For my Queer Men Thrive group this week, we discussed vulnerability. Specifically, what does it mean to be vulnerable as a Queer man? Members discussed experiences that tested their queer identity, honesty with others, or experiences with the apps (Grindr, Tindr, Scruff, etc.) that made them feel mainly judged for being them. The critical piece here is that vulnerability is like a rite of passage; the more open we can be, the more growth can occur.
We also discussed vulnerability within the group setting. It can be somewhat uncomfortable to speak our truth and discuss our experiences with others. It is now always easy to hear but an excellent learning experience. Even if we disagree, we can honor each man's authentic experience. I am proud of these men because they show up every Sunday via Zoom and discuss struggles and strengths amongst strangers. It is a beautiful thing to see and touches my heart deeply. I commend them for being so authentic and supporting one another.
Men grow up being taught not to share emotions or feelings, never to cry, and to "act like a man." I encourage my male clients to cry, open up, and even express sad emotions. We mustn't be made to feel shame or embarrassment when expressing normal human feelings. Even in the group, members have shed a tear, and the healing that occurs is tremendous.
As my group nears its end, I have to admit I am sad not to see these extraordinary men every Sunday but encouraged by the growth they have gone through, and I look forward to hearing about their future successes. I am also excited as I am now recruiting for my next Sunday cohort of brave Queer men to continue my life's work of healing within my community. I appreciate all the love and support from my friends and family.
So my question for you all-How can you improve being vulnerable this week?