2015 Spring Retreat: With Connection & Communication

Luis Alvarez
Luis Alvarez

Hello dear brothers,

My name is Luis Alvarez and I am happy to introduce myself as convener for the 2015 Spring Retreat, co-created with Terry Allen. Having attended Gay Spirit Visions since the 2010 Fall Conference, I have come to love my times of connection at The Mountain. I started and fostered meaningful relationships with many of you throughout the past four years, and I am honored and humbled by the love and support you have shared with me. Now it is time for me to give back by holding sacred and safe space for us to connect and ask for what we need from ourselves, one another, and the community.

Terry Allen
Terry Allen

This Spring, we will engage in many different activities that will encourage us to grow spiritually through connectedness and communication. The purpose of communication is both to reach out to another and to express what the speaker is thinking, feeling, and needing. The conference will allow participants to expand their abilities in both reaching out and expressing their needs.

Please consider joining us in this adventure.

2014 Spring: My Journey—Pat Boyle, Convener

2014 GSV Spring Retreat

Cherish the Past, Embrace the Future

My Journey: Cherishing the Past & Embracing the Future
by Pat Boyle

Pat Boyle

I came to know GSV through a friend who knew I was interested in exploring my gay identity and spirituality. Like many men in our circle, I grew up in a small southern town trying to fit in – I excelled in academics and worked very hard in my spiritual development, believing that acceptance could be found through academic success and participation in church leadership. Yet, even with college degrees and careers in social work and the ministry, I found life in the closet increasingly unbearable.

I needed a change. I came out and simultaneously switched from social work to a career in university teaching. As if on cue, I discovered GSV and the community and conferences quickly became a lifeline. I will celebrate 20 years of connection with GSV as GSV celebrates its 25th year of conferences at the Mountain. I do cherish the past!

I also embrace the future. Looking around the circle at any recent GSV conference, I see many men who have recently discovered GSV. What a joy to have such companions! The dominant culture is rapidly changing to accept us as just another part of the human family. Yet, our being walks-between or two-spirit persons still involves deep meaning, a calling, and particular gifts of spirit. Come join us April 25-27 as we explore these special qualities and their expression in the future.

 

2014 Spring Panels

To kick off GSV’s 25th anniversary year, the Spring 2014 Conference will feature panels exploring four themes:

As brothers in the GSV community, each panelist has been invited to offer heart-centered sharing that speaks to both his personal experience and how GSV may have impacted his growth and development. Each panel will consist of three to four brothers in the GSV community, and listeners will be invited to pose questions and interact with panel members after each member has spoken.

SpiritualitySprituality

Gay Spirit Visions is committed to: 1) creating safe, sacred space that is open to all spiritual paths, wherein men who love men may explore and strengthen spiritual identity; 2) creating a spiritual community with the intent to heal, nurture our gifts and potential, and live with integrity in the world; and 3) supporting others in their spiritual growth by sharing experiences and insights.

This panel will explore the varied spiritual experiences of men who love men, and how their identity has impacted their spiritual journey.

Panelists: Duncan Teague, Kurt Schreiber, Jim Best, Gary Kaupman


Erotic LifeErotic Life

Gay Spirit Visions honors each person’s unique exploration of spirituality, intimacy, and sexuality, celebrating both the choice to stand apart in order to connect with ourselves, and the choice to reach out in order to connect with each other.

Panel participants will share how their erotic life has developed, speaking to the larger context of human sexuality, their experiences with men who love men, and their communities.

Panelists: George Miller, Roger Beaumont, Hunter Flournoy, Bob Strain


Action in the WorldAction in the World

Men who love men often serve as scouts in the field, filling unconventional roles that reflect their authentic selves. This panel will explore how their offerings to society are linked to their identity and personal growth, and to their participation in the GSV community.

Panelists: Lem Arnold, Aric Rohner, Phil Robst, Todd Humphrey


Friends & Family NetworkFriend and Family Network

Family has many definitions, particularly among communities that aren’t able to participate in institutionalized models. This panel will discuss how their concepts of family were defined, redefined, and expanded, and how communities like GSV have contributed to these concepts.

Panelists: Terry Allen, Luis Alvarez, John Brock

 

 

2014 Spring Keynote: Franklin Abbott

Franklin Abbott
Franklin Abbott

One of the original radical faeries to gather at Running Water Farm in 1978, Franklin Abbott keynoted the first Gay Spirit Visions conference twenty-five years ago. We’re happy to welcome him back to keynote in preparation for GSV’s 25th Anniversary year. In addition to helping organize the early GSV conferences, he attended the first faerie gathering at Short Mountain Sanctuary and coordinated ritual and process at the first Eurofaerie gathering on Terchelling Island in the Netherlands.

Franklin is an Atlanta-based psychotherapist, poet and community organizer who has led numerous workshops on issues of gay identity, spirituality, and creativity. A clinical social worker by training, Franklin has been in independent private practice in Atlanta since 1979. He co-founded the Atlanta Circle of Healing, a monthly circle for the early years of the epidemic, and also co-founded and chairs the Atlanta Queer Literary Festival.

He has travelled broadly and written about his experiences in stories and poems published in his two books of poetry, Mortal Love and Pink Zinnia. He is a contributor to Radical Faerie Digest (RFD) and was its poetry editor for a number of years, also working as poetry editor of the profeminist men’s journal Changing Men. His first anthology, New Men, New Minds was collected from both RFD and Changing Men as well as other sources. Published in 1987, it brought together work by Essex Hemphill, Thomas Moore, Assotto Saint, James Broughton, Harry Hay and Robert Bly among others.

Franklin currently works with Special Collections at Georgia State University, both on his own papers and on a virtual symposium for the centennial of James Broughton. He has an ongoing interest in personal narratives drawing on Harry Hay’s three questions: who are we, where do we come from, and why are we here? He lives just outside of Decatur which is just outside of Atlanta with a cat and five fish.

 

Why We Pray

if your luck goes bad
get a witch to give you
a bath
get a shaman to cook
your supper
get a high priestess
to do your hair
get a siren to sing you
a lullaby
all ritual is illogical
and impractical
but when it works
the absurd
becomes
the sublime

—Franklin Abbott, Pink Zinnia