program Questions Contact: Scott Eberle at [email protected]
Additional course details & Materials
Meals: We will provide a dinner the first night, and a break-fast following a solo on the fourth day. The group may also decide to share communal dinners together – details for that to be sorted later. Otherwise, people will be self-sufficient for meals. A note to people with limited wilderness experience: Though we will be camping out for the entire week, activities undertaken will be non-strenuous and our emphasis will always be “safety first.” We will provide a list of personal equipment that each participant should bring and we will also provide some group equipment for our base-camp. We may be able to loan limited personal equipment as needed and if we are unable, we can provide advice about what to purchase or rent. ADDITIONAL FEES: $50 Camping Fee to be collected at or before the time of the program.
You will be responsible for bringing your own food and equipment, though we can provide some gear if needed. We ask everyone to come prepared to live self-sufficiently. You will need to bring shelter and clothing suitable for a full range of inclement weather.
To address safety concerns during the pandemic, please contact us regarding our current Coronavirus protocols as well as any current travel restrictions. These protocols may affect how you are able to travel to the program. Please note: As of May 2023 there are no longer any vaccination requirements for international travellers seeking entry to the USA.
No required reading for this program.
We will gather in the eastern mountains of Payahuunadü (also known as the Inyo Mountains) east of Big Pine, California. These are the ancestral and contemporary lands of the Nüümü and Newe people.
To learn more about our commitment to regenerative relationships please visit Cultural Relations.