Support meetings

You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.
—Andre Gide

You're not alone
Questioning 

“…an amazing group of men on the same journey as I, welcoming me into the group. Under the guidelines of confidentiality, honesty, speaking our own truths and not telling others what to do, the group provided me the space to share openly and without fear. I’ve gained insight, perspective and support for making my life decisions.”

Every Thursday evening, except when falling on a holiday, the Gay Fathers Association of Seattle (GFAS) hosts a safe and anonymous support group meeting on the Group Health Cooperative, Capitol Hill campus in Seattle. A social hour continues after each meeting, for those who are interested.

WHO:
All interested gay, bisexual, or questioning men of any age who are or have been married or partnered, with or without children are all welcome to all GFAS meetings. GFAS membership is not required.

On the second Thursday of each month a special bisexual men break out session is held along with the regularly scheduled support meeting.  We start our meeting together and then create two seperate areas for chat and building camaraderie.  If you wish to attand either of these meetings in particular, consult our calendar on the GFAS Yahoo! Group message board.

WHEN:
Every Thursday evening from 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM  (including bisexual break out meeting every second Thursday), excluding holidays. Please visit the GFAS Yahoo! Group calendar for details. Yahoo! Group registration is required.

WHERE:
Group Health Cooperative, Capitol Hill campus, South Central Building, 201 16th Avenue East, Seattle.

Enter the building through the north entrance of the South Central Building, and then go down the stairs to the Atrium cafeteria. There are several meeting rooms surrounding the Atrium. GFAS meetings are primarily held in conference room A91/A92 to the right and down the hallway going back along the stairs. Occasionally Group Health will assign an alternate room, on these occasions the meeting announcement will be updated with the correct room. Please check the GFAS Yahoo! Group calendar for these changes.

WHAT TO EXPECT:
Be prepared to be warmly greeted and listened to, at whatever your comfort level. There’s no pressure in this friendly and supportive group setting.

After a brief introduction about GFAS, the meeting facilitator will introduce themselves and then ask that participants follow these meeting guidelines:

  • Welcome every man in a spirit of acceptance and trust.
  • Give freely of your personal experiences and avoid telling others what their experience should be.
  • Respect the confidentiality of every man, unless they give specific permission to share their experience with others.
  • Respect the views of others, although you may not share them.
Participants then introduce themselves, or not, and share their personal concerns. Some will be long-standing members; others may be attending for the first time. A conversation begins with participants joining in as they please. Each brings their personal perspective as the group works together through issues such as parenting, coming out, relationships with wives, children, families, friends and partners.

Words from a member
“Attending a support meeting is typically a new experience for most of us. What I would like to emphasize about our group is the comradeship we have for each other. After all, we are a support group of men with similar paths in life. We come to the meeting for ourselves (and dealing with family issues), but at the same time we're here for each other. We are not professionals in the area of counseling, so our goal is not to pass on any authority or directive or to try and tell fellow members what they should or shouldn't do. We speak from the 'I' position (and hopefully from the 'heart') to try and explain what we are doing and thinking as individuals, what we have found that either worked or didn't work (there being a lot of "trial & error" in life and lessons to be learned).”

 

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