Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-09-20
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

ManKind group invites GBTQQ men to training
by David Thill
2017-04-26

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Chicago-area men who identify as gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning ( GBTQQ ) have the opportunity to experience The ManKind Project's ( MKP's ) New Warrior Training Adventure ( NWTA ) this summer.

The GBTQQ-specific version of the three-decade-old men's training, based on the narrative of the "hero's journey"—in which the hero separates himself from the outside world and enters the wilderness to discover his inner self, in turn becoming stronger so he can be a positive force in the outside world upon his return—will be held in Woodstock, Illinois, July 14-16.

Boysen Hodgson, MKP's marketing and communications director, told Windy City Times that the organization encourages the men who participate in the 48-hour training to "have their own experience." To that end, he said, "Out of respect for the mysterious nature of the training and the difficulty fully explaining what happens, we ask men to hold this information in a 'sacred' way."

This may leave readers wondering what exactly they will get with the $700 they spend on the training. Those details are largely at the discretion of the men who attend the training—many of whom refrain from providing the specifics of what actually happens there. But to persuade potential newcomers, MKP offers testimonials from men who speak positively of their experience at the NWTA.

Sixty-three thousand men have experienced the training since its beginnings, said Hodgson. MKP, he said, works with men "to be better," to understand themselves, and build emotional intelligence.

However, the mystery cannot be denied.

Addressing the questions

Four Chicago-area men founded The ManKind Project about 30 years ago, when they began offering men the opportunity to attend a "Wildman Weekend." Now, MKP boasts an international non-profit presence. Its "Gateway" NWTAs—including the GBTQQ-specific training—mark the organization's efforts to be more inclusive of populations such as GBTQQ men, men of color, and men with disabilities. Wentworth Miller, the star of television's Prison Break, spoke positively of his experience with MKP in a speech he made at the 2013 Human Rights Campaign Dinner.

But an internet search resulted in a handful of articles that may raise questions, including several discussing a wrongful-death lawsuit brought against MKP's Houston branch by the family of Michael Scinto. Scinto, 29, committed suicide after attending the mainstream ( non-Gateway ) NWTA in 2005.

The lawsuit, which ended in a settlement, led to changes in the application process, Hodgson said. Prospective participants' applications are now evaluated by a "mental health resource team" that includes medical professionals.

"It is never our intention to abuse; it is never our intention to degrade; it is never our intention to injure," said Hodgson. But, he added, "That does not mean that men won't perceive it that way. [The NWTA] is challenging and can be confrontational."

As for MKP's stance on sexual orientation, and reports that the organization has been endorsed by reparative therapists, Hodgson acknowledged that men have participated in MKP activities who identify as having "unwanted same-sex attraction"—a mainstay of the reparative-therapy movement. The organization's official statement on sexual orientation, adopted in 2009, states in part that, "We welcome men of all sexual orientations: gay, straight, and bisexual, including those who identify as having unwanted same sex attraction."

But Hodgson said that MKP does not practice, support or endorse reparative therapy. Furthermore, he said, the organization has contacted members of the reparative therapy movement that have expressed support for MKP, "and asked them to remove all reference to The ManKind Project from their web page."

John Carlsen, Psy.D.—a licensed clinical psychologist at Englewood Mental Health Center and a board member of MKP's Chicago branch—completed the mainstream NWTA in 2013. Four years later, he's preparing to staff the GBTQQ Gateway NWTA this July.

Soon before his training, Carlsen realized that he had "never gone back into the larger world of men as an out, integrated gay man." The training made it clear to him "what barriers I was experiencing," including, most prominently, homophobia that he had internalized during his years of coming out in the 1980s.

He told Windy City Times that he is grateful for his experiences of completing his NWTA, working in his ongoing "I-Group" for men, staffing NWTA weekends and serving as an MKP board member "in a predominantly heterosexual male environment." These experiences, he said, have been "welcoming," "challenging," "deeply affirming" and "supportive."

Carlsen suggested interested readers attend an upcoming "Homecoming Celebration" that will welcome participants back from the April 2017 Chicago NWTA. This event, open to the public, will take place Wed., May 3, 7-10 p.m., at The ManKind Project's Chicago Center.

More information on the organization is at MKP.org .


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Pink Hat Run to benefit women's organizations Nov. 4 2017-09-23 - The first annual Pink Hat Run will take place in Chicago Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017 in Chicago's South Loop. The 5K/1 ...


Gay News

Michael Johnson bypasses trial, is sentenced to 10 years for hiding HIV status 2017-09-22 - New York, NY, Sept. 21, 2017 — Today, in conclusion to a prosecution short on fairness and riddled with questions about racism and ...


Gay News

Dance for Life raises $233,000+ for dancers with critical health and life issues 2017-09-22 - Chicago Dancers United ( CDU ), which mobilizes Chicago's dance community by raising funds through dance, welcomed nearly 2,300 guests at the 26th ...


Gay News

Indie film raises awareness of dangers of sex trafficking 2017-09-20 - Ric Morgan never imagined he would become an actor. He had dabbled in acting in his middle school days, but, in his "previous ...


Gay News

South Side Help Center to mark 30 years, honor leaders, support hurricane recovery 2017-09-20 - Chicago, IL September 20, 2017 —South Side Help Center ( SSHC ), a not-for-profit, community-based organization, will be celebrating 30 years of serving ...


Gay News

Center Chief Program Officer addresses LGBT suicide risks in current climate 2017-09-20 - The United States recently recognized National Suicide Prevention Week, at which time experts noted that recent and continuing events—including those both directly and ...


Gay News

TPAN to celebrate '30 Years of Hope' 2017-09-20 - On Sept. 28, Test Positive Awareness Network, or TPAN, will celebrate 30 years of supporting those affected by HIV/AIDS. Merrill Kenna, the organization's ...


Gay News

Lake County raises cigarette buying age to 21 2017-09-20 - Lake County is set to become the first area in Illinois to raise the minimum age to buy cigarettes, tobacco products and electronic ...


Gay News

Trans Disaster Relief Fund site launched 2017-09-18 - The TFA Trans Disaster Relief Fund website has been launched to aid trans, intersex and genderqueer community members affected by hurricanes Harvey and ...


Gay News

HRC urges 'no' vote on Cassidy-Graham health care bill 2017-09-18 - WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer ( LGBTQ ) civil ...


 



Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.