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~ Joining .2,

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By Rob Okun hen I joined dozen~ of men carrying signs proclrummg Men Walking to End Abuse" on a 40-mile hike from Springfield, Massachusetts, to Greenfield in early October, I didn't expect we would permanendy put an end to domestic violence. But our public act was another example of men taking new steps-literally-in the ongoing effort to halt abusive behavior in our relationships, families, and communities. For four days, we walked from Springfield through Holyoke, Northampton, Amherst, and South Deerfield en route to Greenfield-all communities that have suffered through the tragedy of family violence. The walk, organized by Voice Male's publisher, the Men's Resource Center, was designed to raise consciousness and money, and to inspire more men to take a stand to end domestic violence. The MRC, with a staff of only 20 (many parttime) , knows it is a challenge to broadcast such a big message with scant resources. And our work was made more difficult this summer when we lost $54,000 in state contracts after the legislature cut our funding. Despite the financial setback, the MRC's reputation as a model of a commumty-based men's center has caught the attention of people in institutions near and far. Indeed, the MRC shared its message in japan this fall when Men Overcoming Violence (MOVE) program director Russell Bradbury-Carlin and MRC execunve director Steven Botkin (now on sabbatical) conducted a series of seminars about the organization's approach to working with men. Accompanied by board member Yoko Kato, credited with launching the movement to challenge domestic violence in her native country, they spoke to a wide range of people from the public and private sectors dunng a whirlwind two-week trip. While it's great to see this work happening abroad, it is also encouraging to see men around the U.S. organizing to challenge old male amtudes about domestic violence, including developmg innovative campus-based programs addressing sexual assault and partner violence as is happening at the Everywoman's Center at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Despite these positive developments, we cannot rest. For a shift in men's consciousness about family and sexual violence to occur, men need to know that society has zero tolerance for such behaviors. Clergy need to address the issue from the pulpit. Teachers need to integrate it into the curriculum. Businesses, neighborhoods, and local government must be urged to sponsor education campaigns. State leaders-please listen up, Gov. Romney-need to back up lip-service comminnents with adequate fundmg. The growirig network of anti-violence activists continues to deepen its comminnent and broaden its connections. And Voice Male and the MRC will keep at it. We'll keep writing about it and the MRC will ket;p on walking the talk-in barterer intervention groups, general support groups,

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fathering programs, and groups for young men on the journey to healthy manhood. It may be premature to assess what impact a "men's walk to end abuse" will have. What is known IS that as men continue walking forward, we will continue to make plain that men want to end violence not just in western Massachusetts or japan, but ever~here. And as more and more people join us, we'll know we are not alone. **************** Men's richly varied experiences are the broad theme of this issue of Voice Male begmnmg, surprisingly, with the insights of activist and actress Jane Fonda. Her eye-opening cover story, "Poisoned Privilege: The Price Men Pay for Patriarchy" (page 8), reveals what she has learned about men from the vantage of what she calls the "third act" of her life. The lives of men in their third act are in the minds of Charles Sternheim, Alexander J . Rosen, and four other men who chronicle their six-decade journey of connection in "lifelong Friends" (page 10). Uan Strukweather's "He She and 'None of the Above' "(page 12) offe~ a fu:sh look at how traditional irJStitutions like fraternities are catching up to an evolving understanding of gender identity and consciousness. The struggle to recover from sexual addiction, and the redemptive power of healing and growth, is explored in 'The journey Home" (page 13) by writer 'joe C.," whose request for anonymity we honor. And frequent conmbutor Michael Kimmel, the acclaimed author of numerous books about men and masculinity, turns 路his attention to the summer television surprise hit Queer Eye far the Straiifflt G1.!)1 (page 14). In this issue's Color Unes column, "Hey Bro, Check It Out!", Haji Shearer writes about the challenges and breakthroughs of working with fathers of color (page 15). In Notes from Survivors, Charlie Henan offers useful advice in "The Challenge of Healthy Dating" (page 16) . Swe~t and sour father-son relationships are reflected m two Fathering columns: one by managing editor Michael Burke, "Hoop Dreruns" (page 18), recalling his own youth while watching his eight-year-son discover the secret heart of basketball; andjqhn Badalament's honest account of a father who fell shan, 'To Know and Be Known" (page 19). CA review of Badalament's documentary film, All Men Are Sons, appears on the same page.) In OutUnes: MRC support programs director Allan Amaboldi writes movingly about 路~ Gay Man's life After 50" (page 20), and Finally, don't miss Carl Erikson's thoughtful review of the provocanve book The End of Gay, by Bert Archer (page 22). We always welcome your thoughts about the magazine, so write us at voicemale@mensresourcecenter.org or at 236 No. Pleasant St., Amherst, MA 01002 . Happy Fall! .

To contact Rob Okun, write him at raokun@mensresourcecenter.org

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Features lbisoned Privilege: The Price Men 1\!Y for Patrian:hy . .8 By jane Fonda lifelong Friends: A Group of Older Men Discuss Their lives, Futures, and the Old Days in Brooklyn10 By Alexander]. Rosen, et al. He, She, and "None of the Above": Students Lead the Way in Confronting Issues ofTransgender and Gay .. . . ..... .12 By Uan Starkweather The journey Home to Honesty: Recovering from Sexual Addiction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 By joe C. Exterior Decorators: Gay-Straight Bonding on 1V's Queer Eye for the Straight Guy . . ......... . .... 14 By Michael Kimmel

Columns &Opinion ... 2 From the Editor ..... . . . ... . . Director's Voice . ...3 ..... . ... ... 4 Mail Bonding Men@Work . .... . . .. .. .. 5 Color Unes ... .. . . ..... 15 "Hey, Bro, Check It Out!": Working with Fathers of Color By Haji Shearer .. 16 Notes from Survivors ...... . The Challenge of Healthy Dating By Charlie Hertan Fathering .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , . . '.18 Hoop Dreams By Michael Burkt Fathering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19 What Boys Need路 from Their Fathers: To Know and Be Known By john Badalament FUm Review . . . . . . . ... . ....... .. 19 All Men Are Sons lry john Badalament Reviewed lry Allan Arnaboldi .........20 OutUnes .......... . A Gay Man's Life After 50 By Allan Arnaboldi .. .21 GBQ Resources . .22 Book Review . . ..... . .. . The End of Gay lry Bert Archer Reviewed lry Carl Erikson .24 Resources ............... . .. . . .. .25 Thank You .... 26 Calendar .... 27 MRC Programs & Services . On the Cover: jane Fonda


A ~ourney into Sabbatical By Steven Botkin

Administrative Staff

Interim Co-Directors _.: Rob Okun, Michael Dover Director of Operations - Carl Erikson Building Manager - Edgar Cancel Executive Director - Steven Botkin (on sabbatical)

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Men Overcoming Violence

Director - Russell Bradbury-Carlin Clinical Supervisor - Sara Elinoff Intake Coprdinatorlt;ourt Liaison - Steve Trudel Partner Services Coordinator - Jan Eidelson Franklin County Coordinator- Joy Kaubin Hampden County Coordinator - Scott Girard Group Leaders ~James Arana, Eve Bogdanove. Karen Fogliatti, Scott Girard, Steve Jefferson, Joy Kaubin, Dot LaFratta, Gary Newcomb, Susan Omilian, Tom Sullivan, Steve Trudel Youth Programs

Coordinator - Jeff Harris Group Leaders - James Arana, Edgar Cancel, Julius Ford. Jeff Harris !foice Male Magazine Editor - Rob Okun Managing Editor - Michael Burke Designer - m. rajas design Support Programs

- Director - Allan Arnaboldi Support Group Facilitators - Allan Arnaboldi, Timothy Blake, Michael Burke, Andy Dennison, Jim Devlin, Michael Dover, Darren Engstrom, Carl Erikson, Tim Gordon, Ken Howard, Shawn Johnson, Gabor Lukacs, Patrick McNamara, Rick Martin. Bob Mazer, Jim Napolitan. Rob Parte/, Nelson Pinette, Tom Schuyt, Chris Shanahan, Sheldon Snodgrass, Bob Sternberg, Gary Stone, John H. Thompson, Les Wright Board of Directors

Chair - Peter Jessop Vice Chair - Thom Herman Clerk -Michael Dover Treasurer - Sudhakar Vamathevan Members -Charles Bodhi, Jenny Daniell. Lisa Frei/ag-Keshet, Nancy Girard, Tom Gardner, Jack Hornor, Yoko Kato, Brenda L6pez, Mathew Ouellet Editor's Note

Opinions expressed herein may not represent the views of all stall, board, or members of the MRC. We welcome letters, articles, .news ilems, article ideas, and events of interest. We encourage unsolicited manuscripts, but cannot be responsible for their loss. Manuscripts will be returned and responded to if·accompanied by a stamped return envelope. Send to Voice Mafe, 236 No. Pleasant St., Amherst, MA 01002; voicemale@mensresourcecentewrg. '

Advertising

For rates and aeadlines calf Voice Male Advertising a/413-253-9881, Ext. 20.

ver the past few years the demands of being executive director of the Men's Resource Center have loomed ever larger around me. Addressing the needs of a growing staff, managing limited finance~ an,d multiple, unpredictable funding sources, developing relationships with diverse constituencies, and responding to cdtJStantly\>aried requests for services stretched the limits of tny time management, multitasking, and human relations skills-especiall since l maintained a private counseling practice and was in tl1e MRC office only three days each week Yes, I was very good at doing these things, and kept getting better. After all, l had been doing this with the MRC since its beginning almost 21 years ago. And this continued to give me profound satisfaction: a sense of connection, community, and social action. It was obvious that I was needed, that my presence as executive director was making a difference. And yet, at the same time, a frustration was growing within me. No matter how hard or efficiently I worked, me growing size and complexity of the orgariization left little time and attention available for creative visioning. My spirit, which thrives in the limitless realms of imagination, was getting tired of waiting. So I bartled inside between my idea of ootrunitment (interwoven with my fear of•abandonment) and the longing of my spirit. With every new opportunity and challenge at me MRC I kep t convincing myself that the time was not right to take a break. I have long been•accustomed to sacrificing some of my spirit to me demands of life. But the MRC is founded on the principle that caring for the spirit in ourselves and in each other is essential for our mission. Last year, the executive committee began encouraging me to consider taking a sabbatical, a op.e-year break from tl1e position of executive director They lovingly suggested that this would not only serve me, but would also be an important gift to the MRC. . It took me many months to really understand the simple rruth of this idea-that taking care of myself, even when.it meant ta~g time away from tl1e MRC, really was in the best interests of me organization. 1 had to let go of the habit of seeing myself as indispensable. l had to believe that the benefits of fostering new organizational strengilis and leadership outweighed me disruptions and challenges my departure would create. l had to understand that my almost uninterrupted presence as clirector.for the entire,history of the organization was a liability as well as a strength. And I had to know that mis was not a judgment of my job performance.

With the clear and consistent encouragement and support of the board and staff, these uncjersrandings began to settle in me. As soon as I saw that the sabbatical would not be something I was dojng alone, but, in fact, someiliing we were doing together-the next stage in this long-term experiment of creating a socially transforming organization-! was ready. Then, of course, came the challenge of how to manage this transition. Even as I worked harder man evet; detennined to leave the MRC as healthy and stable as possible, my colleagues and friends supported me in letting go. I was particularly eager to lay a foundation of financial stability and, with me help of mimy staff, developed a balanced budget for the upcoming year. When this was approved by the board in june l thought I had put the pieces together enough to leave. The final' challenge came the following month, when state budget cuts eliminated $54,000 of our funding. What happened next confirmed, rather than undermined, my sabbatical resolve. I realized that, no matter how hard I worked, I would never tie up all the loose ends. At the same time I saw a new leadership emerging throughout the organization that was ready and willing to taKe on the challenges. Toget\1er we made the difficult, and sometimes painful, decisions necessary to respond to this dramatic loss of funding. It was clear that we were ready for my year of sabbatical. l am eager to see how me MRC is able to flourish in new ways while l am ·away. I am eager to see how I am able to flourish in new ways without me demands of managing me MRC. I will continue my private counseling practice rwo days each week. As you read this I am traveling to japan, with MOVE director Russell-Bradbury Carlirl and MRC board member Yoko Kato, to present a series of seminars on the MRC and our domestic violence prevention work. I will reflect, write, work)p my garden, and most of all liSten-to others, to myself, and to the voices of spirit.

While Steven Botkin is on sabbatical, Rob Okun and Michael Dover are serving as co-directors of the MRC. You can still contact Steven at SDBotkin@aol.com, and sign up for the monthly MRC e-mail newsletter to rea~ updates on his sabbatical. -n

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VOLUNTEER WITH VOICE MALE! We need help with • Distribution • Advertising • Website

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MAIL BONDING We Want to Hear from You! Write us! Please send

rypewrit~en;

double-spaced letters to: VOICE MALE MRC 236 North Pleasant St. Amherst, MA 01002 or FAX (413) 253-4881 E-mail: voicemale@mensresourcecenter.01g Please include address and phone. Letters may be edited for clarity and length. , Deadline for the Wmter 2004 Issue is january 16, 2004.

New Texas Men's Center The Men's Resource Center of Central Texas is up and running. We've got a couple of things going-a drop-in support group and a pending grant fo r a domes tic violence community action program . We're incorporated, and have a small interim board. My compatrio t Rick Webster and I are taking things pretty slowwe both have other commitments-but the response to the support group has been pretty good so far We've connected with a local church, and they are willing to give us referrals. So, we'll see how it all plays out! ' Sorry to hear about the 54K cut in the MOVE program-it's a sign of the times, and quite unforrunate. Texas has taken a huge hit in social service offerings as well. Our web site may be found at www.mrc-tx.org, or interested readers may also contact us at Men's Resource Center of Central Texas, P.O. Box 2683, Fredericksburg, 1X 78624. Phone: (830) 99229 11 ; (830) 997-7745. E-mail: info@mrc-tx.org. josh Abrams Fredericksburg, Texas

TGIF

Believe in Men

When I went for the first time to the men's group that meets on Friday nights (the Men's Resource Center's group in Amherst for men who suffered childhood abuse, trauma, or neglect] 1 found it enlightening and inspiring. 1 have not felt this good in a very long time. My therapist had been trying for several years to get me to attend one of the groups, but 1had much trepidation. He actually brought me there once after one of our sessions to help alleviate my fears, but still I didn't come. Well, I went and it was wonderful. Intellectually I've known that this was a place where one could be completely safe in expressing themselves, but still certain fears existed. 1 no longer feel that way and know now emotionally that 1 can be safe and free to express my feelings. I have much work to do and need to go to one of the other groups as well, but 1 feel now that there is the possibility for me to confront myself on certain issues and finally admit them to myself and to others . Dotng that in a group such as the MRC provides is an excellent way fo r me to start that process. The facilitators , Tom and Darren, were excellent, especially Thm, who helped to draw me out and helped me to relax and open up more. These groups are a tremendous resource for men. I know 1will continue to use these groups. 1 appreciate the fact that it takes a lot of time and attention on the pan of many, and a lot of love to accomplish what the Men's Resource Center accomplishes. Your efforts are well worth it. Tony Gregory Springfield, Mass.

I have been facilitating a men's support group here in South Texas for the last six months . We meet weekly at the local domestic violence and sexual assault center. For two weeks recently, men were not coming to group and I was getting concerned. Perhaps I would have to start from scratch or swjtch the location, time, or day. My wife Cynthia and I prayed that men would join me for group. Our prayers were answered. Seven men came to the next group, five for the firs t time. 1 was truly moved by the men in our circle: Encourage the men in your life to attend such groups! Emiliano Diaz de Leon Men's Resource Center of South Texas Harlingen, Texas Editor's Note: The Men's Resource Center of South Texas now has a web presence. To visit it go to www. mensresource.org; their link is at the bottom.

·Take the e·Train·

Overcoming Depression I was reading a copy of Voice Male and loved the article about men recovering from depression ('~ N ew Journey, a New Spiritual Home, " by Bob Sternberg, Voice Male Summer 2003). What amazing courage it must have taken to tell his story. lt was fascinating and very moving. It always is when men open up. Being around a gentle man who has never really done it I am grateful for any insights into the male psyche. j anice Doyama Amherst, Mass.

Internal Mediation -Life Beyond Therapy "Internal Mediation" is based on "The Work of Byron Katie" and Thorn Herman is a certified Practitioner of the Work. Internal Mediation is a simple and radical process that fundamentally alters our relationship to our thoughts. Thorn can be invited to present Internal Mediation to groups in a workshop setting. When invited Thorn works by donation. He also works with clients individually through his psychotherapy practice in Northampton and Greenfield, MA.

For more infonnation check out Thorn's web site at: u.J

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hom Beerman, ~h.D. 413 :374.1330 · · ·e-mail: thomherman@t#Jl.com

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Three Community Activists Receive Challenge & Change Awards The Men's Resource Center's Eighth Annual Challenge & to social change extends well beyond the workplace. "I have Otange Celebration takes place Sunday, November 16, from been a peace activist for much of my adult life," she repons. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Log Cabin Banquet& MeetingHouse "I have done civil disobedience over 50 times, and spent 10 in Holyoke, Mass. This year's award recipientS include Ronn days in prison in W!shington, D.C., after the first Women's Johnson, Gail Kielson (Woman's Award), and Ozzie Klare Pentagon Action." She and her husband David, an accountant Memorial Youth Award recipient Jesse Maceo Vega-Frey. and formerMRC board:membet; have three grown daughters Ronn johnson is a clinical social worker, educator, who live in Boston, Northampton, and ~anhattan. communitY activist, agency administrator, consultant and jesse Maceo Vega-Frey is an artist, the coordinator of the mentor. He is vice president of Child & Family Services for Contemplative Net Project for the Center for Contemplative the Center for Human Development, Inc., overseeing one of Mind in Society in Northampton, where he has helped MassachusettS' largest and most diverse child and family research and tell the story of people across the country who service delivery systems. Ronn representS CHD on numerous are bringing contemplative practices such as meditation and local and statewide boards and committees, including serving yoga into their work. He is also associate director of the as c;on':ener. and chairperson of the Springfield City-Wide Durham, N.C.-based stone circles,. an organization helping Violence Prevention Task Force, immediate past president support activists and strengthen their work for justice through of the board of directors for the Martin Luther King Jr. the use of spiritual practice and principles. Community Center, and president of the Springfield School After graduating from Maealester College in 2000, Jesse System's School to Work Partnership. Most recently he has moved to Sanjuan, Pueno Rico, "in order to provide myself been working with the MRC to establish a Springfield-based with the conditions to explore my an more fully" Returning group called FAMILY (For All Men Interested in the Uves to his hometown of Holyoke was meant to be temporary, but of Youth). A graduate of Western New England College, he in Holyoke "l felt a growing sense that I had something to received his master's degree from Cambridge College. He and offer my home community and that I could benefit greatly his Wife Donna have a son in college and a daughter in middle from all of the conditions and opportunities that life here school. Ronn and Donna founded the Brianna Fund for would provide." Now 25,Jesse recalled working two summers Children with Physical Disabilities, a local charity named for on the Deerfield, Mass., organic farm of Wally and juanita their daughter that provides funds and advocacy and promotes Nelson, where "I was introduced to a good deal of-nonviolent community awareness of the issues faced by children who ' theory as well as some Qu~ practices." (The f.an:n is located have mobility and access challenges in Springfield. on land adjoining the Trap;ock Peace Center; Wally Nelson, Gail Kielson is project director for the Northern Hilltowns Challenge & Change Award who dieci in 2002, was a Challenge & Change Award recipient recipients (top to bottom): ) b f th l ke , Domestic Vio1ence Project an d a member of Paloma House Jesse Maceo Vega-Frey, Gail in 1999. A mem er o . e Ho yo Mayor s Peace Initiative, Inc., a therapy collective in Northampton that provides free Kielson, Ronn]ohnson Jesse says his Buddhist meditation practice "direcdy supportS and loyv-cost therapy for women and children who have '-----.:._-----' my work in the world,''. To .participate in this xea:r's Chall.eltg~. & Change Celebration, become experienced violence. Born and raised i.n New York, she received her bad).elor's degree from:Cornell University and her master's of social a patron, sponsor or J{'ost or buy tic~et(s) to the November 16th work in 1973 from New York University. Before assuming her current celebration . For more information OrtO purchase tickets , go to position, Gail worked as an outreach family therapist at the River Valley www. mensre5ourcecen'ter.orglc&c.html or contact Allan Amaboldi at Clinic in H.olyoke and at Necessities/Necesidades (now Safe Passage), first .aamaboldi@mensresourcecenter.org, phone (413) 253-9887, ext. 10. as direct路service co-ordinator and then as co-director. Gail's commitment

Bringing MOVE to East Africa On a balmy afternoon in June, in a small village in East Africa, clinical psychologist Amy Kahn spoke to a group of about 30 women and many children, who had climbed up a twisting path to an unfinished schoolhouse with a large room in which they could gather. Straw mars on the floor and a few wooden benches provided seating. A heavy rain began to fall outside, which, coupled with the lack of windows, provided the air conditioning. Kahn, a psychotherapist whose practice is in Northampton, Mass. , was there to talk about domestic violence, having been invited by a women's Bible study group. She says she was Violence program (MOVE), and begin with the warmly welcomed-despite U.S. State Dep.amnent question, "Is This You?", followed by a list of "Do Not Travel" warnings for the region and the abusive actions. The flip side of the cards asks, sensitivity of the subject matter (for these reasons, "Is This Someone You Know?", followed by the she asked that neither the village nor the country same list. The cards urge anyone who answers be identified by name) . And she had an invisible "yes" to any of the questions to get help. ally by her side: the Men's Resource Center. "I asked if domestic violence was a problem in "I started my talk by stressing that domes.tic that community," she says. "The expressions and yiolence occurs all over the world, " says Kahn. nods told me that it was, in fu.ct, a..serious concern. }'I told the story of the murder of a woman by The translator said I should look at the older her husband in the area I was from, and I told 路 women in the group and see how they were 路 bout the work of the Men's Resource Center nodding. She explained that while domestic [to prevent domestic abuse]. Then I handed out violence is still a problem, it used to be much 路the MOVE cards and people looked at them more pervasive. Up until recently, women in this carefully There was a translator who translated country were considered to be the property of both my talk and the infonnation on the cards." their husbands, and subject to verbal and The cards, a version of which is reprinted on physical abuse.'She said the current government page 6, are from the MRC's Men Overcoming was having some impact on this attitude by

encouraging women to pursue higher education and careers." In her talk, Kahn emphasized reducing the secrecy surrounding domestic violence and identifying people in the community who can provide counseling.and suppon to both victims and perpetratOrs of abuse. She talked aboyt methods perpetrators can employ tO respond nonviolently in domestic disputes, such as taking deep breaths, walking out of the room, or praying in an angry moment, rather than striking out physically. The translatoi; says Kalm, then said she regretted that the men of the community were not present. '1\t this, I directed my attention to the collection of young boys who were there and spoke direcdy to them," Kalm says. "I stressed that people can (continued on next page)

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(continued from previous page) talk about their differences without yelling or hitting each other. I also mentioned the concept of mutual consent regarding sexual relations between men and women, and stated that forcing sexual contact on a woman was a form of abuse. That started a wave of embarrassment, but I was aware of how special this moment was, and I didn't want to leave ou t any form of abuse." Kahn ended her presentation with a reflection on what the women might do if they knew a friend or neighbor was being abused. They discussed the value of having a safe person for victims and perpetrators to talk to, such as religious leaders and "wise women" in the community. Kahn urged the women to continue the discussion , and to adapt the MOVE cards in their own language for their own purposes , including the names and addresses of community members who could be trusted. "I was grateful to have an opportunity to talk about domestic violence to this group of rural women and children," says Kahn. "I wanted to leave the group with a concrete intervention to enable them to act on this information, and the MOVE cards were a great tool. In parting, I encouraged the members of this group to contact the Men's Resource Center and MOVE for further guidance on addressing the problem of domestic violence in their community. I think it's inspiring to know that the work of the MRC really translates to other cultures and countries."

From Kyrgyzstan to Amherst A researcher from Kyrgyzstan (the Kyrgyz Republic) is spending the fall months at the Men's Resource Center studying "men's crisis centers" in the United States. Zarina Turukmanova, a program associate and activist working for the United Nations Poverty Reduction Program in Talas, Kyrgyzstan, is in the United States courtesy of the Contemporary Issues Fellowship Program, sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. State Department. While here, Zarina will be learning about the work of the MRC and other men's centers in the U.S. with an eye toward taking what she learns back to her home country and trying to start similar groups there. Kyrgyzstan is located in Central Asia, and was part of the former Soviet Union.

"We have no men's organizations in the Republic, in terms of support for men," says. "The collapse of the Soviet Union was hard p'e riod for women, so most nrn.a,.,m <> concentrated on women. I think we forgot the men." In October, Zari.n a traveled to Boston participate in a training for prospec facilitators of barterers' treatment groups. "I really like this office [the MRC]," she says. "You have a lot of programs here. We have men's centers, and maybe lO women's and shelters in Kyrgyzstan. It's a very ditten~ntl country, with a different mentality the people and a different culture and of education. I will see what I can take from here."

At-Home Dads on the Rise The number of stay-at-home dads in United States remains·. small but is growing. Government data show that 20 percent of preschoolers in mame:a-c:o1 households are cared for by their taU1eTI;---l which maynot,?Ound like much, but it's up 17 percent in 1997, according to the Census Bureau. And the number of Ull.lUlt::l ~ livingwith at-home dads has shot up 70 since 1990, to over 2.5 million. So while fathers still make up a small percentage of in the United States, they're coming woodwork-and the kitchen, and the changing station-and seeking each other on playgrounds and online.

IS THIS YOU.? ...

... OR IS TH·IS SOMEONE YOU KNOW? If you or s.o meone you know can answer "Yes " to any of these questions you or they may have a problem with abuse. Without help, it could get worse. At Men

Overcoming Violence, men can learn to change. Call us to schedule a confidential u.J

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MOVE MEN OVERCOMING VIOLEN,CE Amherst/Ware: (413) 253-9588 • Springfield: (413) 734-3438 Greenfield: (413) 773-8181 • Athol/Orange: (978) 575-9994

Resources available to help at-home dads each other, cope with the isolation of home with kids, and get help with chtl.d-nlistrtl!l and fathering issues include,the At-Home Network, Slowlane.com, and Proud Dads, all helping to make at-home dads a phenomenon. Books such as libby Gill's Home Dads: The Essential Guide to · New Famiry and Hogan Hilling's The Would Be Dad also se.rve ;15 references for har1cts--ot1 fathers and demonstrate .the emergence of home dads as an increasingly significant And while there's no question that good news for men and their children, it's a positive thing for many women--esnec:ial.lvi working mothers. Having fathers at home ' the kids helps them to pursue their own goals and not fall victim to either the ceiling" at work or the dreaded "second home. Ar the top of the scale, more than one:-thl:ldl of the women on Fortune magazine's 50 most powerful women in business husband at home either full- or pan-time.


~ccording to figures fourld by Women's Enews, while women on average still earn 76 cents for every dollar earned by men, 15 percent of wives n ow earn at leas t $ 5 ,000 more th an their huSbands. That number may grow as young women pull ahead of men in higher education, 0 •e , according to U .5. Census data. For more information, check out these sites: s. Slowlane.com, proucjdads.com, womensenews.org, iO and www.angelfire.com/zine2/athom edad! rs athomedad.net (At-Home Dad Network).

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DADS Targets Sexist Ads

The Minnesota-based nonprofit Dads and Daughters CqAOS) has laun{;hed another action campaign, tills time taking aim at Abercrombie & Fitch. Some of" the national clothing retailer's ads, both in its catalog and in store-window and mall displays, feature overtly sexualized photos of nude, apparently te~~aged, . girls' and boys that leave little to the imagination. DADS cllarges that these images are "d~turbing" and even "pornographic," .and is seeking to h ave the company pull the ads by putting pressure on its boata ·of directors, and on CEO Michael S.Jeffries. ~eng Abercrombie's directors, ironically, are seV"~l people who "lead or are prominent in org~nizations committed to education, community "building, and/or girls ' empowerment, " according to a statement on the DADS website. , ' These include top officials from Colga te University, Vanderbilt University, Simmons College, and Ohio State University; the chairwoman 'of.a Tennessee Girl Scout .Council; and the first U.S. woman to walk in space (and winner of the Girl Scou ts of the U.S. Woman of Distinetion award). DADS president Joe Kelly hopes that by pointing out these leaders' ties to groups with a high moral purpose, the organization will put pressure on them, and on Abercrombie & Fitch, to withdraw the ads. So far neither the company nor its directors have commented , and last year, when some G:hristian groups "mounted a campaign against A&F 's thong , underWear for . young girls-which had the . words • "eye.J candy" printed on · them-the ! '"'· compa:nysimilarly refused to back down. But . &pect DADS 'to keep up the fight. · Fdr more information or to get involved , go to DADS' website, dadsanddaughters.org.

AJapanese Men's Center? The m essage of the Men's Resource Center h as reached J apan. In October, MRC executive direc tor Steven Botkin and the MRC's Men Overcoming Violence program direc tor Russell Bradbu ry-Carlin, along with MRC board member Yoke Kate, crisscrossed Kate 's native lan d for two weeks giving presentations about domestic violen ce and, specifically, how men can work to address this issue in J apan. Wheth er their trip sparks interest in crea ting men's centers modeled ' after the MRC remains to be seen. Yoke has traveled to Japan many times over the last few years to help in the growing effort to end d omestic violen ce th ere , and h as been interviewed ab ou t her wo rk on both U.S . and Japanese radio. Th e MRC's MOVE program has been featured on Japanese television twice in the pas t several years. Steven is using some of his sabbatical time (see page 3) to make contact with .' other men 's centers and like-minded organizations arou nd the country and around the world. Russell sh ared his expertise directing the nearly 15 year-old MRC barterers ' intervention program · with officials around Japan. Watch fo~ a more. extensive repor~ on the trip in an up coming issu e of Voice Male.

MEN & This Men's Resource Center NEW workshop series can help you get your bearings and find your way through the divorce process to reach a successful conclusion In this transition. ~,,, Call or 'write for future group dates.

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efore I turned 60 I thought I was a feminist. I was in a way-I worked to register women to vote, I supponed women getting elected. I brought gender issues into my movie roles, I encouraged women to get strong and healthy, I read the books we've all read. I had it in my head and partly in my hean, yet I didn't fully get it. See, although I've always been financially independent, and professionally and socially successful, behind the closed doors of my personal life I was still turning myself into a pretzel so I'd be loved by an alpha male. I thought if I didn't become whatever he wanted me to be, I'd be alone, and then, I wouldn't exist. There is not the time nor is this the place to explain why this was rrue, or why it is such a common theme for so many otherwise strong, independent women. Nor is it the time to tell you how I got over it (I'm writing my memoirs, and all will be revealed) . What's important is that I did get over it. Early on in my third act I found my voice and, in the process, I have ended up "alone" but not really. You see, I'm with myself and this has enabled me to see feminism more clearly. It's hard to see clearly when you're a pretzel. So I want to tell you briefly some of what I have learned in this first part of my third act and how it relates to what, I think, needs to happen in terms of a revolution. Because we can't just talk about women being at the table-it's too late for that-we have to think in terms of the shape of the table. Is it hierarchical or circular (metaphorically speaking)? We have to think about the quality of the men who are with us at the table, the culture that is hovering over the table that governs how things are decided and in whose interests. This is not just about glass ceilings or politics as usual. This is about revolution , and I have finally gotten to where I can say that word and know what I mean by it and feel good about it because I see, now, how the future of the earth and everything on it including p1en and boys depends on this happening. Let me say something about men: obviously, I've had to do a lot of thinking about men , especially the o'nes who've been important in my life, ¡ and what I've come to realize is how damaging patriarchy has been for them. And all of them are smart, good men who want to be considered the "good guys." But the Male Belief System, that compartmentalized, hierarchical, ejaculatory, androcentric power srructure that is Patriarchy, is fatal to the hearts of men, to empathy and relationship.

Yes, men and boys receive privilege and status from patriarchy, but it is a poisoned privilege for which they pay a heavy price. If traditional, patriarchal socialization takes aim at girls' voices, it takes aim at boys' hearts-makes them lose the deepest, most sensitive and empathic parts of themselves. Men aren't even allowed to be depressed, which is why they engage so often in various forms of self-numbing, from sex to alcohol and drugs to gambling and workahohsm. Paniarchy strikes a Faustian bargain with men. Patriarchy sustains itself by breaking relationship. I'm referring here to real relationship , the showing-up kind, not the 'Til stay with him 'cause he pays the bills, or because of the kids, or because if I don' t I will cease to exist, " but relationship where you, the wol1).an, can acknowledge your partner's needs while

You know why? Because when they are real , little (I learned this from Carol Gilligan), like five years or younger, boys internalize the message of what it takes to be a "real man." Sometimes , it comes through their fathers who beat it into them. Sometimes it comes because no one around them knows how to connect with their emotions. (fhis is a generational thing.) Sometimes it comes because our culture rips boys from their mothers before they are developmentally ready. Sometimes it comes because boys are teased at school for crying. Sometimes it's the subliminal messages from teachers and the media. It can be a specific trauma that shuts them down. But, I can assure you, it is true to some extent of many if not most men, and when the extreme version of it manifests itself in our nation's leaders, beware!

simultaneously acknowledgiilg and tending to your own. I work with young girls and I can tell you there's a whole generation who have not learned what a relationship is supposed to feel like-that it's not about leaving themselves behind. Now, every group that's been oppressed has its share of Uncle Toms, and we have our Aunt Toms. I call them venailoquists for the patriarchy. I won't name names but we all know them. They are women in whom the toxic aspects of masculinity hold sway. It should neither surprise nor discourage us. We need to understand it and be able to explain it to others, but it means , I think, that we should not be just about getting a woman into this position or that. We need to â&#x20AC;˘ look at "is that woman intact emotionally," has she had to forfeit her empathy gene somewhere' along the way for whatever reason? And then, of course, there are what Eve Ensler calls Vagina-Friendly men, who choose to remain emotionally literate. It's not easy for them-look at the names they get called: wimp, pansy, pussy, soft, limp, momma's boy. Men don' t like to be considered "soft" on anything, which is why more don't choose to join us in the circle. Actually, most don' t have the choice to make.

Another thing I've learned is that there is a fundamental contradiction not just between patriarchy and relationship, but between patriarchy and democracy. Patriarchy masquerades as democracy, but it's an anathema. How can it be democracy when someone has to always be above someone else, when women, who are a majority, live within a social construct that discriminates against them, keeps them from having their full human rights? But just because patriarchy has ruled for 10,000 years since the beginning of agriculture, doesn'¡t make it inevitable. Maybe at some earlier stage in human evolution, patriarchy was what was needed just for the species to survive. But today, there's nothing threatening the human species but humans. We've conquered our predators, we've subdued nature almost to extinction, and there are no more frontiers to conquer or to escape into so as to avoid having to deal with the mess we've left behind. Frontiers have always given capitalism, patriarchy's economic face, a way to avoid dealing with its shortcomings. Well, we're having to face them now in this post-frontier era and inevitably-especially when we have leaders


)

who suffer from toxic masculinity-that leads to war, the conquering of new markets, and the destruction of the earth. However, it is altogether possible that we are on the verge of a tectonic shift in paradigmsthat.what we are seeing happening today are the paroxysms, the final tenible death throes of the old, no longer workable, no longer justifiable system. Look at it this way: it's patriarchy's third act and we have to make sure it's its last. It's possible that the extreme, neo-conservative version of patriarchy which makes up our current executive branch will overplay its hand and cause the house of cards to collapse. We know that this new "preventive war" doctrine will put us on a permanent war footing. We know there

The convention will put forward a fresh, clear, and concise platform of issues, and build the spirit, energy, and power base to hold the candidates accountable for them. There will be a diversity of women from across the counrry who will participate in the mobilization. There will be a special focus on involving young women. There will be a variety of performers and artists acknowledging that culture plays a powerful role in political action. There will be a concurrent Internet mobilization. Women's organizations will be asked to sign on and send representatives to the convention. There will be a caravan, a rolling tour across the cou ntry, of diverse women leaders, celebrities and activists who will work with local organizers to build momentum, sign people up , register them to vote, get them organized, and leave behind a tool kit for futrher mobilization through the election and beyond. This movement will be a volcano that will erupt in a flow of soft, hot, empathic, breathing, authentic, vagina-friendly, relational lava that will encircle patriarchy and smother it. We will be the flood and we'll be Noah 's ark: "V" for Vagina, for Vote, for Victory.

VOICE MALE

NEEDS YOU!

Budget Cuts Facing the MEN'S RESOURCE CENTER Mean Our Magazine Can Only Publish Two Issues Instead of Four This Year

Unless We Can Raise $8000! What Can You Do?

can't be guns and butter, right? We learned that with Viemam. We know that a Pandora's box has been opened in the Middle East and that the administration is not prepared for the complexities that are emerging. We know that friends are becoming foes and angry young Muslims with no connection to Al Qaeda are becoming terrorists in greater numbers. We know that with the new tax plan the rich will be better off and the rest will be poorer. We know what happens when poor young men and women can ,only get jobs by joining the military, and what happens when they come home and discover that the day after Congress passed the "Support Our Troops" Resolution, $25 billion was cut from the VA budget. We know that already, families of servicemen have to go on welfare and are angry about it. So, as Eve Ensler says, we have to change the verbs from obliterate, dominate, humiliate, to liberate, appreciate, celebrate. We have to make sure that head and heart can be reunited in the body politic, and relationship and democracy can be restored. We need to really understand the dep th and breadth of what a shift to a new, feminine paradigm would mean, how fundamentally central it is to every single other thing in the world. We win, everything wins, including boys, men, and the earth. We have to really understand this and be able to make it concrete for others so they will be able to see what feminism really is and see themselves in it. So our challenge is to commil ourselves to creating the tipping point and the turning point. The time is ripe to launch a unified national movement-a campaign, a tidal wave, built around issues and values, not candidates. That's why V-Day, The White House Project and their many allies are parmering to hold a national women's convention somewhere in the heartland, in june of 2004. Its purpose will be to inspire and mobilize women and vagina-friendly men around the 2004 elections and to build a new movement that will coalesce our energies and forces around a politics of caring.

••••••••••••••• • Take Out a Subscription for Yourself, a Family Member or Friend • Advertise-or Get a Business You Know to Buy an Ad (For rate information write: voicemafe@mensresourcecenter.org

or call (413) 253-9887 Ext 20)

This article is adapted from a speech actress and activist jane Fonda delivered this past june at the National Women's Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C.

[QJ ([@ CID Duu

Men's Support Group in Keene Sundays 7- 9 p. m.

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Lifelong Friends A Group of Older Men Gather to Discuss Their Lives, Their Futures, and the Old Days in Brooklyn By Alexander J. Rosen, Paul Pechter, Leroy H. Pelton, Steven G. Levenson, Leonard M. Weiss and Charles E. Sternheim one of us is as smart as all of us." Although the six of us have followed different paths since childhood and have arrived at distinct and, in some cases, contrasting viewpoints on some issues, we would all agree with that adage. Now in our 60s, we understand that we all need help in developing insight into ourselves and the world in which we live. And who better to tum to than old friends? We were born near the beginning of World War ll, within a year and within a few miles of each other in Brooklyn. Five of us met as very young children-some before kindergarten and some in grade school. And we welcomed the comparative newcomer to the group as an 18-year-old. Almost like brothers, we share similar ethnic and social origins: all jewish, all middle to lower middle class. We did the usual kid stuff growing up together: playing stickball, handball, and kick-the-can, going to Ebbers Field to see the Dodgers play, cruising Ocean Parkway on Saturday nights, listening to Alan Freed's rock-and-roll show on the radio. As adults we went our separate ways--only one of us remained in New York-and although some of us stayed in touch and visited over the years, it was not until we were around 60 that we decided to get together; all of us, for a few days. We wanted to preserve our old connections because of their emotional significance, and at this age we begin to face the fact that our lifetimes are limited. One of us also had the vision that by getting together in this way, we might enter into a deeper level of emotional sharing about our individual journeys. We welcomed the challenge. . So we arranged to live with each other for three days . In 2001 we all met at a resort in the Catskills in New York. We chose the Catskills because we had all worked there as busboys and waiters when we were in our early 20s. There was lots of talk about personal and politi~al issues. We had a lot of fun tbgether. We discovered that we still enjoy one another's company, and we have the ability to share personal aspects of our lives and concerns for our futures with one another-with these old friends who know us and know where we've come from . We found this first gathering so rewarding that we decided to do it again, at least every other year. During our most recent time together, in the Berkshires this past june, we met Steven Botkin, executive director of the Men's Resource Center of Western Massachusetts. He told us about one of the MRC's tenets, that as men

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"We recognize our need to be caring for ourselves and for each othe1; and we are learning how to express these needs honestly and responsibly. " . We agree with that as a guiding principle, and it's what we strive for when we come together. Our "encounters" are somewhere )Jetween a structured meeting and a gathering of friends , and .e ach . of us has somewhat

different visions of the balance between the two. Although some prefer more inforrnalicy and spontaneity, others are inclined toward more structure as a way to coax out deeper feelings . Our strength, overall, lies in our sensitivity to one another's needs and our willingness to explore different formats. · ' Based on our discussions with other men our age and with women,.we have come to realize that we are very unusual. We may not be unique, but no one we have met has heard of a group of men in theit·early 60s who have beert friends since childhood and who are still getting together on a regular basis-much less sharing deep emotional thoughts and feelingsdespite the fact that we now.live in six different ' locations ranging from Brooklyn to San Diego. But we don't really look at what we're doing as primarily a generational thing. We feel that it 'is a deeply enriching and important life experience for men who were once close to get together and renew ties-which, as we've discovered, are now truly lifelong ties. In closing, permit each of us to say in just a few words what we've learned from each other, about ourselves or about the world in which we live as a result of our gatherings: PAUL "The power of hearing each other's stories in a group is magnified many fold by the fact that we share a common history. I find

All Men Are Sons: Exploring the Legacy of Fatherhood, a new PBS documentary film, follows five men trom diverse backgrounds over the course of a year, as each explores his relationship with his father. This film is ideal for use in educational and therapeutic settings, such as fatherhood programs, schools, universities, mental health agencies, corrections departments, group therapy, and addiction treatment centers. I : ·'

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hearing and telling about our journeys generates feelings and connections otherwise unobtainable. " ALEX "Each time we meet I learn more about what it means to be a participant in a caring community, about how style and substance may generate conflict but goodwill always prevails. After a half century, we continue to become even closer." LEROY "The rappon we had as kids never departs from us. Our interactions are energetic, invigorating, and best of all, ultimately caring and loving. We continue to learn from each other, inquire into all aspects of life and community, and rejoice in the great friendship we all cherish." STEVE "We do not think of ourselves as old, and perhaps we never will as long as we continue our group meetings. When we meet many issues are discussed and we recount numerous incidents in our lives. Some are of difficult situations and evoke empathy, and some are very funny and evoke heany laughter. We share them all." LEN "In our personal time together, the camaraderie is unmatched, the conversation brisdes with every political, social, and personal morsel. Amazingly, conflicts and egos have not surfaced. If group interactions get too emotional or painful, the group suppon is there. The humm; 路 the reminiscences, the nostalgia help to reinforce those childhood and teen experiences, but more imponandy we are living today and sharing that moment with each other in a personal, caring wc:y." CHUCK "It should not be left unsaid that this group of guys, for as long as I can remember; has always cared very deeply about the less fonunate. More often than not we argue about what it is we should do or what our country should do to help the disadvantaged. lO me the intensity of the discussions is a sign of how deeply people care. And as Alex points out, 'When people come together for any length of time some conflict is inevitable. What is imponant is how we deal with the conflict.' "

The authors are Alexander ]. Rosen, Berrien Spring, Mich.; Paul Pechter, San Diego, Calif. ; Leroy H. Pelton, Las Vegas, Nev.; Steven G. Levenson, Roseland, NJ. ; Leonard M. Weiss, Brook!Yn. N.Y.; and Charles E. Sternheim, Columbia, Md.

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"Life transforming .. . " - D.C. , Collinsville, CT For further information contact Sparrow Hart at (802) 387 .. 6624 or sparrow@together.net www.q ues tforvis ion .com

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Confronting Gender Labels

He, She, "None of the Above" By LlanStarkweather

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ince the days of the Stonewall Rebellion, Establishment notions of gender have been challenged in a way that derides the idea of only two genders and sexualities. Beneath the surface of student gay-straight alliances, gender-bending body ornamentation , and confrontational GLBT activism, a gender consciousness of "none of the above" has finally blossomed. Consciousness is superseding genitalia-and among college students in particular, it's no longer two genders or sexes, but three that are being conceprualized and lived. A gentle bur insistent voice, for example, from the nominally female student body of Smith College in Northampton, Mass. , has stated emphatically what most transgendered people eventually may come ro embrace: "I will define for myself who I am; I choose to identify in a gender-ambiguous way:" By srudent vote, as of the fall 2003 term, the student government association's documents replace "she" with "the srudent" and "her" is deleted or changed to "the." The local Daily Hampshire Gazette quoted Northampton psychotherapist julie Mencher, who was recently hired to serve as transgender specialist at the college, as saying, "I think that some students were concerned that the identity of Smith as a single-sex institution- as a women's college-would be tainted in some way." According to Mencher, most of the students she counsels do not see themselves as transsexual-that is, they are not necessarily interested in using medical means to change their bodies so they appear as the opposite sex. Rathe~;, she said, they are exploring their gender. "There are a lot of students here who identify as transgender bur don't identify as male. They identify in a much more genderambiguous way, " explained Mencher. "They have come to a campus where that's very much supported." There is an actual continuity between the two gender polarities supported by society. In this between-realm are, by definition, transgenders bf all sorts-transsexuals and cross-dressers (transvestites) and a wide array of "gender deviants." for whom procreation potential is not a primary identifier. Here berween the poles, the package and the intent get confused by beliefs in only two gender options . Smith students have raised the flag for gender ambiguity. They are gender-fluid and confident in charring their own course through the lifelong challenge of gender expression. just as Rosa Parks finally got our attention about what it feels like in the back of the bus, today ' s students are taking on how a transgendered person actually feels-withou t judgment o~ necessarily, identification with gender ambiguity. University of Massachusetts students last spring insisted there be one gender-blind bathroom in one dorm when students returned in the fall. (There will in fact be two-state codes, probably updated by feminism 's legitimate demands, require a certain balanced number of restrooms ro be designated with conventional

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genders.) Hampshire College, in Amherst, allows mixed-gender living for all students in any housing that is not single occupancy. Gender-blind facilities don't just benefit transgenders, who are deciding for themselves who they want to be. They confront all of us with our own sexual affectional compartmentalization: all-men's or all-women's locker rooms try to deny any same-sex attraction, while mixedgender facilities actually force heterosexuals to confront their attractions when intimate/personal space is shared. The biggest argument against gender-blind facilities is "I can't control myself without help! "

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This man, the fraternity's director of resources and development, said "we still have a long, long way. to go in all areas of awareness and acceptance ... not just in the venue of sexual identity, " bur he listed five ways in which he was "proud " of the changes. His use of the P-word (I'm a forties boy who has spent a lifetime dealing with "selfish" and had suspicions

"Just as Rosa Parks got our attention about what it feels like in the back of the bus, today's , students are taking on how a transgendered person actually feels-without judgment or, necessarUy, even identification. " · Even fraternities are getting into the act. Recently, having nearly finished a book in which I have examined my life, proclivities, and motivations (in perhaps roo much detail), I decided to use my now-whetted political writing inclinations for one last act of activism: making closure with my old fraternity. 1 was adviser to the UMass fraternity system for a decade in the sixties and , as alumni president, caused a fraternity house to be built on Chestnut Street in Amherst (now congregate housing for the elderly). Inspired by a listing in the fraternity magazine of chapter presidents and advisors, including their e-mail addresses, 1 drafted a provocative e-mail letter (that's what we do now) to poll the chapters on the state of their gender affectional inclusivity. First, 1 contacted the fraternity's national headquarters~Sigma Phi Epsilon, one of the oldest and largest fraternities , based in Richmond, Va.-ro see if they would give me the mailing list in computer form to save time. Surprise! After correspondence with several levels of the organization including the top, exacdy the right guy telephoned me-one of the three field secretaries of the fraternity who are openly gay: He said the change in consciousness varied from state to state and with institutional orthodoxy, but that a majority of the chapters had voted to eliminate affectional orientation as a factor in fraternity membership. Less than the majority may still have reservations, he said, but the students themselves, as with the Smith College students who were going for gender ambiguity, are definitely making changes.

about being "proud") helps me with my confusions around Pride Marches. While pride is also described as being a group of lions, "pride" itself means self-respect and self-esteem. He was proud that his sexuality was no more of an issue in his work for the fraternity than for any of the brothers working there. He was proud that he could bring his partner of five years to fraternity events and have other staff members to tl).eir home ("though they seem to like him more than me") and to know that there is not an issue . He was proud of the undergraduates' needed conversations and challenge to the status quo, and of the deliberations he was having with the fraternity's executive director, which were changing the face of the fraternity "from the youth up." I guess 1 can stop tilting at that windmill.

Llan Starkweather has been actively participating in the Pioneer Valley 's changing consciousness since he came to the University of Massachusetts in 1947. He draws his strength and encouragement from his 25-year men's group of nine political and gender activists, with whom he has spent even more "quality time" than with his now grown family of seven. '

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Recovering from Sexual Addiction

The Journey Home to Honesty By Joe C. t the age of five I knew I was different and did not know what to expect. What greeted me were folks of all races , sexes, genders, from other boys. I found myself looking identities, ages, and professions who were funively at men's magazines and getting an erotic charge from what the men were doing honestly sharing how they were "'orking to · Hope and Recovery: A Twelve-Step Guide for in the personal letters. I also engaged in sex play heal from sexual addiction. I was moved and with boys my age, but always with a tremendous amazed, and remain grateful that I finally "Healing from Compulsive Behavior amount of shame. At 18, a high school buddy found a healing and understanding community. . ·~ (Hazelden Publications) heard my sexual fantasies and said: "You're a In the past -nine years I have gained the , ·-v-.,~ faggot!" Doors slammed in my mind, and I ran experience, strength, and hope at each meeting to· Donr Call It Love: Recovering from Sexual Addiction from that reality-but then I began wondering repeat what that young man said at the by Patrick Carnes, Ph.D. (G.entle Path Press) why. That high school friend (who suffered from · conference : "Hi, I'm Joe C. , I'm a grateful sex addictions and is now dead from AIDS) recovering sex addict." And I say "grateful" brought me out. I had been with women because the S Programs truly saved my life. I was FaCing the .Shadow: Starting Sexual and sexually, but once I experienced sex with a able to tell my partner in a flow of tears about Relationship Recovery man, everything fell into place. It felt good, it my dishonesty-and that I had not exposed by Patrick Carnes, Ph.D. (Gentle Path Press) him to illness. When he said he cared less that felt right, and it felt like it was meant to be. I might have given him an STD, but cared But for an ex-Catholic, and a young man facing the condemnation of 80 percent of the world's more that I had lied to him for such a long religions, being queer was no easy walk. period-well, that took me a couple of years Shortlx thereafter I met and fell in love with to understand as I integrated issues around my partner now of 21 years, who remains a lying behavior. For so long I had viewed blessing, a teacher, a friend-and the man who myself as Mr. Honesty. Recovery helped me forgave me what was to become six years of learn how I had manipulated and schemed in my lies and how soul-destroying lying is. I lying and sexually acting out behind his back. It began during graduate school, when I walked remain grateful that my lover did not walk into a men's room and saw men engaging in away from our then 11 years of love anp life sex in a public place. I was shocked , horrified, together. I know too many stories where indiand repulsed-but also felt a wave of what I viduals, relationships, and families have been shattered by sex and other addictions. can only describe as hormones sweep through my brain. I remember returning home that evening I also learned that in my acting out I had been hunting for body parts. I'd searched for and saying to my partner that I had witnessed this "disgusting scene." Within 24 hours I began body types, hair colors, awesome pees, the cute acting out sexually in smile, the big appendage, youth-all the while those very same places. Over the next six years "1 would lie to my partner, unaware of the bedrock I went to a variety of rest of my own low selfrooms. I knew enough telling him I was going to be esteem. I had rejected about HIV and AIDS and older gay men who had STDs that I was a bit late home as I was studying or approached me in acting "bug phobic," so I did out places. I have since working late. When at home , learned the karmic not exchange body fluids with others. But I would unkindness that dwelling I'd leave to 'go shopping,' as in such a meat market lie to my panner, telling him I was going to be late mindset can bring, and I would tell him. But I was out how the need for healing home as I was studying or working late. When . . . of the youth and age cru1smg agam. at home, I'd get angry at disparities in GLBT the stresses of everyday culture endures. I also life and the relationship,. so I'd leave to "go learned that this is not just a GLBT addiction. If shopping," as- I would tell him. But I was out you're human, you are vulnerable to sex addiction. cruising again. I found that antidepressant medication, Getting into recovery was a miracle. At an psychotherapy, and most imponant, a weekly addictions conference for the GLBT community commitment to getting to as many meetings in the early 1990s, a therapist attending the as I could in the early days were critical to my conference listened to my anxiety over acting recovery. I learned that my family and ancestors out and asked me: "What's your penis trying were wounded by the ravages of World War II, to say that your mouth cannot?" A young man post-traumatic stress disorder; and sex addiction stood up during a workshop on GLBT sexuality and alcoholism that went back several generations. and said: "Hi, I'm X, and I'm a grateful recovering Now, I'm even out to my family and aging parents sex addict." I was stunned by his honesty. and what about my recovery, because it saved my life. I seemed like his self-esteem, and I learned from . also no longer blame my family for the past. I him about a sexual addiction recovery program. am grateful that they remain in my life and That very evening I entered Sexual that my recovery has touched theirs. Compulsives Anonymous (or SCA, a 12-step recovery program founded by gay men) by (continued on page 23) attending a beginners' meeting. I was scared

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Gay-Straight Bonding on TV's Queer Eye for the Straight Guy \

Exterior ·Decorators ·By Michael Kimmel

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y far the most mesmerizing cultural event of the past summer wasn't the search for veracity in our president's now-famous 16 words, o r Kobe Bryant's arrest, but the hit 1V show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy on the Bravo network In case you haven't seen it, the hour-long show revolves around the "Fab Five"-five clever, campy, and culturally sophisticated gay men-who target a forlorn , disheveled, straigh t guy and give him (and his home) a total makeover. Each of the five has a specialty: food and wine, home dec01; grooming, clothing, and interpersonal manners. And each works his transformative magic with wit and flair. In the first episode, they rook an aspiring artist named Brian and helped him actually look like his nickname, "Butch." When we first meet Brian he looks like he just returned from the Altamont concerts-in 1970! Dirty brown overalls, long stringy hair, unkempt beard , and an apartment just one slight move up from cantaloupe crates for records and concrete blocks and boards for books. One hour later (in 1V rime, of course) , he looks, well, fabulous. His beard is now a goatee, his hair cur and shaped and stylish, his clothing elegant and dressed-down chic, and his apartment the home of a tony bachelor. And what happens? Well, at his art' opening, the women in attendance, especially his former friends, are so stunned by his transformation that their sexual interest oozes from every gaping stare. He's become a babe magnet-dashing, well mannered, utterly SC.'(}', as well as eminently presentable to the Sex & the City crowd. Why? Simple. Because gay men know wh at straight women want. We've been on to this since Rup ert Everett sraned reaching straigh~ men how to please women, how to be their friends, how to love and entertain. Think Julia Roberts in My Best Friend 's Wedding or Jennifer Aniston in The Object of My Affection. Will & Grace only underscored what we'd . already come to suspect. Will is a model nor for gay men, but for straight men-exactly the men who really want to know what will captivate beautiful, sexy, and interesting women like Grace. And we've always known that if you want to find our where tomorrow's mainstream fashions and tastes originate, it's best ro look at roday's marginalized groups. If you want to know what white suburban teenage boys will be wearing

·•

in five years,' watch inner city black kids now. And if you want ro know how straight men will be dressing and decorating, ask a gay man . (It's not for nothing that black men and gay men have made up the lion's share of readers of the mainstream men's fashion magazines, like GQ , for years. The reason the "new" men's magazines are so relentlessly-and often idiotically-ulrra-het is because they're selling men's perfume and high-end designer clothing.) Of course, it's a bit distressing that the ground for all this m ale bondi ng and gay-s traight rapprochement lies in unapologetic consumerism, for which gay men are now the spokespeople. Gay men, you see, nor only know what women want, they know where to buy it. There's an unsettling reinforcement of stereotypes, to be sure - there are some gay men with bad taste and some well-dressed straight men, 'after all - but for once the stereotypes seem to w01k the other way. Here is a makeover show that is the antidote to all those gay conversion d1erapy infomercials. In this "reality" show, d1e srraight guy is transformed into, well, a gay guy. Queer Eye also sounds another, even more promising note. It's a show premised on the collapse of homophobia among straight men. And in rhar sense QL!eer Eye mf!y be do.ing more for gay tights than Bai?er v. State or Lawrence v. Texas ever could. Starr with the title. Five year~ ago, most viewers would )1ave thought a show with the tide Queer Eyefor the Straight Guy was about gay men hitting 6n straight men in a bar. The sequel would have been Black Eye for the Gay Guy. The show opens with Brian letting these five queers into his home, allowing them to rifle

''Queer Eye is a show premised

on the collapse of homophobia among straight men. In that sense it may be doing more for gay rights than Baker v.

State or Lawrence v. Texas ever could."

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through his closers and drawer.s (his dresser drawer-s!), all the while launching cutting campy barbs about his ·lifestyle. Before the fir.sr commercial, one is stroking his hair and deciding how to cur it, another grabs his old jockstrap with barbecue tongs and drops it into boiling water, and a rJ:lird comments about the size of his boxer shorts. The men touch each other affectionately 11nd make caus tic remarks dripping with sexual innuendo. And by the end, the straight guy does what? He hugs them! He thanks them ! Me realizes he needs them! Ironically, it's the insecurity of heterosexuality that begins to erode homophobia. "We\e.here, we're queer, we're fal;Julous, imd we know what women want" is the message of QLieer Eye. And , if you 're going to make if with the f:Airandas and the Carries of the mode.rn world, the show to ~)low yo~ how. seems to say, y~u ' ll need

us,

Michael Kimmel teaches sociology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and is the author of many books o.n m~ and masculinity. An excerpt from his most recen,t, bo9~, P,!jyilege (coedited wi.th Abby Ferber), pL1blished earlier this year by Westview Press, appeared in the Spring issue of Voice Male.

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Working with Fathers of Color

Hey, Bro, Check It Out! By Haj i Shearer

can still see him in my mind: 30-something, brown skin, close 'fro, jeans and button-down shin. I approached him at the Dudley Street Community Fair where about 100 people had come to enjoy rides, music, and food. I was recruiting dads to join a personal development program. Men who join practice skills that help improve their relationships with family and friends and clarify a vision for their lives. Most dads who check out one session stay for the entire program, drawn to the camaraderie, the humm; and the enhancement of their self-esteem. This particular brother listened to my pitch, his eyes as blank as a page suffering from writer's block. When I finished my rap he brushed me off, telling me he wasn't interested. I was in my mode, so I pushed a little more: fellowship with other positive men, ideas to decrease stress, encouragement to set and achieve your personal goals-! was in a groove! But he shut me down with, "Naw, I'm straight." I knew he wasn't talking about his sexual preference. He meant, ''I'm handling whatever problems I'm having and don't need help from you. " The finality of his tone silenced me. I walked away, too late to put my armor on, feeling a bit rejected until I saw the next dad. I handed him a flyer: "Hey, bro, check it out! Less stress, more affection in your family. \Mmt to eliminate some of the tension that naturally comes up in family life?" Using that kind of enthusiasm, I'm able to persuade about 40 men a year to complete our 13-week program, which uses a modified parenting curriculum with time for open discussions. I recruit from many settings-street fairs, childcare centers, churches, libraries, gyms, courts, the Department of Social Services, anywhere I can find fathers. When I talk to men who are resistant to participating, my thoughts sometimes flip back to that dad at the fall; because although he seemed like an ideal candidate, he was closed to even hearing about the opportunity I translate his "Naw, I'm straight" into "''m maintaining at my current level. I don' t believe I can do much better." Too many of us, by the time we're 30 or 40-especially black men like myself; who are pleasantly surprised not to find ourselves incarcerated or embalmed-simply accept the situation we've fallen into. Most of our efforts go into making sure we don't backslide. We give up our dreams. I find that men who are involved in some other self-improvement work, like school or church, are more likely to consider my appeal even if they are too busy or already have a network to help them achieve their goals. ln my years of recruiting men of color for personal growth work, . I've seen that those who come find it valuable.

I

It's rare to be in a space where people accept you for who you are and at the same time encourage you tQ dig deeper. I have scores of stories of men who used the program as a vehicle to improve their relationships and careers. One father of a four-year-old boy came to the group when he was separated from the child's mother and experiencing serious animosity toward her. He complained thac she arbitrarily denied visitation even though he was paying child support. Around week five he shared a new suspicion. He thought she was trying to trick him into something. Her behavior had changed: she was acting friendly toward him. He could now take their son whenever he wanted. Before I could say anything one of the other men in the group said, "She changed 'cause you changed! She's responding to you doing things different because of the program." You could see the light bulb click on over this man's head.

For black and Latino dads, expressing affection with our kids can be perceived as Father Knows Best territory .... That listening-to-feelings stuff don't work on Blue Hill Avenue. Another dad I recruited through my daughter. She had a friend whose mom I often saw at school events. The dad rarely came, but I knew he lived with the family When I called the home to invite him, the mom told me, "Oh no, he wouldn't be interested in something like that." I asked to speak with him anyway. Not only did he participate, he ended up being one of the stars. I know he had an uneven work history before coming to the program, but since he graduated two years ago he 's maintained full-time employmenthis longest streak yet. Being around a group of healthy peers, especially if that's a new experience, is like adding live yogurt cultures to plain milk. A transformation takes place that creates a similar; but more potent, new material. In addition to resonating with the success of fathers who make it to the program, I've become attuned to some of the reasons men tum down the opportunity. The two most legitimate are work and school. Beyond that, brothers have a hard time even verbalizing why they don't want to attend. Some men say, 'Tm too busy. " You're too busy to put a few hours a week into improving your relationship with your children and their mother? You 're standing here watching women in tight jeans walk up and down the street, but you have no time to focus on the woman you impregnated and your offspring? Another popular response is "''m not interested." Okay, what kinds of things interest you? Basketball, football, cars, sex? Do you have

anything in common with your baby's mom and your kids7 Did you know there's a 50 percent divorce rate in America? And that's for the people who even bothered to get married. Can you spell "child support"? I don't really come down on recruits that hard, even though I might like to sometimes. I know that the vague and contradictory reasons men give for not wanting to participate, in the end, come down to fear. We don't like to admit it, but most of us are afraid of either great failure or great success: We feel more comfortable maintaining the status quo: job or no job , squabbles in the family, poor schools, little hope , fantasies about the girl next door because the girl behind our door is driving us crazy (so we think) . We live in a self-created purgatory, scared to leave our comfort zone for fear we'll fall and people will laugh, or for fear we'll fly and people will resent us. For black and Latino dads the alternatives can seem even bleaker than for white fathers. Expressing affection with our kids can be perceived as Father Knows Best territory. We got to raise kids to be tough for the hood. Even though Bill Cosby and Bernie Mac portray compassionate dads on Tv, they're actors with fat wallets and comedians to boot. That listening-tofeelings stuff don't work on Blue Hill Avenue. When I encourage guys in the group to get in tune with their own feelings so they can understand how their kids and partners are feeling, some don't believe it will help . "My parents raised me like this and I turned out okay," I often hear Oh yeah, I want to say, then why are you addicted to reefer, Heineken, and screaming at your kids? But I don't. Everything in life offers possibility for growth; some situations just encourage you to grow more quickly. God is everywhere, but you can feel the spirit more in church than in a liquor store because of the intention of the space. The groups that we offer provide a powerful growth opportunity because our intention is to transform each participant, ourselves included, from an ordinary guy to a superior man. I'm enthusiastic when I invite fathers to our program, because I know I'm pointing them toward something valuable. I've also learned that men not ripe for change today may be tomorrow. So the next time I see the brother who told me, "Naw, I'm straight," I'm going to invite him to the program again.

路Haji Shearer is director of Fathers' Programs at the Fami!Y Nurturing Center of Massachusetts. FNC provides fami!Y development training to a wide variety of parents and professions. Haji consults with the Department of Sodal Services, the Department of Revenue, and other state agendes on increasing father involvement. He lives in Boston with his beautiful wife, son, 13, and daughter; 10.

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The Challenge of Healthy Dating By Charlie Hertan

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ew experiences are more charged, exciting,

scary,juicy, and overwhelming than dating.

Not surprisingly, dating poses tremendous challenges for survivors of childhood abuse, mistreatment, and neglect. Attraction and dating raise issues of longing, intimacy, rrust, vulnerability, sexuality, self-doubt, identity, fear of abandonment, and a wealth of other intense feelings. Accessing these d eeper parts of ourselves can be very beautiful-and, for many, also quite terrifying.

What's so hard about dating? For most people, plenty. Bur dating can be particularly grueling for survivors because it touches old wounds in a unique way. SELF-ESTEEM The core impact of childhood trauma is damaged self-esteem. When children are abused and neglected, they inremalize the false messages, "It's my fault" ; "there must be something wrong with me"; "I am bad. " When things get rough in dating, survivors find themselves repeating these ingrained falsehoods. Dating can feel like a referendum on one's "OK-ness." Most survivors have deep fundamental doubts about their own attractiveness, physical and personal. I have known many survivors of both sexes who deeply believed that they were physically unattractive,

All profits benefit the Men' Re o rce Center of Amherst & W. Mass. American Friend's Service Committee, supporting their dedicated work for peace, justice and social change.

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A beautiful 2004 wall calendar featuring 12 original images by gifted W. Mass. nature photographer Charlie Hertan路 Images will be on displaY Sept.15-0ct.15 at the Artist's Cooperative Gallery in Shelburne Falls, MA.

though most others would describe them as beautiful. Many carry the belief that people "don't like me" or "don't notice me." Dating exposes core inner wounds by stimulating our unmet desires ro be seen, found attractive, and desired sexually. LONGING, RESCUE FAND\SIES, DESPAIR Most everyone longs for love and intimacy, bur for childhood trauma survivors, this longing stirs up a sea of past unmet needs. Children who are hurt physically, sexually, or emoti,onally have a deep 路longing to be seen, held, loyed, and rescued from their pain. When I was eight years old , my mother left my sister and me with our father. Flustered, clueless, and in dertial, my father made no provision for us to be supervised until eight p.m. , when he got home from work. After school, I spent most of my free time alone in the basement, with a nr for a babysitter. Denied the emotional nurturing I desperately needed, I screamed, set litde fires, and abused myselL Since neglected children intemalize the same awful self-concepts as abused kids, self-punishment is very common. During this time I developed a "rescue fantasy" involving an older girl who chained me to the groundnot to hurt me, bur to protect and ground me. Unlike my parents, she didn't leave me alone.

City - - ----,,---- -State _ _ __ _ _

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I would like to order_ copies of the 2004 Peace Calendar. I enclose $15 per copy, plus $3 P&H (add 50垄 for each additional copy). Calendars will be mailed by Nov. 15, 2003. No. of copies -~----'"" P&H Additional contribution to Peace Calendar Project -,-- - - -

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Please make checks payable to 1 H , PO Box 60433, Florence MA 01062 ONLINE ORDERS go to www.paypal.com; deposit to account cehertan@rcn.com FOR MORE 1 FO visit the website www.flamingsphere.com/peacecalendar

For survivors, dating triggers old longings and fantasies: "this person will finally see me, understand me, not hurt me, heal me, want me, love me, stay with me .. .." These longings for "salvation" from one's inner wounds embody a quality of despair: "I need this person to love me so much, I feel like I will die if they don't. " The despair relates to how desperately the child needed someone to be there back when the abuse or neglect starred , someone to sto p the pain . Unfortunately, the dare picks up on this sense of urgency, and most people find it roo scary. NEEDING OTHERS &: CONTROL ISSUES The possibility of finding love, sex, and intimacy through dating opens the floodgates of "regressive needs"-the tender, childlike, vulnerable parts of ourselves that long to be loved, taken care of, held, made love to. When we begin to fall for someone, the lid flies off our Pandora's box of deep emotional needs. The dilemma for survivors is that we often lack a good "safety lock" for the box, and expose our innermost needs roo soon. We do this both because of the porous boundaries abuse/neglect taught us ("you have no right to be safe"), and because th ese deep needs were unmet in childhood and we are starved for deep affection. Whereas nonsurvivors may rein in their longing until they get to know the other person well enough to establish trust, many survivors spill out their deepest needs and secrets on the first date, only to be srunned when the other person proves to be "unworthy" of this sacred trust. My mentor, Bob, once gave me a beau tiful piece of advice. I had jumped into an intense and reckless invo lvement after my marital separation, and was explaining one of my actions in terms of wanting to "be the best lover I could be." His answer startled and amused me: "Don't try to be the best lover you can be-wait a lirde." When we project the other person into the role of fulfiller of our innermost needs, we may become obsessed with controlling that person. We're so afraid of losing them that we become clingy and obsessed. In the extreme case, a battering relationship may develop. The survivorturned-perpetrator dynamic is something like this: "I have a desperate need [or love, intimacy, caretaking, and affection. However, deep down I know that I am worthless, no good, unlovable (as my abuse taught me) . I need you ro meet these powerful needs that have been stirred up , because I am incapable of taking care of my own vulnerability, but since I am unlovable, I will have to force you to do it. " On the other end of the spectrum, our need for control around our regressive needs may lead us to push the other person away premarurely or irrationally. Needing another person is so terrifying that we feel compelled to sabotage the chance for intimacy, rather than facing the fear of encountering another person deeply.


ADVERTISE IN

REJECflON & ABANDONMENT For survivors of neglect or abandonment, when intimacy begins to develop in a dating relationship, it triggers a powerful fear of being left again. Abuse survivors often share this fear, because abuse is a form of "emotional abandonment" by adults we trusted to care for us and keep us safe. The fear of rejection also taps into core survivor issues of feeling unlovable, bad, or "tainted. " These fears can lead survivors to expect rejection, or to misread normal caution, questions, or doubts as preludes to rejection or abandonment. We may then launch a preemptive strike-leaving the bewildered date before they have a chance to hun us. SEXUALl1Y, BOUNDARIES & SAFElY Physical and emotional intimacy in dating can be terrifying for survivors. When you have been abused, neglected, or hun by trusted adults as a child, the process of opening yourself up to another person restimulates rremendous fear of being hun again. This fear would seem to dictate a cautious approach, and some survivors are overly hesitant about getting close to anyone. Many more go to the other exrreme. For sexual abuse su rvivors, the possibility of sexual involvement can trigger overwhelming fear, panic, flashbacks to childhood abuse, impotence, guilt, shame (which may be experienced as erotically exciting) , and the full range of post-traumatic stress symptoms. Abuse and neglect prevents the formation of healthy boundaries in children. Often, children learn to submit passively to violation in order to avoid more extreme abuse. Victimized children also learn to dissociate from rrauma, since this is the mind's core protection against overwhelming events. This necessary survival tool has a rragic consequence; it teaches children to ignore the gut feelings that instinctively tell us when a person or situation is unsafe. Dissociation then becomes a learned autonomic response, rendering survivors "frozen" or incapable of defending against further violation later in life. Consequendy, unhealed survivors often show poor boundaries and an inability to respond to danger. In dating, this can rranslate into jumping into sexual relationships with srrangers, exercising poor judgment around another person's character, and getting into physically or sexually unsafe situations.

What would a healthier dating pattern look like for me?

Dating is very complex and person,al, and there is no one "right way" to do it. But survivors may find it helpful to have a framework that will make the experience less scary, giving more time and space to son out their feelings and make informed choices. In order to maintain clarity and a sense of choosing to become involved only after we have some sense of who the other person is, I offer the following suggestions: l. Have four full dates without any sexual activity (for many survivors, deep kissing or

touching can unleash feelings as powerful as those of intercourse). 2. During these first four dates, don't see the person more than once a week, and don't talk on the phone more than once or twice in between. After three or four intense interactions in a week, emotional intimacy starts to build too soon, and often leads to "crash and bum syndrome." It's crucial to have the reflective time between dates to let things sink in, son out feelings, talk to friends , tamp down the our-of-controllonging and projection that begin to creep in, and stay clear about your goal in the ftrst month: to get to know the other person. I ftnd that after each date the relationship unfolds a litde more, giving me an expanding sense of the other's personality, values, interests, emotional style, and goals. I also get a much better sense of our rapport: Do l really feel comfortable talking to this person? Is this someone I trust enough to want to get involved with? Jumping into sex obscures this, because it creates a false sense of emotional intimacy. 3. At some point in the process, often on the second date, I tell the other person about my four week/one date a week/no sex "dating boundaries." I ftnd that most people react very positively. It feels respectful to them that I would want to get to know them better before becoming involved, and most seem to share this wish. If they don't, it's often a sign of their own poor boundaries. At any rate, it opens an interesting dialogue about the other person's personal boundaries and dating experiences. 4 . If, after a month of no-sex dates , I feel enough interest, atrraction, trust, and possibility, I become open to taking the risk of exploring the next step of becoming involved with that person, if and when they are ready.

Each season 10,000 copies are mailed to subscribers and distributed in Western Mass., Southern Vermont and Southern New Hampshire.

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Practice self-comf assion

The ftnal point would add about healthy dating is to practice compassion for the other, and especially for yourself. The idea of these guidelines is to promote safer, saner, more effective dating, not to kick yourself for failing. We are all human, and in dating we are dealing with quite powerful inner longings and drives. I know of no one who has not made many "mistakes" in this process. Books such as If the Buddha Dated by Charlotte Kasl, The Wisdom of No Escape by Perna Chadron, and Peace Is Every Step by Thich Nhat Han, are loaded With good advice for practicing self-compassion in daily life.

Charlie Hertan is a therapist specializing in community mental health and trauma recovery, and a writer, photographer and numismatist. He lives in Northampton, Mass., and welcomes your feedback at cehenan@rcn.com.

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Hoop Dreams By Michael Burke

T

he sound of the basketball bouncing on the driveway. The clunk as it hits the backboard, then the rim. The swish as it goes through the net, then the bouncing resumes. When I first heard it again-after 20-some years of silence-I shouldn't have been surprised, but I came out to witness the miracle : my eight-year-old son Isaac out in the driveway, dribbling the ball, lining up the shot, giving a little jump and firing it up. He had a new ball, a hoop we'd just put up for him, and a week of basketball camp under his belt, and be was polishing his newfound skills. It was a glorious sight and sound. And it carried me back-way back, to my childhood in southern California, and the backboard my father put up above our garage so that I could play. My friend Gary and I spent whole afternoons out there, playing one-on-one or H-0-R-S-E. Sometimes after work my dad would come out and shoot with us, lofting up that push shot he ' d learned back in the Cretaceous. Sometimes other friends joined in. But often it was just me, shooting and shooting until the sun went down and well beyond, until my mom called me in for dinner.

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.lt was my therapy, and my escape: whenever school and homework, peer pressure and hormones grew too much to bear, whenever what was going_ on in the house built up to the point where I had to get out-and before I could escape by just getting in a car and driving off-I had the hoop , and the driveway, the bouncing of the ball, the arc of the shot and the singing rwine of the net. There's a rhythm to it: bounce , bounce, gather, jump, shoot. And I shot and shot: the "paint spot hook, " and the other unlikely shots from various grease stains and cracks in the concrete. The layup drills, and the attempts to master Kareem Abdul-jabbar's famous Skyhook. I shattered floodlights after dark, cracked car taillights, ruined innumerable flowers growing innocent in their beds. But for some reason my father-normally precise about order; cleanliness, and keeping things in good repair, and a flower enthusiast to boot-never yelled. Like other kids, I had my hoop dreams. I wanted to be Wilt Chamberlain or Kareem, tall and imposing, dominant and cool. Or maybe, more likely, a pale white guy like jerry West,

shooting the game-winning shot from halfcoun as if he worked on it every day in practice, or smoothly driving the lane and laying it in off his fingertips. Or I might be Bill Walton, another tall SoCal redhead who could pass and shoot and play the game. To play the game: to be pan of it. That's what I wanted. I hoped to be at least six foot eight, muscular and fast, but had to settle for six-one and slow. I wanted to go to the famous john Wooden basketball camp, but my parents said if I made the junior high team they'd think about it. john Wooden, the Wizard of Westwood, was a basketball god in southern California; he coached several UCLA teams to the NCAA championship, all the while looking like the quiet, buttoned-down midwestern English teacher he was. He didn't throw chairs, didn't yell at his players or even argue with the refs much. He didn't have to ; he was God. But I never got to Coach Wooden's camp; I was cut from the seventh-grade team after the first tryouts, and it became apparent that athletics were not really my fone . My hoop dreams thereafter were confined largely to the driveway and the blacktop. In high school I got involved in theater and the school newspaper, majored in history in college and began writing poetry. My dreams began to diverge into the areas of literature (romance) and book publishing (commerce). But I still played-on intramural teams in college, in Riverside Park in New York, in a three-on-three tournament in grad school, and for a few years in a regular pickup game at Amherst College. My dreams had changed, their edges shaved down by the sharp plane of reality, but I didn't love the game any less. Isaac's dreams are still new, still fresh . He believes he can be a pro basketball player-or a baseball or soccer star. He also might fly in the first manned spacecraft to Mars, or appear in the seventh Harry Potter movie (once he masters that English accent) . He might do standup comedy, argue a case before the Supreme Coun, or design a new kind of solar car. He might, on the other hand, do none of these things-but for him the sun is always rising, like the ball rising into the air and arcing toward the rim. I know, but haven't told him yet, how hard it is to become a pro athlete-it's a longshot. I haven't told him what else I know: that the sun goes down eventually, settling toward the horizon like a ball on its downward arc, and you don't know if it will slide cleanly through the net or rim out. The future's unknown. But this afternoon the rain has stopped, and I look up from whatever's been worrying methe calls I have to make, the work yet to be done, the lawn unmowed, the laundry piling up-and I see him practicing his moves: the crossover dribble, the double crossover, the in-and-out. I hear the ball bouncing, and see the shot go up: I see 路the ball rising toward the basket, I see my son watching it go, I see and hear the thunk as it hits the backboard, then slides through the net. The bouncing begins again. I think I'll go out and join him. The sun has come out, there's a place to play, and dreams, whatever they are, look beautiful in this light.

Michael Burke is a volunteer fadlitator of the MRC's men's support groups and serves as Voice Male's managing editor.


What Boys Need from Their Fathers

walked into my father 's office to settle a score; he thought we were going out for lunch. For the 25 years prior to that day, no one in our family had found the courage to speak ·honestly and directly witl1 my father. All that would change in 10 minutes. I told my father to stay seated and n o t respond to anything he was abou t to hear. He had been given plenty of time to speak over the years; this was' my time. In short, what I said was: "Growing up with you was very difficult. You

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To Know and Be Known By John Badalament The door opened and my father motioned for me to step ou tside. As if watching myself on a movie screen , I followed and sat next to him on the hotel floor 's back steps. He began to weep and so did I. Through the tears, he managed to say, "I never meant to hurt you. " That was as much of an apology as I would ever get. He never went into the details of his life with me. He never asked for forgiveness . He never held himself fully accountable. Ultimately, none of that mattered. It wasn't until a few years later that I realized what did matter. On that day, at the age of 25, I began healing my relationship with myself and truly becoming an adult. On that day I began the essential task of sorting through my fa ther's legacyfiguring out what I should carry forward and what I should do differently, taking responsibility for my own life and accep ting what my father had to offer while grieving what I would never get from him. I was fortunate to have begun this process relatively early in life, as so many men don't get around to it until their father is on his deathbed-if ever. As a boy-like most boys even today-! was taught to steer clear of vulnerability. I was taught that my sole purpose in life was to avoid siruations where I could be taken advantage of, proved wrong, or made to look like a "wimp"

were alcoholic and irresponsible. Your behavior hils damaged my sense of self-worth. Today, I struggle with many of the same battles I imagine you also struggled with at my age. Most of all, I simply want you to hear what l'm saying. I hate you for what you 've done, and you're still my dad so I love you. l'm finished blaming you; I am responsible for my own life. " I rejected his attempts at rebuttal, knowing that a pan of me would want to believe him or even take care of him. This was my time, I reminded myself. I stood up and walked out. Half an hour later, my father arrived at the hotel where I was staying. I heard the knock on the door and wondered if he would be standing there with a pistof. Though my father didn't own one, and wasn't the murdering kind , our relationship had entered into very strange and new territory; anything seemed possible.

or a "pussy." Doing the emotional work of sorting through a fatl1er 's legacy, whether he is alive or not, requifes facing the difficult fee lings of love, pain , and loss. In short, it requires the very thing we're taught as boys and men to rid ourselves of: vu ln erability. By standing before my father-the "man liest" of men in my eyes-and telling him how I experienced our rela tionship, I threw away everything I was taugh t as a boy. The great irony is that by maki ng myself vulnerable, risKing what little connection we had, I actually made our relationship somewhat strongerand a whole lot more real. I was fortunate ro have the opporrunity to sir face to face with my father; some boys and men don't even know who their father is. The process of sorting through a father 's legacy is as much abour a man's relationship with himself as it is about his relationship with his [ather. It's about owning how you feel about that relationship, what you got and didn't get, what you want to do differen tly, and most imponant, how you plan to make those changes for the next gener.ation. For some men, coming to terms with their father may mean finding the courage to say (not just show) how much iliey appreciate and love him for all he's done. As men , finding the language to speal< about love can be as difficult

(continued on page 23) M

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Film Review: All MeriAre Sons

Sins of the Father Reviewed by Allan Arnaboldi ;:;:

hat do an 18-year-old Hispanic yquth, in ~eaction to his family's detention in a]apanese a 30-}'l.·ear . -old gayJapanese-.Am.eru·.can,·. . internment camp during World war ll,,became a 2 9-year-old divorced Jewish " a workaholic millionaire business executive. Neil's •". . .. musician, a 28-yeat-old. Afrkan.:.A merican• . father, preacher, professed to be proud of his Jierforming arti?t, aqd a 32-year-old white youngest son, but didn't seem to have a ch,1e "preacher's kid'' have in common; besides beihg • about wl1o he was:Why is it that so many ofus !J1en? They,are all sons trying to resolve ,tbeir meo. feel we are ''invisible" to our fathers, or at 'relationships with their fathers:• · "~M " least feellil<e .parts of us are not seen? ' .!That's the focus of a docu1pentaty film calle9 AH" J:ed, for example, just wishes his father could Men Are Sons, directed by educational consultant ·' "see my life t;hrough my eyes." Oscar, visiting his john ]3adalament.· These five meQ. came togerher (o/ clad in Mexico, cortl1onts him directly: "Sometimes with 1errence Real, a therapist ano author of two .. being with you is great and sometimes it's pretty valuable bool<s (1 Don't Want to Talk About It bad,~and I peed youtobsten.to that!" And after and How Can I Get Through to You?) to share becoming 'a father hiniself, Neil provides this tl'ieir ~rsonal stories, to examme their fathel/son understandi:r)g of fatherhood; "Presence .is what rclati~hips , and to receive suppon 9ver a }'~Car mal<es up a f~ther for me." ~ togetller to take steps in l:r~g. :r'hree are fathers All Men Are Sons lool<s at what father/son themselve.? and wanted to resolve conflict$.with.. relationships are.about through,the eyes of five their dads (living or dead) 'in order to become'' very differenf young men. 'The5e men took befterpi)l'ents; the two others, who are not fathers, ' sigrrificam steps .toward resolving the conflicts wanted to clarify and improve their relationships '\' they felt with their dads. In the process, they with their own dads. VVh.ile Cach of their situatitms, , gaiij~d insights into their fathers and then1Selves i:; unique in the context of the film, they all 'tell ' and inifuted personal changes (hat, one can only stories that will resonate for many men across \ hoP.e, ll}ake them b~tterJPen and, if they the country and perhaps the world. choose, loving, present fathers themselves: '"· '" M , , . , • Some element of each sroryreJlecred absence of the father, eiilier pl'tysica11y or emotionally. . Allan Amaboldi, director of Support Programs ()sear' s father left his family to rerum to M®co*' ·at the Men's R,esource Center, is a son,Jather and , w:lien,,.,~e was in j unior ~gb school. Jonah's ' grartdfather. "dream father;" wl:ioin he Idolized, took leave . · ' f. when he was five. When Will's father's idealism , as a Communist Party activist did not get r,ealiZed, he retreated into heroin addictiOJ?-. Ted's father,

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All Men Are Sons: Exploring the Legacy of Fatherhood A documentary film directed by John Badalament Produced by John Badalament & Chad Grochowski 55 minutes; 2002

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A Gay Man's Life After 50 y God! I'm gay .. . I'm ;;..;er 50... I'm single ... 1 don't own my own home ... I'm moving down the financial ladder ... It can only go downhill from here, right?

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Many middle-aged gay men I know have had this internal dialogue with themselves. It's the kind of thought that used to wake me up in the night, tossing and turning, wondering how the rest of my life was going to tum out. Even as I approached 50, I often found myself asking: Vlhat have I accomplished? Vlhat changes have I gone through? Am I where I want to be? By the age of 23 , I had achieved some typical goals for young men: undergraduate and graduate degrees, my first professional job, marriage. We had a wonderful daughter by the time l was 24. So far so good! Then we moved for better job prospects for my wife and me, but mine fell through, leading first to unemployment and then underemployment, in a community where I had no friends. My first men's group helped me through a tough time -but it also initiated my questioning of my sexual orientation. I loved my wife and my daughter, but something was not working for us. We divorced amicably and had joint custody of our daughter, who lived half the week with each of us. I needed to determine whether I was straight, gay, or bisexual, while single-parenting half of each week. I explored a second relationship with a woman, who was also a single parentonly for us both to discover that we are gay. I went back to graduate school to obtain a second master's degree in early childhood education. In order to continue coparenting, I chose to stay in the Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts, even though it meant again being underemployed for a number of years as I moved from daycare work to private school . teachihg, and eventually to路 a more lucrative public school teaching career. During those years I experienced a variety of living situations-single roommates, a group household with other adults and children , alone wi~h my daughter. I had my first short-term relationship with an older gay man, was single for several years, and then had a 1'0-year relationship with a younger man. We even bought a house together-my first, at age 43 . I had accomplished a lot: e0ming out to mysel( family, friends, colleagues, and my elementary school community. That led to my "activist" years , when I came to honor myself as a gay man, a gay father, and a gay teacher, and to take a stand for gay youth and gay families. Ijoined the Pioneer Valley Gay Men's Chorus, volunteered as an AIDS buddy, was written about as an openly gay teacher, and, along with my daughter, was a pan of the Love Makes a FamilY photo-essay exhibit and book about GLBT parents and their children (Family Diversity Prc;>ject/ University of Massachusetts Press, 1999).

syAIIanArnaboldi

But what happens when you reach 50, your relationship ends, your house is sold (at a loss) , your coparenting arrangement changes, and your career becomes unsatisfying? Is there life after 50 for a single, gay man? As I turned 50, it did feel good to be on my own, living in a neat apartment and back in a community I had missed. l threw myself a 50th birthday party and invited my family, valued friends , and close colleagues. Redefining myself felt great for a while. I was making a better salary and could afford to have some travel adventures. But it also made me realize I wanted a relationship again. I began to take better care of myself I went into therapy, joined the gay/bisexuaVquestioning men's support group at the Men's Resource Center, and focused on building my friendship community. I gave myself permission to do more things for myself.. I decided to take an unpaid leave from teaching for a year to explore other job

Things worked out-and better even than I had imagined. I got my condo, which I love, and while not actively trying to find a relationship, I met a wonderful man. We made a deep connectioR because we have many things in common: the same age; maniage histories; long-term gay relationships with significantly younger men; grown children; accepting families; even new homes. There have been challenges, of course-having different socioeconomic statuses and living an hour apart, for example. But that has caused us to take things a little slower, to maintain some level of independence, and to communicate about what is important to each of us as individuals and as a couple. We are both at a stage in our lives where we know what we need and can articulate and listen to each other with caring and honesty. Since we are now more aware of who we ?-fe, we are able to give and receive affection operily, and have blossomed by finally being able to integrate sexual and emotional intimacy. . The potential for a snag came up recently when my weekly hours at the MRC had to be'reduced somewhat. However, I trusted that I had skills to draw upon for getting some part-time work, and wouldn't you know it, a one-day-a-week job opened up. While I have entered a new phase of my lifewith a new home, satisfying work, an enriching relationship, a stronger family connection, and a supportive friendship community-! know that challenges lie ahead. Yet I feel more settled and content as my life falls 路 into place. To top it off, just as I was finishing writing this column, I became a grandfather! I am looking forward to seeing my daughter's family grow and my grandson develop. So now, as a 57-year-old gay man, I can truly say and feel : Yes, there is a rich, fulfilling life after 50.

What happens when you reach 50, your relationship ends, your coparenting arrangement changes, and your career becomes unsatisfying? Is there life after 50 for a single, gay man?

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possibilities. Vlhile temping in a psychiatric hospital for seven months, I recognized my many marketable skills, learned new ones, and received the validation and appreciation that often were missing for me in teaching. By taking a mediation training, I developed some new skills as well. Although my savings disappeared during this time, at the point when I had to decide whether to return to teaching or not, my present position as director of support programs at 路 the MRC materialized. My lower salary is compensated by the satisfying work, and by a workplace where I give and receive support, get lots of validation, use my expertise, and gain new skills. I look forward ~o going to work and thoroughly enjoy my coworkers. I still missed having a relationship, so I tried pur.suing a few possibilities without success. Then last year something shifted my attention. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to have a mastectomy and chemotherapy, and my dad was also having health problems. Dealing with my mom's illness actually brought my family into more regular contact and allowed us to become closer. My parents agreed to sell their house and move to an independent living community. We all pulled together to get their house ready for sale. I began to realize in this process that I didn't have any equity if I needed to make a similar move in the future. My focus then shifted from looking for a relationship to purchasing路a home.

Allan Amaboldi is the MRC's director of support programs and a new grandfather. He writes frequen~ for Voice Male.


For more info or to submit new entries for Men's Resource Center GBQ Resources contact us at {413) 253-9887 Ext. 10 or voicemale@mensresourcecenter.org

AIDS CARE/Hampshire County G413),; 586z82f*l. Buddy Progra,m, transportation,

S1JPB?n groups and much more free.of charge tb peopl&livirig with HIV AIDS~Projechlf Southern Vermont (~02')1 25 ;t,-441t Free, .confidential .HIV/AlDS setvia'S, irlc1uding suppon, prevention counsehrig and volun:teer opportunities.

Amherst, MA. For information: Allan Arnaboldi, (413) 253-9887, ext. 10.

Gay Men's Domestic Violence Project Support: shelter, advocacy and referral services for male victims of domestic violence (800) 832-1901. Offices in eastern and western Mass. www.gmdvp.org

GLAD (Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders) Gay&: Lesbian Advocates &: Defenders is New England's leading legal rights organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, HIV status and gender identity and expression. 30 Winter Street, Suite 800, Boston, MA02108.1Cl: 617-426-1350, Fax: 617-426-3594, Email: ~@flad.org, URL: 'MYWglad.01g, Legal Information Hotline: 800~455-GlAD (4523) Trained volunteers work one-on-one with callers to provide legal information, support and referrals- within New England. Weekday afternoons, 1:30-4:30; English and Spanish. GLAD's Legal Information Hotline is completely confidential.

GLASS (Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Society) GLBT Youth Group of Franklin County Meets every Wednesday evening in Greenfield. Information: (413) 774-7028.

GLBT Community Center Project of Western Mass; Variety of infonnation and activities for GLBT youth and adults. Contact: Sarah Liros (413) 582-0793; www queerhamp.org. '· wvV"•u. pi~er-lacili.tated,. Monday;

7-9 p.m., §~i;SQJll\9~C!~IW~r. 236 No. P,!easant St;reet,

LOVINGKINDNESS & COMPASSION Conversations and Guided Meditation Evenings For Men Led by Rob Okun, M.Ed .. MONDAYS P.M.

7- 9

NOVEMBER 24 DECEMBER 15 JANUARY 12

Synthesis Center 274 No. Pleasant St., Amherst No Fee: Dana (Donations) only For more info/to register Contact: Rob at (413) 253-7918 raokun@aol.com

HIV Testing Online: (800) 750-2016.

(413) 625-6636. Help Unes: (617) 547-2440, (978) 579-9769, (781) 749-7730. Speakers Bureau: (978) 562-4176.

Pride Zone - GLBT Youth Group of the Pioneer Valley Meetings every Thursday at Pride Zone Center, 34 Maplewood Shops, Northampwn. Socializing, discussions, and games. Qpen for evening drop-ins Sunday, Monday, Thursday, Friday (413) 584-1116.

Proyecto Vida Proyecto Vida is a group for Latino men who love other men. Cultural, social and health activities 1655 MainSt, #504, Springfield. (413) 747-4185.

Steppingstone Transgender peer support and social group in Worcester, MA. Meetings 2nd and 4th Thursday ·of month, 7:00p.m. Information: (508) 770-9043; Steppingstone4u@yahoo.com.

The Stonewall Center (413) 545-4824 University of Mass., Amherst. A lesbian, bisexual, gay, and transgender edu-. cational resource center.

Straight Spouse Network Support groups and counseling for spouses of GLBT adults. Contact: jane Hanis, (413) 625-6636; ahanis@valinet.com.

The Sunshine Club Suppon and educational activities for rransgendered petsons. Information: (413) 586-5004. PO. &lx564, Hadley, MA 01305; www.umass.edwstonewalVsunshine.

T.H.E. Men's Program (Total HIV Education) Contact: Glen johnson (802) 254-4444, Brattleboro,

Men's Health Project

vr Weekly/monthly social gatherings, wmkshops,

Contact: Hutson Innis (413) 586-2016. Education, prevention services, and counseling for men's health issues, especially HlV/AlDS. Springfield, Northampton, Greenfield. Thpesoy Health Servires.

Valuable Families

Monadnock Gay Men hitp://members.aol.cofn/monadgay/index.html or e-mail monadgay@aol.com. PFLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) PFLAG·Pioneer Valley. Monthly meetings are second Wednesday of each month at Franklin Medical Cente~; High St. Greenfield, from 7-9 p.m. Information ~ jane Harris, aharris@valinet.com,

and volunteer opportunities. Gatherings and newsletter for everyone who supports, cherishes, and respects our lesbian, gay, and bisexual families of origin and of choke. Information: (41;3) 774-2558; PO. Box 60634, Florence, MA 01061 ; va!fams@maildty.com.

Venture Out Organized activities, usually of the outdoors variety, for gays and lesbians. Contact: Elizabeth Wilbranks (413) 527-6582; PO. Box 60271 , Florence, MA 01062. Ventureout@geodties.com.

MARK CARMIEN & STEVE LUCAS

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Shopkeepers

~oRTHAMPTON

Prid

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Books, gifts, cards, etc ...

20 Crafts Avenue · Northampton, MA 01060 ·Phone (413) 585-0683 · Fax (413) 584-4848 info@nohoprideandjoy.com · www.nohoprideandjoy.com

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Is "Gay" on the Way Out? The End of Gay (and the death of heterosexuality) by Bert Archer Fusion Press, England 2002 (233 pp.)

bert archer

THE END OF GAY

ByCariErikson

Another of his intriguing conversations takes us into the famous Kinsey Report and the "1 0 percent of men are homosexuals" statement always attributed to it. Later, he questions the whole rationale of Kinsey's sexuality continuum (pure heterosexuality to pure homosexuality). Archer hints that he sees the whole notion of sexual identity as an anomaly of the last 150 years that is finally disappearing. Sexual behavior before the mid-19th century, he argues from various sources, was simply an impromptu choice of the partners, a matter of momentary attraction and response. Few people gave this any more importance than it had for the partners themselves. From the mid-19th century until recendy, on the other hand, this response was used to assign character; limits, and expectations to the partners as individuals. In :recent years and in increasingly numerous ways, Archer says that the power of these limits and 'expectations has been undermined by the sheer joy and pleasure of attractions, particularly in young people.

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o summarize with any accuracy Bert Archer's The End of Gay (and the death ofheterosexuality) is impossible. The presentation is too complex, and Archer's writing and thinking styles too florid to:permit a tidy summation. This is not to say that The End of Gay is not worth the effort or that its thesis is dull and poindess. Quite the contrary. Simply put, Archer argues that identities and labels-related to race, gender,.sexuality, nationality- have their usefulness in political discourse and in raising consciousness, but there comes a time when they box in the efforts of individuals and the public to move on to consideration of our "real" identities. That time has arrived in the realm of sexual identity. Although public discussion is still attached to Unfortunately, Archer's writing often distracts sexual identity as a status, individual behaviors the reader from the pleasure and fascination across a wide spectrum of our society are already he can provide. It tends to be quirky in syrirax moving beyond it. Also, the label of gay sexual and full of barely sustainable flows of words. identity is now increasingly being used as a Sometimes the charm of these diversions , way to judge people politically, rather than to ironically, leads the reader to swim with the know them as human beings. Too many people, words themselves rather than grapple with the Archer says, are "(l)iving the ideology of life ideas and information in the book. Fortunately, rather than the experience of life, accumulating The End of Gay is relatively brief at 233 pages, so concepts and slogans about experience instead the effort to stay focused on Archer's provocative of living inside of experience"(page 207) . ideas is possible, and rewarding, if somewhat Simplicity, however; does not describe Archer's a struggle at times. presentation. The End of Gay is a fascinating, An interesting companion read for The End sometimes overwhelming, occasionally jarring of Gay is The Future of Love by Daphne Rose trip through an astounding range of topics Kingma. This is more philosophical and spiritual and connections . History of various kinds. than The End of Gay , but comes to similar Contemporary music. Film. Semantics. Biblical conclusions regarding the current evolution of <4egesis. Philosophy of attractions. Street sex. relationships. Never is this potpourri dumped on the page just~? ~pr~:Ss-us()i~ ~£.f.e~ e~r;::h pjese~ ~ it A writer, actor, and textile artist, Carl Erikson is were a very specllit.trea't, ·Willi a hitiden pleMtk . found at its core. Even at .his most ~perating · director of operations at the Men's Resource Cenier: moments, he can elicit in us .an ."oh, .my" of mtrigue. The most fa.?ctnafuig stbry Artne't offers concerns the role the U.S. Army and the rest of the American military played in creating homophobia in the United States during World War II and in the immediate postwar ye.ars.

·MRC

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Do you have one of the following items that you could donate to the MAC? Or do you know someone who might? .. Digital c me a a scanner • rail file cabinets

a B!lokcasc(s), especially those with taU shelV.&$

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(The journey Home to Honesty, cont. from page 13)

American tribes viewed us that way as well.) I appreciate the wisdom of such history that is not often shared or easily found I I am also grateful that no religion or organization on the I planet will ever condemn my love for men or human sexuality again and not hear about it. It is an honor to be able to share my story, to be in recovery for over nine years and to continue to pledge to remain sober for the rest of today. I pray that in a few years sexual addiction will be talked about openly and frankly as but another of the challenges we "humansexuals" encounter. I have truly learned that we are all related and all sacred on this planet. My recovery has brought me back home to my heart. May I have the humility and serenity to never forget that, and to remain on the Path.

In my first years in recovery I began taking notes in a meeting when someone shared their wisdom, something I do to this day. Those notes are golden. Without mentioning people, places, or specifics, here's a couple things I heard in rooms around America: "Let us love you until you can love yourself." "Let there be no gossip, or criticism, only love, understanding, and companionship." When I was hungry, angry, lonely, and tired (an acronym is HALT), it was at that frequent crossroads of conflicted emotions or situations that I would most likely act out. The road to healing is seldom straight and smooth. Even after entering sexual recovery, I was carded by security officers in one location during a slip. It happens. I've learned not to crucify myself for those incidents, but remain convinced that sobriety as we each define it for ourselves is hard won, and regaining it remains harder and more painful than maintaining it. All these years later I know the wolf of addiction is still outside the door of my life, doing pushups. Only the other day someone said that an actingout event is not the end of a slip, it's the beginning. I had to think on that, and then realized that when I have slipped it is usually because I am not working the steps and using the tools of recovery. The book Answers in the Heart , a daily meditation tool, has been a constant uplift for prayer and suppon. It has also been wonderful to learn that in the ancient times of my Celtic ancestors we gay folks were sacred and blessed and not condemned. (Some Native

"joe C". is a resident of the Northeast , a psychotherapist, a double rainbow warrior and a synthesist celebrating the vision of gay men and straight men leamingfrom each other in community His story was also previously shared in the quarterly newsletter of Project Speakout: GLBT Voices for Recovery.

(www.gaycenter orglprograms/mhss/speakout.htm)

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• (To Know and Be Known, cont. from page 17)

as speaking about pain or fear. Showing love througlfil'cl'iotl' is important; but if then:: is no language to confirm that love, often the other person is left wondering. This is especially true for children. I hope that my children will never have to walk into my office and fear my reaction when they speak their own truth about our relationship. just as I did, they will have to sort through my legacy; I hope they will begin that process much earlier than I did-and that they'll do it panly by talking with me. Israeli researcher Ricky Pelach-Galil found that fathers become central figures in boys' lives at around age l3 or 14. "They observe him closely: his routines, his habits, his values, his accomplishments ,a nd his failur~," :~he ~ot,e. Boys measured the quality of their relationship with their father by their ability to talk with him about their feelings, about real things they struggle with. Pelach-Galil also found th.at at this critical developmental juncture,. the majority

of boys in her study became very aware of their fathers ' distance from them. Long before the teenage years, childrenboys and girls- need fathers who ·can know and be known . They need fathers who know their interests, who their friends are, what they're doing .in school. They need fathers who ask questions, listen, and get involved. They also need dads who can be known. "Being known" means sharing who you are and how·you fee1. It means being able to show your strengths and weaknesses, fears and joys. It means being vulnerable. As men, many of us carry around those fears from boyhoodthat we will be taken advantage of, attacked, or put down for showing our vulnerabilities. As adults we need to remember that vulnerability cultivates intimacy. In my work I speak to young people and their parents around the country about their relationships with their fathers. At the end of each presentation I ask them to write down rwo things they've always wanted to ask their fathers but never have. Consistendy, the top rwo responses are: "What was your relationship like with your father?" and "What was your childhood like?" Children want and need their fathers ' stories. I call it the "elephant in the living room" of child development: the missing stories of men's lives--,-particularly men's emotional lives. If my father had told me how he was sent away to military school and how his father always called him "stupid," it might have made a difference. lfhe had had the courage to tell me

how hopeful he was when I was born or how scared he was when his relationship with my mother began to fall apart, it might have made a difference. If he had had the courage to share himself, to let down the walls berween us, I might not have repeated some of his mistakes. Instead of having to confront him in his office, maybe we would have gone out to lunch that day.

john Badalament, Ed.M. , directed the acclaimed PBS documentaryfilm All Men Are Sons: Exploring the Legacy of Fatherhood. A Harvard-trained counselor and human development spedalist, he is a national lecturer, trainer, and educational consultant to schools, parent groups, mental health professionals, corrections departments, and universities. His work focuses on developing the emotional lives of men and bays and their relationships with others.

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RESOURCES

Men's Resources (Resources for Gay, Bisexual & Questioning Men , see page 19)

The American Cancer Society ( 4 13) 734-6000 Prostate sup port grou ps , patient suppon groups, nurritional supplements, dressings and supplies, literature, low-cost housing, and transp ortation.

Brattleboro Area AIDS Project 802) 254-4444; free, confidential HIV/ AIDS services, including suppon, prevention counseling and volunteer opportunities.

The Men's Issues Page

The Fathers Resource Center www.slowlane.com(frc

www.vix.com/pub/men/index.html

100 Black Men, Inc. www.lOObm. org

National Fatherhood Initiative www.cyfc. umn.edu/Fathernet

Pro-feminist Men's Groups listing www.Jeminist. com/pro. htm

The Fatherhood Project wwwjatherhoodproject.org

Internet Resources

(4l3) 584-5690 Special needs adoption services. Counseling for inclividuals, families and children, with a play therapy roo m fo r working wi th ch ildre n . Pa ren t aid program for pare nts experiencing stress.

Men's Resource Center of Western Massachusetts www.mensresourcecenter: org

HIV Testing Hotline: (800) 750-2016

A comprehensive online bibliography of writing on men , masculinities and sexualities.

Interfaith Community Cot Shelter

http://www.anu.edu.au/-all2465/mensbiblio/m 1 ensbibliomenu.html

Men at Work is a Maine nonprofit providing opportunities for men 18 and over to share their stories and learn li fe improve ment skills . Fatherhood, relationships, health , aging, our fathers, adclictions, mentoring, and more. lrained p rofessionals facilitate. Free walk-in cliscussion group (Man to Man) meets in Ponland monthly, 7 to 9 pm on first Thursday, except July and August. Residential programs (one to three days) also offered . For more information call Steve at 207-865-2048 or check out w.vw.healingmen.com.

National calendar of events, directory of men's services and a listing of books for positive change in men 's roles and relationships.

At Home Dad www. parentsplace.com/readroom/athomedad

Children's Aid and Family Service

582-9505 (days) or 586-6750 (evenings). Overnight shelter for homeless ind ividuals 123 Hawley St., NorthamptOn. Doors open at 6 p.m.

National Men's Resource Center www.menstuif.org

www. mens tuff. org!frameindex.html (Fatherstuff) * good resource * * strongly recommended

Pro-feminist Mailing list http://coombs.anu.edu.au/-gorkin!profem.html

Magaz1nes Achilles Heel (from Great Britain) www.stejonda.demon.co. uk/achilles/issues.html

The Men's Bibliography

XY: men, sex politics (from Australia) http://coombs.anu.edu.au/-gorkin/XY/xyintro.htm Ending Men's Violence-Real Men www.cs.utk.edu/-bartley!other/realMen.html

XY Magazine http://www.anu.edu.au/- all2465/XY!xyfhtm

The Men's Rape Prevention Project www.mrpp.org!intro.html

Pro-feminist Men's FAQ http://www.anu. edu.au/-all2465!pffaq.html

Quitting Pornography, Men Speak Out www.geocities.com/CapitalHill/1139/quitporn.html

Pro-feminist Men's Mail list http://www.anu.edu.au/ - all2465/profem .html

Volunteers Needed

Violence Statistics http://www.anu.edu.au/ -all2 465/vstats.html

11

AIDS CARE/ Hampshire County (4l3) 586-8288 Help make life easier and friendlier for our neighbors affected by HIV or AIDS. Men are especially needed.

Homophobia and Masculinities Among Young Men (lessons in becoming a straight man) http://online.anu.edu.au!- all2465/homophobia.html

(Continued on next page)

Sex &love Addicts Anonymous (SlAA) (800) 749-6879 Referrals available for 12-step groups through out New England .

TRY Resource/Referral Center for Adoption Issues Education and support services for adoptees, adoptive parents, professionals, etc. Support group meetings first Wednesday and third Sunday of each month . Ann Henry- (41 3) 584-6599

Readv to Change Your Life? 413-586-7454

Men's Group Therapy

Reed Schimmelfing

Psychotherapy for:

Fathers

MSW, LJCSW 路

Couples - Families Individuals

Fathers with Divorce and Custody Concerns

Offices in Northampton

Looking for a lawyer' Call your state bar association lawyer referral agen cy. In Massachuse tts the nu mb er is 1-800-392-6 164. Here are so me websites that may be of use to yo u:

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www.acfc.org * wwwjathering.org www.dadscan.org www.divorcedfa ther:com wwwjatherhoodproject.org www.dadsrights.org * * (not www.dadsrights.com) wwwjather'S.com wwwjatherhood.org wwwjather:snetwork. org www.divorcehq.com * www. divorcewiza,路ds.com * www.geocities.com/Heartland!Meadows/1259/lin ks. htm *

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Robert Mazer psychotherapy for men in transition, men seeking movement in their lives路 free initial consultation I flexible fees

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staff member at the Synthesis Center in Amherst

256-0772 .-J

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THE MEN'S RESOURCE CENTER is tru!Y !l communit;y organization. We have grown to where we are because hundreds of people have shared our inspiration and commitment, and contributed their time, seryices, and money toward a vision of personal and social transformation. As our programs and services continue to grow in size and scope, we see that the size and scope of our communit;y support also expand. We are filled with deep gratitude at the outpouring of support. We hope the followIng acknowledgments communicate a sense of being part of a growing community of support. Thank you.

Gay/Bisexual/Questioning Men Committee: Michael Baumgartner, Aedric Frechelle, Hutson Inniss, WAVE Kapler, Adrian Montagano, Raymond Owens, Bob Reardon, john 'Trainor

Community Members of Advisory CommiHees Anti-Racism Committee: Shellie Taggart; Development Committee: Lorraine Hart;

Amherst Welding; Baystate Health System ; Bruegger's Bagels, Amherst; Collective Copies, Amherst; Henion Bakery, Amherst; Susan Omilian, La Veracruzana, Amherst; jim Levey (telephones)

Donated Space Baystate Health S>'stem; Network Chiropractic, Greenfield; Northampton Council on Aging; Earthcare!Gordon and Melanie Fletcher-Howell

Grant Support Massachusetts Bar fuundation, Women's Fund of Western Massachusetts, Jarget Stores Foundation

ln·Kind Donations

Office Volunteers Dennis Forfa, joe Kwiecinski, john ·R.oot

Student Intern Voice Male Distribution Solomon Granor, julius Nanna, Melissa Sidman, Schultz, Amherst College Community Service volunteers

As always, we extend our gratitude to the MRC Board of Directors and Advisory Board for the ongoing guidance and support they give to this organization and all who a1·e a part of it. We are also gratiful to our volunteers who support us in so many ways.

Konza Massage Deep tissue, sports, structural body work and relaxation therapy for men

Planned Parenthood of Western MA (413) 732-2363 Outreach volunteers wanted to help distribute information about Planned Parenthood's services, promOte safe sex practices, and rally support for pro-choice legislation at various events. (413) 253-98B7 Disni.bution, ad sales and mailings for Voice Male, general office work, special projects, etc. Flexible schedules.

You!

john King

(Continued from previous page) Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Hampshire County We are looking for men to be Big Brothers in the Hampshire County area. Big Brothers act as mentors and role models to boys who need a caring adult friend. To learn more about being a Big Brother, call (413) 253-2591.

Men's Resource Center

THANK

Joseph Babcock 413.587.4334 A.M.T.A Member

Very Reasonable Rates

Nationally Certified

The Power of Positive Eating 'Otganic Fruits & Vegetables • Bulk Grains and Beans ¢ii Whole Grain Bakery • Delicatessen • Cafo ~ Organic Wines • Microbrewery Beers ) . . ..., Natural Meats • Sparkling Seafood V Naturid Health & Body Care • Fresh Flowers

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Bread & Circus WHOLE FOODS MARKET Russell St (Rt 9), Hadley, MA 413--586-9932 Hours: Monday- Sunday: 9am - 9Pm

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CALENDAR Please send all CALENDAR LISTING for · events from February 1 • June 1, 2004 (and beyond) to: VOIC E MALE (ALENDAR

voicema/e@mensresourcecenter. org

pr MRC , 236 N. Pleasant St. Amherst, MA 01002 Fax (413) 253-4801 Deadline for Winter Issue: JANUARY 16, 2004 Sundays, October 5- Sw1day, November 9 Amhers t, Massachusetts

Men &Divorce This Men's Resource Center's workshop se~es helps men find their way through the divorce process on the way to a positive conclusion to the transition. Six Sundays, 3-5 p.m . Cost: $125 (advanced enrollment required) location: Men's Resource Center, :2.36 North Pleasant Sn·eer, Amherst Information: Carl Erikson, 253-9887, ext. 13;

ceril<son@mensresourcecen ter. org Fall2003 Amherst, Massachusetts Men Dealing with Depression Weekly se1ies for 8 to 10 participan ts-requiiing an eight-week co mmitment-providing information for increased insight and understanding of depression in me'n and regular support among participants ii1 the group. Led by Allan Amaboldi, M.A.. M.Ed. , MRC director of support programs, and joy Kaubin , LCSW, MOVE services coordinaror for Franklin County Will begin this fall and n1eet either Friday afternoons or Tuesdays midday, dependirlg on needs of participants. Cost: $20/session ; low-irl orne subsidy slots may be availab le location: M~n's Resource Center, 236 North Pleasant Street, Amherst Information: Call the Men's Resource Center, ( 413) 253-9887, Allan Amaboldi ext. 10, joy Kaubin ext. 23

October 13 - December 1 Barre, Massachusetts What to Say When You Don't Agree This program series is designed to help people reach satisfYing ends to their conllicts. lmagine beirlg able to competently handle yourself in an argument and beirlg able to resolve it without flight and without fight. Use this method of communication and conflict resolution to enrich your relationships. Cost: $225-$2 75 on a sliding scale location: Listening, 35 South Street Information: Emily@ 978-355-6685 or Karen @ 978-5 44-3844

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Tt1esday, October-21 , 7:30 p.m. ·Boston, Massachusetts literary Rea~ing to Benefit the Men's Initiative for Jane Doe Inc. Celebrating men's work and communi ty fo r ending men's violence against women, children , and men. Featuring novelist Andre Dubus Ill, poet and writer Richard Hoffman, and poet and writer Charles Coe.

Cost: Tickets $20 location: Emmanuel College, Cardinal Cushirlg Library Lecture Hall, 400 The Fenway

Information: Advance ticket purchase' strongly recommended. (617) 557-1830 or mensinitiative @janedoe.org. To purchase tickets on-line: http://wwwJanedoe.org!donate (select SPECIAL EVENT). Directions: www.emmanuel.edu

Looking to Connect? Try the MRC's Drop-in

MEN'S SUPPORT GROUPS

Friday, October 31, 2003- Sunday, May 23,2004

Petersham, Massachusetts The Mythic Warrior: Men's Search for Masculinity and the Sacred A 9-month training meetmg one weekend a month, for men who want to develop confidence and a new sense of sel£ Depth psychology, ritual, initiatory activities, and group processes will be used to create pos(tive masculinity that heals ourselves, and oui'families. location: Eanhlands Retreat Center Information: Sparrow Han, (802) 387-6624 or Garry Alesio, (845) 371-8046, write: Circles of Air and Stone, P.O. Box 48, Pumey, VT 05346; email: sparrow@together.net Wednes~, November 5- Sun~, November 9 Miami Beach, Florida 16th Annual "Creating Change Conference"

This conference centers around the political movement for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender justice, freedom and equ ality. Through workshops, caucuses and skills academy training sessions, the conference teaches the essential skills needed to address social and economic justice at the state and local level. Information: For questions, or to register for the conference call: (202) 639-6333, visit onlirle:

www.matingchange.org, email: creatingchangemiami @hotmail.com Sunday, November 9, 2-5 p.m. Montague, Massachusetts Harvest Schmoozefest Safe social connection around an activity for gay, bisexual, and other men who love men. Food, fun, and good srnmoozing. Sponsored by the Men's Resource Center of Western Massachusetts and T.H.E. Men's Program of Brattleboro. location: Montague Grange Information: Contact Allan Amaboldi at the Men's Resource Center, (413) 253-9887, eA't. 10;

$,

aarnaboldi@men.sresourcecenter.org Sunday, November 16 Holyoke, Massachusetts 8th Annual Challenge & Change Awards Celebration Celebrate with the Men's Resource Center as it honors Ronnjohnson, Gail Kielson and jesse Maceo Vega-Frey, 2003 Challenge & Change award recipients. Scintillating conversation, sumptuous brunch, dazzlirlg awards ceremony. Meet old and new mends, appreciate the widening Men's Resource Center community. Cost: Tickets: $35-75 as your means allow location: Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House, 50 Easthampton Road, Holyoke Information: Advance reservations required. Write : aarnaboldi@ mensresourcecenter.org, J (413) 253-9887 Ext. 10. To purchase tickets on-line: www. mensresourcecenter. org

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,,FOR MEN WHO HAVE .,, EXPEqiENCED CHILDHOOD NEGLECT·AND/OR ABUSE, Open to all men who 'have ·experienced any form ·of childhood " neglect and/or abuse m (physical, emotional or sexual) Friday~, ~;-8:30 · PM, at the ~RC '

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FACILITATED BY ·,~AAINED VOLUNTEERS "" FREE &CONFIDENTIAL


• Partner Services Ftee phone support, resources, referrals and weekly support groups are available for partners of men in the MOVE program.

Contact Carl Erikson at (~:,1 3) 253-98g7, ¥t.l,~,A or mrc@mensresourcecenter.org '

• Prison Groups A weekly MOVE group is held at the Hampshire County Jail and House of Corrections.

• Community Education and Training

SUPPORT GROU P PROGRAMS • Open Men's Group Sundays 7- 9 p.m. at the MRC Amherst office Tuesdays 6:45 - 8:45 p .m. at the Council on

referrals, parenting guidance, workshops, educational presentations and conferences. Group and individual counseling for new and expectant, separated/divorced, gay, step, adoptive and other fathers/father figures.

YOUTH PROGRAMS • Young Men of Color Leadership Project

WORKSHOPS & TRAINING

Amherst

• Men Who Have Experienced Childhood Abuse and Neglect

• Young Men's Leadership Development/Violence Prevention

• Gay, Bisexual & Questioning Mondays 7- 9 p .m. at the MRC. Discussion group on issues of sexual orientation.

• GBQ Schmoozefest Events Seasonal events with catered food , an and music, opportunities for interacting with GBQ men and other men who love men from Springfield to Brattleboro and beyond. Aprill3, June 1, 3- 5 :30 p.m. at the Garden House, Look Park, Northampton, Mass.

FATHERING PROGRAMS • A variety bf resources are available -Fathers and Family Network monthly workshops, lawyer

• Speakers' Bureau Formerly abusive men who want to share their experiences with others to help prevent family violence are available to speak at schools and human service programs.

Aging, 240 Main St., Northampton. Wednesdays 7-9 p.m. in Greenfield at Network Chiropractic, 21 Mohawk Trail (lower Main St.). A facilitated drop-in group for men to talk about their lives and to support each other.

Specifically for men who have experienced any kind of childhood abuse or neglect. Fridays 7- 8:30p.m. at the MRC.

Workshops and training on domestic violence and clinical issues in barterer interVention are available.

Holyoke &: Northampton

MEN OVERCOMING VIOLENCE (MOVE) MRC state-certified batterer intervention program serves both voluntary and court-mandated men who have been physically violent or verbally/ emotionally abusive. Fee subsidies available.

• Basic Groups Groups for self-referred (20 weeks) and courtmandated (40 weeks) men are held in Amherst, Athol, Ware, Springfield, and Greenfield.

• Follow-up Groups for men who have completed the basic program and want to continue working on these issues are available in Northampton, Greenfield and Amherst.

• Men & Divorce This NEW workshop series can help you get your bearings and find your way through the divorce process to reach a successful conclusion in this tranSition. Six Tuesday evenings September 9-0ctober 14, 7-9 pm. $90. At MRC, 236 North Pleasant Street, Amherst. For information, call Carl (413) 253-9887, Ext. 13. • Workshops available to colleges, schools, human service organizations, and businesses on topics such as "Sexual Harassment Prevention and Response," "Strategies and Skills for Educating Men," "Building Men's Community," and "Challenging Homophobia," among other topics. Specific trainings and consultations also available.

PUBLICATIONS • Voice Male Published quarterly, the MRC magazine includes articles, essays, reviews and resources, and services related to men and masculinity.

• Children, Lesbians and Men: Men's Experiences as Known and Anonymous Sperm Donors

Sam Femiano, Th.D., Ed.D. LICENSED CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST

Individual and group psychotherapy Therapy groups for male survivors of childhood abuse 25 MAIN STREET- NORTHAMPTON, MA 01060 TEL: 413-586-0515 • E-MAIL: CHANGINGMENlO@HOTMAIL.COM

A 60-page manual which answers the questions men have, with first-person accounts by men and women "who have been there. "

RESOURCE & REFERRAL SERVICES • Information about events, counselors, groups, local, regional and national activities, and support programs for men.

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8th Annual Challenge &Change Celebration \

November 16, 2003 â&#x20AC;˘ Brunch Awards Celebration

Ronn Johnson Gail Kielson Jesse Maceo Vega-Frey

Voice Male Fall 2003  
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