Gay Men's Retreat Experiences

Tony Lanier and Lorenzo Taylor
October 16, 2023

In April, I attended a Gay Men of Color online retreat hosted by Easton Mountain Retreat Center. Easton Mountain is a community, retreat center, and sanctuary created by gay men as a gift to the world. Easton mountain is located in Greenwich, NY and I understand the retreats in the past have all taken place in person. This was my first retreat of this type and I arrived (virtually) with no expectation. There were approximately 30 men in attendance with an excellent representation of ages and backgrounds. The retreat facilitator Eshan is a very charismatic person and has clearly facilitated retreats of this type in the past. Some of the gentlemen knew each other from prior events but some newcomers reported feeling comfortable and fully appreciated. The images of the physical facility is a beautiful resort-type property in upstate New York and I imagine it’s a good place to absorb nature and shed some aspects of the superficial worlds we sometimes reside in Easton Mountain looks spacious, inviting and camp-like. There is a great room where many of the discussions take place. The proximity to each other in this room allows for an energy for participants to feel vulnerable yet safe. The pandemic required Easton Mountain to quickly pivot to a virtual platform but several live and virtual topical retreats are planned throughout the year.

Another gay men's group closer to us hosts four retreats each year at various campgrounds throughout California. California Men's Gathering has been supporting gay
men since 1978 and will host a virtual retreat on June 5-6 with the theme of Sexuality and Masculinity. The overall facilitator will be college educator Jared Sampson (pictured
above) who helps us understand and overcome the toxic results of society's emasculation of men who do not identify as straight or who do not display hyper-masculine behavior. There is a nominal donation, but you do not have to attend the entire weekend. Register for the gathering at the link below.

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