From Shame to Authenticity (for the gay man)

We are all born into a family composed of a father and a mother and we are part of a society constituted mostly by couples composed of a man and a woman.

Homosexual people grow up within a heterosexual model with pre-established rules about how we should behave or how we should behave to fit appropriately as men or as women. Men have to do certain things and women also have their own rules to follow.

 Homosexual men (and here we are focusing specifically on men) what happens to them internally during their childhood is very different from what happens to other children. Because of this difference, homosexual children, consciously or unconsciously, are forced to hide who they are. In effect, the shame of being who you are begins to take root, to penetrate your personality, and that will get worse as you grow.

To compensate for the shame of being “different”, the homosexual child will not only become a man who will hide his true self from others, but will also develop strategies to mask the problem and obtain approval from his environment.

Many homosexual men compensate for this shame with obsessive and addictive behaviors such as drug abuse, compulsive sex, shopping, gambling or other destructive strategies as a means of compensation and avoidance of shame.

As a result, many gay men can lead a double life, dividing us in two. On the one hand, the real self that we try to hide (unacceptable to us) and on the other, the false identity, our façade, the acceptable self that we exhibit “officially” in front of the world. Often, when our “unacceptable identity” does not constitute a serious problem for the development of our life, this type of behavior is imperceptible or unconscious. The truth is that most gay men, regardless of whether we have accepted our sexuality openly, tend to hide our authentic identity so that no one will discover who we really are.

The basic reason for this is not so much that we have unspeakable secrets, but that we have incorporated this pattern in a moment of our lives and remain anchored to it, even when that strategy is no longer necessary and the consequence of this is self-denial or the renunciation of the “legitimacy” of our primary identity.

What we propose to carry forward in this series of workshops is to raise awareness about that shame that begins to be present in our lives since we are very young and free ourselves from the pattern of concealment of our true self in order to receive validation from who we really are. Freeing ourselves from the shame pattern of being who we are will allow us the validation and recognition that our person deserves to be received by the part of us that needs it the most.

In Stage 1, we will begin by raising awareness about the shame that tormented us in childhood. We will look for the messages acquired that come from our parents, the school and society at that stage and we will see how they have impacted our lives so far.

In Stage 2, once our sexuality is accepted, we will see the toxic “survival” strategies that we have developed and that we still carry with us since childhood. This stage is the point of awareness in which most gay men “out of the closet” are placed, often throughout their lives.

The 3rd stage that we will visit will suppose a deconstruction of all the previous thing to return to construct from the acceptance and the authenticity to learn to receive the validation directly towards who we are, and we are able to live an authentic and empowered life already in the 4ª stage.

The course is taught in an experiential format, sharing a safe and courageous space.

There will be a lot of movement, art creation, storytelling and camaraderie, since the same closed group of men will meet throughout the course ..

Clark Friedrichs / Pedro Martínez Marín.

“If we want to change our lives, our relationships and even the world, we need to begin by understanding and overcoming the shame that keeps us silent.”

(Prof. Jody Williams, Nobel Peace Prize, 1997).

“Shame is the silent epidemic”
Brene Brown.

Para mas info:

Clark Friedrichs.   Tel: 34 619180202

Pedro Martinez Marín. Tel: 34 699463551