In this very special 💯 100th episode 💯, we are taking you behind the scenes of the idea that started it all, The Gay Men’s Brotherhood.
Today, we represent a group of thousands of men who share a vision to create a community where people feel more authentically connected to one another and feel comfortable showing up vulnerably so deeper intimacy can be established within our community.
We have invited our moderators to the podcast to join us as we share our personal experiences as a leadership team.
In this episode we talk about:
► The origin story of the Gay Men’s Brotherhood
► How this community has impacted our lives
► What it’s like to be a leader in the group
► The challenges that come with being part of a community
► Our fondest memories
– Connect with us –
Welcome to the gay men going deeper podcast, a podcast series by the gay men’s brotherhood, where we talk about everything personal development, mental health, and sexuality. Your hosts today are Calan, Michael, Ryan, Warren, Steven, Ron, and myself, Matt. We have the whole crew with us today, and honorable mention as well to Bryce, Jonathan and Carlos,
who were part of this, this vision and did their service and, and have moved on. And we are also missing Caleb today. He wasn’t able to join us today. So honorable mention to those beautiful souls as well. Today, we were talking about behind the scenes in the gay men’s brotherhood. So what you’re hearing and what you’re seeing right now is the team.
We are the leadership team in the gay men’s brotherhood. And we are excited to explore with you guys today, a bit about our experience with the last couple of years in building this beast, that, which is the gay men’s brotherhood. So we’re very excited to be here with you guys today. We’re going to be answering questions like how has the gay men’s brotherhood impacted your life?
What has it been like being a leader in the gay men’s brotherhood? What has been the most challenging thing about being part of this community and what is your fondest memory in the gay men’s brotherhood so far? So we will continue these discussions on the last Thursday of every month in the gay men’s brotherhood group, zoom hangout, where you’ll have a chance to share your own experiences of what it’s been like to be in the brotherhood,
keeping in mind, this podcast and YouTube channel, our listener and viewer supported. And if you enjoy what we’re creating, you can support by heading over to our Patreon page and contributing to the show, depending on what option you choose. W we may even send you a t-shirt as a thank you. You can find the link in the show notes. You can also subscribe to early access option on apple podcasts and gain early access to all of our amazing episodes.
All your support helps us to continue making content for you and supporting our community. And we do thank you in advance and be sure to check out the seven day trial for the gay men’s gay men going deeper membership. We have going on currently, if you have been curious about joining now is the time to check it out inside. You’ll get access to our new course,
building better relationships, as well as our healing, your shame course, and over 30 other coaching videos. So you can head on over to game and going deeper.com to find out more. So before we jump into today’s episode, I wanted to read a review from one of our listeners over, I guess, viewers, over on YouTube. She says, I’m a new viewer,
loving the topics, even though I’m not a gay guy, I am part of the LGBTQ plus community, and this is star gazer. So thank you very much for, we have a whole plethora of people who follow this podcast. It’s great men, women, all people from all spectrums. So we welcome all of you. All right. So today we are celebrating two pretty huge milestones.
So big smiles around from everybody. June 6th was our two year anniversary for the gay men’s brotherhood. And we at today is the hundredth episode for the podcast. We release a podcast every week. So that means we are essentially at two years for the podcast as well. So huge, huge excitement about this. And you know, just the fact that we’ve,
we’ve come this far and we know that, you know, the, the work we’re doing has such an impact on people. So we’re very, very happy to be able to be making that impact in the gay community and in the world. So I want to first off, let you talk a little bit about the story of origin. I’ve told this story before,
so I don’t want to go into too much detail, but I’ll maybe try telling it a different way. So it’s not for people. Who’ve heard it before you get a little bit of a different flavor, but so I put out a video, a boat, Jesus was like three years ago. And basically I was just like in a fit of rage and I hated the gay community.
And I was very, very upset and I was projecting a lot of that anger out on my YouTube channel. And from that came me meeting Callan and Callen asked me to come on his podcast at the time, discovering your truth. And we, we did a podcast episode and at that time I was getting ready to leave and go to Asia. And I was kind of what I will,
in retrospect, I was starting a healing journey, a really, really deep, big healing journey. And I wasn’t ready to do this yet. So I had to go off and I had to kind of live the life and I do my shadow work. And I came back a year later and I was in quarantine and I’m like, I want to start this thing,
that calendar I had talked about. And, you know, we talked originally about a course or something to kind of bring more consciousness into the gay community. And I’m like, what, what is, what do I want this to be? Or what do we want this to be? And I’m thinking like a brotherhood or something where we can bring community together because I was clearly forecasting that this is what I needed as part of my healing journey was a community of,
of gay men to go on this path with. And so I started tinkering with graphics on Canva and everything. And I started making the, you know, the gay men’s brotherhood logo and everything and launched it. And right away there was traction. And I was like, Kay, this is getting to be too much for me to do as like a side gig.
So I reached out to Michael and Calin was like, listen, I’m going to, let’s build this out. I want you guys to be part of this with me. And it was like thumbs up all around. So then from that point forward, we’ve just been kind of building this, this baby together. And it’s been really exciting. We’ve had lots of ups and downs,
both personally and professionally, and the three of us have grown tremendously because of this. And I want to also speak to the other people in the community as well. And the other leadership team that there there’s been a ton of growth from, from this. So I’m really honored to be a leader in this community. And I want to hand it off to the,
the moderators in our community for people that are on the, the podcast listening. They’re not gonna be able to see you and what you look like. So it will get them familiar with your voice. So if you want to just chime in, maybe we’ll start with Ron, if you want to just tell us your name and where you’re from and what you do.
Okay. I’m Ron Fisher. I’m from Victoria, BC, and I am a hairstylist. Great. And he’s got a very distinct voice. So you can you’ll know who he is. Let’s go with Steven I’m Stephen band. I live in Atlanta, Georgia, and I am a licensed professional counselor, mental health therapist. If you don’t know what that is.
Awesome. And what about you Warren? Hi, my name is Warren Gustin. I lived in Houston, Texas, and I am an operational program director for a national childcare franchise. Awesome. And Ryan, Hi guys. My name is Ryan Williams and I live in around Calgary, Alberta and I trained dogs and put up with you guys. Yeah. So those four and including Caleb’s.
So we have five moderators. You guys do a lot of the leg work in our community. So we are really grateful for that. You guys do a lot of behind the scenes stuffs that the three of us are front-facing, but you guys are working just as hard and we’re very, very grateful for you. It’s all service-based work. And that’s, again,
we couldn’t, we couldn’t grow this community without you guys. So thank you very much. All right. So we got four really juicy questions to answer and only so much time. So let’s hop in. So how has the gay men’s brotherhood impacted your life? Let’s start with Ryan. Good Lord. It feels, you know, two years later it feels like the GMB has impacted so many parts of my life.
I ended up in that group just after it was created on a, on a fluke. And honestly, that has been the best tool I’ve ever had because it’s given me community it’s given me access to tools. I didn’t know where the heck to look for them when it was incepted, I was coming out of therapy. And I remember saying to the therapist,
you’re discharging me. And she said, yeah. And I looked at her and I said, but I’m not done. And she goes, well, you’re done with us. Like, you’ve got as much as we can, you know, we can help you. And I started looking for a life coach and I wanted a gay life coach, honestly.
And there was only a couple of my friends that knew that, but that one piece of information, it put me in that group, it got me involved in things. It got me, you know, and now I have a relationship. I never thought I’d be in, you know, I’ve gained so much, so many friends, so many, so much just support network.
I mean, there’s times I don’t even want to be around with myself and there’s Matt or Michael going, Hey, how’s it going? And I’m like, you, people are brave. You know, it’s just, and same, you know, I don’t want to have to maintain relationships the way that I used to, I can pop in and say,
Hey, Kevin, how’s it going? And drop a line. And it’s teaching you those things. Those are things that I never knew before. And with a healthy support system and healthy community, I’m able to learn things like that now, you know? Yeah. It’s, it’s changed everything for me. Yeah. It’s been a while. I’ve known you for pretty much,
like you said, since the beginning, so two years and the gross Ryan, it’s unbelievable. You’re a whole new man. That’s for sure. I can’t believe it. Yeah. Yeah. What’s what, what would you say is like kind of the thing that, that was the most helpful for you to get to such great transformation? The relate-ability when I started to realize that other men have problems,
not problems, but that’s how I saw them at the time. Other men have problems too. Other men need help, too. I felt so much better. You know, having that community of men that we’re all going through our own things, we all have issues. We only help. Yeah. That was what kept me going. Yeah. I think realizing we’re all more similar than we are different that’s for sure.
Yeah. And I think like, for me, because of my disability, I was raised with a macho attitude. I was very much raised to be a man’s man because my dad wanted the best for me. So he was like, well, no disabled kid of mine is going, gonna go without. Right. So I was taught my whole life to keep all that emotion in and not really let it out.
And then I’m like, well now wait, there’s other people that are my age, same gender as me going through the same stuff that I’m going through. Why can’t I talk about it? That was such a breakthrough moment. You know, that’s why to me, that community isn’t valuable. I don’t even know all of them, but they all supported me,
you know? Yeah. You feel complete. Thanks Ryan. Does anybody else have anything they want to add to that question or want to answer that question? How has the GMB impacted your life? Steven? So first off, you know, I met Matt before he started the GMB. We met online through another group that we were both members of and we chatted privately.
And yeah. So when you started this group, you had sent me a personal invitation to join. And I was like, of course, well, it was like just a few months into quarantine back in June of 2020. And life was crazy living alone with two dogs and feeling so isolated. And so the, the best initial impact that the GMB had for me was connection with other gay men that were also spiritually oriented and open to personal growth.
So that was a huge first thing for me. And then I’m learning to express my authentic self. I knew of the concept of being my authentic self, but I don’t think I ever felt safe to be my authentic self because I think I always had this internalized homophobia and I didn’t even realize how much it impacted my life until we, we used to talk about this all the time and the month,
the, what we used to do, the biweekly zoom meetings and then all the different smaller meetings and then getting to join the gay men going deeper group about a year ago has, has really accelerated my personal growth and meeting lots of spiritually gay men worldwide has been really cool and, you know, feeling connected more to Canada than I ever have living in the United States,
my whole life and all these Canadians that have become such a significant part of my life. It’s like my family now. And I really think of the gay men’s brotherhood as my extended family and just watching how it’s grown over the last two years. And my personal growth has skyrocketed and my personal confidence has skyrocketed. And so I was single for 11 years until a year ago.
And then I met my partner. We’ve been together for almost a year now. And, you know, I had sort of gotten to the point where I figured I would probably just be single for the rest of my life after 11 years of being single. And you get real complacent and set in your ways and something about the growth that I’ve had since I’ve been involved with the brotherhood has brought that into my life.
And not that I wasn’t looking for it, it just wasn’t happening. And now it’s there. So that’s it. Thank you. It doesn’t feel like two years ago. And that was the same way that I met you. It’s the same way I met Michael through that other community. And it was like, I dipped in for 24 hours. I swooped in and I got the people that the universe wanted me to be with.
And I was like, peace out. I’m out of here. And that’s cool. Ron and Warren, you guys both had your hands up, so why don’t we go with Warren and then we’ll move to Ron. Fantastic. So I feel that I I’ve been in this brotherhood for about almost a year, 11 months a year. I came in in August of 2021.
And really the, the brotherhood has really impacted my life because I was in a, another community that I believe was my family, my community. But, you know, there was a lot of shifting, a lot of changing. And when I was at my lowest low, when I felt like abandoned, when I felt that I needed something more and I wasn’t getting it,
that’s how the brotherhood was attracted into my life. Like I actually saw like a posting from Matt and I was like, I’m feeling this energy. Like I love this energy. Like this is like new, fresh energy. And from August to 2021 to current date every day, I’m just having different revelations. I’m having different insights and I’m coming to the place where I can appreciate who I am.
I can appreciate other gay brothers around me because I had a stigma about gay men that like, I was never going to be able to compete with this person, that person I’m always going to be the minority and students brotherhood. And this two experiences, I have been able to witness and feel within my body, just the authentic love that I’ve received from this community.
So the things that I was searching for in a previous community, I asked you found in my brokenness, if that makes sense, right? So, you know, the brotherhood was attracted into my life for a reason. And that reason was for unconditional love, for authenticity, for vulnerability, for me to rebuild the parts of myself and actually be supported for showing those flaws and those parts of myself.
So that’s how the brotherhood has impacted my life, which has impacted all the other areas of my life personally, like my work and my job and my finances and all of that, because I feel good within my heart and my space. And that’s what I would like to share about that. Well, a common theme we’ve seen in the brotherhood is because we have a fairly large community.
We got 5,600 guys, right. But the engagement in the community isn’t of 5,600 guys. So there’s a lot of people on the sidelines they come in and they chime in and they observe and there’s benefits to that, for sure. We know that holding space for other people and their sharing and stuff is really beneficial, but you’ve jumped in, right. Like head first.
And you’ve been, so can you speak to that a little bit? Like just share what it’s been like to, you know, for the people that are on the sidelines, like did the difference between being on the sidelines to being in the arena? Like what has that experience been like for you? So I’m trying to understand the question. So when you say jump in,
I will say this as I’m processing, the question is, you know, at the beginning I came into this space in a very vulnerable time aware. I had a lot of distress because coming from my previous community, there was just a lot of distress. So I had to, essentially in my mind, I believe I had to qualify the space. And I think there was a point where I qualified the space,
but I had to surrender and let go and allow what I wanted to be attracted from my life. So I do remember coming into the community the first week and really being on the sidelines and really try to vet people, making sure that I wasn’t going to be heard again or abandoned again, or, you know, what I was having in my previous community.
But there was a point where my soul and my body was like, you know what, Warren just trust, just immerse yourself in the community, be vulnerable, reach out light postings, reach out to the leaders and just really share what’s on your hearts and what’s happening in your, your, your life. And when I allowed myself to do that, I attracted the things that I needed.
I attracted the coaching that I needed. I attracted so many things that I needed to heal those broken pieces that was turned into gold. So yeah, You hit the nail on the head cause that’s kind of what the question was. I know my question was a little convoluted, but the things I heard out of that was trust and reach out and it takes trust to reach out.
But that’s what you did. You trusted, you reached out and then you built the community because when we’re on the sidelines, we can’t transform any community. If we stay on the sidelines, we have to start to trust, take the leap of faith and put ourselves into the community. And I think that’s something all of us have done. And that’s why we’re in this leadership position and why we’ve seen such great transformations over the last few years.
So I just wanted to bring voice to that. So thank you for Ronnie. What about you? How has the GMB impacted your life? Well, I think that for me, I always start this off, but having only been out for seven years, I had no idea. I didn’t like where’s the gay community and I sort of came out of the gate running and eventually I came across the gay men’s brotherhood.
It was just like, and like Steven said, it was at a time when we were walking down. And so it was, gave me a lot of time to sort of immerse myself and learn about me and have a place to do that. And what I really really realized and, and, and the huge benefit for me was to learn that like Ryan was saying the skills,
the tools, the things I hadn’t thought about and, and to get to know my community and to have one, I didn’t realize that maybe this is one of the other questions, but I didn’t realize that there was a lack of community within the community until I, because I found the community, the minute I came out, I found you guys and I just thought it was awesome.
And I am the kind of person that jumps right in and participates because I find that I learned so much that way when I totally immersed myself into something. And you guys were, I just trusted you right off the bat. I just felt comfortable in this space. I never questioned for five seconds. And the growth that I’ve seen amongst us as a,
as a group, how we shifted and changed and maneuvered and learned. And it’s amazing. And I’ve, I’m so thankful. And I feel so blessed. I feel like it was just like, it was a meant to be, right? Like you, you, you, you turn up at the place that you’re supposed to be when you’re ready for,
for being there. And that was being a member of this brotherhood it’s hit, has been, it’s changed my life. So I’m complete, You’re on the fast track. You’re on the fast transformation track you’ve gotten like, woo. Yeah. Cool. What about you guys? Colin and Michael, do you guys want to answer this question? Sure, sure.
I’ll jump in on the conversation. Oh God, this is such a big question. Like it’s Like take your time. It’s take it over. But in like such a good way, like little did I know all those years ago when I reached out to you to be like, Hey, you know, would you want to be on my podcast? Did I think that all of this would happen?
You know, years later it’s really taught me a lot about community. It’s taught me a lot about trust. I had a lot of trust issues just from like my childhood and my past, all of the listeners know the stories. And so not only working with the community and helping and working with them, but also just the three of us and working through our own personal stuff,
because behind the scenes, it’s not like rainbow and sunshine and lollipops all the time. Like, there’s definitely been like head budding and conversations and deep conversations and woundings come up and, you know, but being able to be held in that space where I feel safe enough to unpack that stuff and go, okay, I’ve I feel safe in this space. It’s uncomfortable to have this conversation,
or is that comfortable to go here? Or I don’t know how to navigate this, or I don’t know how to do this well, but I’m going to, I’m going to push myself to do this. And the growth that I’ve had personally and professionally through going through this journey has it’s been insane. Like, like I can’t even imagine like what I,
where I would have been without this. I used to struggle so much just in my confidence in who I was and what I had to offer. And now it’s like, I don’t even bat an eye at that. Not like, like egotistical, like confidence, but just like when you’re first starting a business to have the confidence to do it, versus having done it for a number of years.
And now you’re, it’s like, okay, yeah, I know how to do this because you’ve exposed yourself enough and you’ve gone through it. So that, and the community just constantly seeing new people come in and comments on YouTube or, you know, comments on, on the podcast, like apple podcasts and whatever. And people saying like how much it’s changed their lives.
And, you know, they listen to something and they write a comment or like they go on and they tell like a huge life story sometimes. And just seeing some of the things that it’s just like, I was a part of that. I was a part of that person’s journey. And sometimes I have to take a step back and really be grateful for that and remind myself as that.
And I’m really excited and happy about this episode because I didn’t realize that that’s what this was going to kind of be. But as everybody was talking like Ryan right off the bat, as soon as he started talking, for some reason, I just got really emotional. I was like, ah, I’m going to cry today. Our dye, like, just because it’s a reminder of all the amazing things that we’ve,
we’ve kind of been able to go through together and to support each other through, as a community, especially during like really difficult times in the world. So Guys, we have t-shirts now Check out, check out our titties. So that’s for me. What about you, Michael? Yeah. I mean, you guys have said so much and I want to echo all that.
Yeah. I think from, from, at the, at the surface level, from like a business perspective, obviously it has opened a lot of doors. You know, there’s been a lot of people who have, you know, as Khan was saying, every showed and said that we’re doing great work, which was always very nice to hear be it in comments or even in person.
It’s always nice to get that. And again, working with Matt and coun, you know, I see these guys more than I see most of my, most of the people that I, that I live with. And I have never actually met Matt in person. So, you know, we work together and it’s, it’s hard. I left, I left,
I chose to be an entrepreneur so that I could work by myself yet the universe had other plans. So I think going through that has helped me grow as an entrepreneur, learning from these guys, learning how to collaborate in a way that is conscious, conscious collaboration, not the competitive a world that I came from in the corporate world, but even beyond the business side,
I think in a personal way, the question is, how has the GMB impacted your life? If I don’t say star, I’m going to get in a lot of trouble. So for those of you who don’t know, I met my partner through the gay men’s brotherhood. We’ve talked about it on the podcast before we actually have two podcasts episodes where like I’ve invited you listener viewer into our relationship,
which is very new for me. But yeah, I think, you know, I have to talk about that. I mean, he, he reached out, he was one of the things, one of the first people within the group back in 2020, and he saw my video on confidence back when we were doing our motivational Monday videos and something about that video just drew him and we started chatting and I kept pushing him away and he kept,
you know, reaching out again. And I kept pushing away for a very long time. But eventually, eventually I saw the light. I’ll say that. And yeah, the rest is history. So, you know, there, the irony of that of course, is that this is not a group for dating. And we made that very clear. This is not a group for finding that kind of thing.
I was not looking for that yet. And that’s how the universe works. Right. It just kinda happened. So I think that is definitely a big one that I want to give voice to. Thanks guys. I might as well finish off the deck and answer the question myself, how has the GMP impacted my life? Well, it’s been huge. It’s the same as Callan.
Like it’s, I, there was so much resistance for me to join community. Cause I was terrified. I had so much unresolved trauma. I had a lot of trust issues with gay men with just men in general. And this was the project that my soul was like, you gotta do this. And my ego had so much resistance. I was like,
I do not want to do this. It’s going to bring up all my stuff I knew it was going to be well, the first year was very, very hard. The second year was I got to reap some of the benefit of the hard work that I’ve put into year one. So for me, it was just very transformative personally. I found and still find the community to be quite activating.
There’s a lot of stuff that’s talked about in there. Everybody’s bringing in issues that I have as well. And, and some of them are resolved in some of them are. So it’s like every time I go in there, I’m like seeing parts of myself that I’m like, oh yeah, like that still needs to be integrated. This still needs to be worked on.
Right. It’s a, it’s a very activating community. And I hear that from a lot of people. But as we know, when we shine the lights on the parts of us that need the light, then we, that they get illuminated and we get to do the work. Right. And then we liberate. So I would say the impact on me and my life was liberation.
Feel a lot more liberated. I feel a lot more confident. I now understand the true meaning of, of leadership. Two years later, I think I started managing and that is ego, right? I was leading with my ego and there, my intentions were good for the most part, but I definitely didn’t understand what leadership was. And I now understand what leadership is and that’s been really powerful for me.
So I think the biggest thing is my lone Wolf has been tamed to a certain degree. I still love my lone Wolf because I love being alone sometimes. And, but you know, it’s, I don’t, you guys are my GMB really like I’ve have offshoots of private groups that I run with people where I’m a member of them. I’m not a leader in them.
And those have been very transformative for me. So I’ve utilized the community to make connections that I now have outside of the GMB, although it’s kind of all in that same umbrella and you guys are all my friends. So that’s, I’ve gained a lot of cool friends out of it. It sucks. I haven’t met most of you. I’ve only met Ryan and Ron out of everyone in the whole community.
So I look forward to being able to get a retreat going at some point or, you know, getting people a bit closer together so we can all hug and share a drink and celebrate liberation. Right. So, yeah, I’ll leave it there. And we’ll move on to the next question. Unless does anybody else have anything? They want to add Ours,
just going to say, if there’s listeners out there and you want like retreats and stuff like that, something that you want, like let us know in the comments or like send emails and let us know that that’s something. Cause if you don’t tell us, we don’t know exactly what you want. So let it be known. Yeah, it’s coming. I feel it coming Info at gait.
Men’s brotherhood.com. Yes, yes. Yeah. Hit us up. All right. Next question. And we’ll just all just open it. So put up your hand, if you want to answer this one, because not everybody’s going to have, we’re not gonna have time for one to answer every single question, but so what has it been like being a leader in the gay men’s brotherhood Or,
you know what I think we should do? Sorry, not to step on to is we can have the all three questions and everybody can pick one of the questions and answer that one. So you can ask who wants to answer and then they can choose which one they want to. Yeah, I like that. That’s more organized. Yeah. So why don’t you start callin Put me on.
So I’m like, But a big bout of move. I walked into that way. Okay. So I think I’m going to go with, what’s my fondest memory in the GMGD so far, and it’s gotta be hard to pick just one, but I’m going to say I’m going to kind of pick two. And I think the first one is kind of like an overall memory of multiple experiences,
but that was like the, the bi-weekly Hangouts, like the zoom Hangouts when we first started them and just like the compacting experience of like constantly getting to meet new people every single other week or once a month and seeing the transformations that they were going through and the things that they were getting from that I really enjoyed those experiences in. And that kind of all just mushed into one.
Cause I can’t just pick one, but then my second fondest memory is actually a recent fond memory because Warren actually had the experience of being able to come to Toronto for pride in July. And so that was really special. Being able to meet him in person. And it happened through this community and being able to experience community and have him experience what my life is outside of this and for having him to see that was a really,
I think both of us can both acknowledge that that was a really special experience for both of us. And so I think I’ll always carry that because it was just so much fun and it was just like, oh wow. Like he’s like up here from Texas and he’s having a good time in Toronto. And it’s just like, yeah. So that was probably one of my fondest memories is there’s going to be many more to come.
But to this point, I think that’s definitely one of my Top. Cool. I can feel the excitement and the joy more and lit up when you shared that. So that’s really nice to see and feel. Do you want it? Yeah. So I definitely have to go after that wonderful share. Yeah. So, you know, that was definitely one of my fondest memories with the game of brotherhoods so many more to come,
but you know, just that part of myself, you know, as I’ve done the work and I’ve immersed myself in this community, it allowed me to feel safe and trusted to lead the United States to go Toronto and just have pride and just really be liberated and really be in community and really kind of rewire my brain in regards to what is authentic gay community or what is authentic community in general.
And for myself, it just felt like I was at home. Like it thought what I D I wasn’t competing. It didn’t felt like I was limited. It felt that I was accepted and approved. I think that was part of the liberation is that like I accepted and poof of myself. So I allowed myself to be present in the moment with other gay men.
And I was able to see the realness or not the ego, but like the truth and the realness is that like, I’m not dirty. I’m not too dark. I’m not, you know, all of these things that like, I, that was hindering me for a very long time. I allowed myself to see my true self. So, you know,
that’s kind of always been a challenge for me. Like as the African-American gay man is really being in my stories of, oh, I’m always going to be the minority or, or, you know, this a lot of like limiting stuff. It’s like, I’ll always be a statistic or I’ll always be bad, or I’ll never be, you know, I’ll never,
you know, all of these stories, you know, the stories are coming out of my brains. I can’t really remember it because I choose not, I choose to release it. Right. But these experiences of really being in my power, being in my truth, being liberated and giving myself permission to live, which has been through this community, I have learned just the permission of just living and being in my truth,
which I have to, you know, again, this community, but specifically for Mac Howard and Michael, like literally just, I remember when I first came into this community, I literally, my drive time was listening to all of the podcasts every morning. I would listen to these podcasts. And the afternoon when I was in my work there, I’ll just be listening to these podcasts and something about that in the foundation at the beginning,
just really grounding myself in regards to, you know, this freedom, this liberation, I really believe that has been the cowl colors of acceleration in my growth is because I took the Liberty of trusting this community and trusting the men in this community and really listening with my ears to really be grounded so that when it was time to be liberated, I could be liberated magically.
Right. I’ll leave it there. Thank you. What’s your, what’s one of your favorite episodes. And actually, actually I should know this, but basically when we, when we were talking about what we, as a community, we were talking about homophobia, internalizing homophobia, and I think this was an episode with Michael and there was other African, well,
no, it wasn’t with Michael, but it was just a whole bunch of African-American men, like on the, on the podcast. And that was really my favorite one, but you know, there’s so many favorites. Right. But that specifically, that specific one I connected to, because that is something that I have faced in my life. And I kind of wanted to,
I felt like I was in agreement because most of the time in most of my spaces, I’m always kind of the minority. I’m always the one, like African-American. So to be in a space where like, it was all like diverse men, it allowed me to quite honestly like qualify that this was a legit community. I’m just going to be very honest because I’m like,
okay, there’s like, there’s like four or five men that are not Caucasian. This must be, I mean, yeah. But, but yeah, no, that, that would be my favorite episode. Yeah. I believe that was the internalized racism episode. Do internalized homophobia and internalized racism. Yes. Correct. Thank you for Just looking up what number that was so that I can tell the listeners,
like what episodes that was episode 39, if you want to go back and listen to the internalized racism. That was episode 39. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And we had, that was a takeover episode and we have another one coming down the pipeline as well or a couple. So stay tuned. We want to definitely represent the minorities and the diversity in our community.
It’s really important to us because you’re right. It does that reference point or that relate-ability, it’s, it, it creates safety for people. So we want to really represent all the colors of, of the GMB rainbow. So thanks foreign. So who, who else wants to answer? Let’s go with you, Steven, Take on the most challenging thing about GMB.
And my reason for this is this group. We have men from countries that I’ve never had an opportunity to interact with before. And I’m talking about countries where it’s illegal to be gay and you could be killed or jailed for being gay. And so I’ve had a few opportunities to connect with some of those guys, but literally just this morning, I was communicating with this guy in Iran and I won’t mention his name,
but we started connecting yesterday. And then this morning we were actually live going back and forth on messenger. And he taught me, ask me whatever you want to know. And I wanted to know, what’s it like being gay in a country where you can be jailed or killed for being gay. And he told me how hard it is for him. And he’s in a,
he’s not in terror. So he’s not in like the biggest gay city in Iraq. And he has never felt like he’s ever going to have love in his life. And until he found this GMB community, he never thought he would find like-minded spiritually oriented gay men. And this literally is a life game changer for him and other gay men that live in similar type countries.
I mean, he doesn’t even use his real name on Facebook. And he told me his real name when we were chatting. And so I just felt like we had this beautiful rapport and I feel like I have a friend now in Iran, this is challenging for me because as a highly sensitive person, knowing that I’ve taken for granted living in the United States,
being a gay man and never having to feel, yeah. Maybe I’ve been teased, I’ve been bullied growing up and maybe people might judge me because they’re not open about homosexuality, but I’ve never had to be in fear of my life to feel like I could be killed or jailed for being who I am. And so that was really like a concept that wasn’t realistic to me until I’ve had the opportunity to engage with people that have to live that on a daily life,
their entire life from birth. So yeah, that’s both intense and beautiful too, to be able to realize what a difference this brotherhood is making for people in those situations. Yeah. Beautiful. I like that. A lot of exposure. I think all of us have been exposed to new different people, different things, different cultures. So I share that as well.
Thanks Steven, Ron, I kind of that triggered something for me. And it’s in that, in those, in that connection with Steven was talking about what, what this is brought up to participate in this group. You realize that like Ryan said, you’re not the only person, but it exposes you to things that you never realized. Like I always say,
I feel like I was living under a rock. And particularly since I didn’t live the first 63 years of my life as a gay man, I knew I was gay, but I was not in the community. Whether people knew I was gay or not, that’s irrelevant. And so once I got involved with this group, I’ve learned so much about myself and through others and through all this conversation and having an awareness that I didn’t before.
And that’s where a lot of the growth has come from too. Like it’s different for the same for all of us, we all have our own challenges, but to realize that that’s the human condition sort of thing. And I also see it not only from the gay perspective, but from the personal perspective of just life that people go through all these things.
And when you have a, when you’ve been, when has been brought forward to you or you, you see it, it, it really hasn’t, and I’m a highly sensitive person to it. It’s really had a huge impact on me. And that’s the part that’s been difficult. I would have said the same thing when I get involved in this community and I get on a zoom call and I hear these stories and I just like,
it makes me feel like I was so lucky, Right? Like there’s so much, and there’s so much trauma with a lot of people that have been put through things that I didn’t know. I feel like, I didn’t know. And I think that’s created a real richness in the community because it makes it very authentic, right. For everybody because everybody gets to be authentic and you hear all these other stories from other people and it creates such a diverse,
wonderful. If you’re open to liberate yourself or be free enough to, to listen to those stories, it adjusts who you are on a totally different level. So I had to, anyways, I’m complete. Thanks, Ron. I’ve actually experienced that from you just being in connection with you because we have very different paths and we’re at different stages in our development.
So I’ve learned a lot from you. Yeah. That’s one of my favorite things. I got to meet Ryan and I got to meet Matt. And that was, I was, felt so lucky about that. And it’s just like to have community that you talk like this, but to also see them in person and to have that real connection and see where they live.
And it was wonderful. Yeah. Michael or Ryan, It can, I can talk about my, my biggest challenge or the most challenging thing. Most challenging thing about being part of this community. I don’t want to be a Debbie downer, but this one spoke to me. As soon as I read the question, I was like, oh, I know.
So it’s very alive for me right now. So I don’t want to start this. I think the role of this community is very multifaceted, does a lot of different things for a lot of, a lot of different people, depending on where you at on your journey. I love that. So if you just want to go there and just read and learn and read about other people’s experiences,
do that. If you want to engage, you can do that. If you want to go into the game, I’m going to do for membership and take it to the real next level, then you can do that too. And so what I think the biggest challenge or the most challenging thing for me is when I see people using this community against themselves,
against others and against us. And that really grinds my gears because I mean, I know obviously we all here as a leadership team, including Caleb, do a lot of work to keep this, to keep our vision of, of elevating consciousness and having conversations that maybe don’t exist as much as maybe we would like them to see in the gay community and really taking ownership of what it means to have they get community.
That is like one of the reasons we started this as let’s change the conversation about what it means to be a gay man, let’s talk about personal development, mental health, sexuality, spirituality. And yet people come into this community wanting that, or they say they want that. And then, you know, using it against each other and spreading more division and more hatred and not doing that,
or, or, or they want these means of connection. But then they come in with all of their narratives, all of their victimhood, and then they start spouting that at other people. And it’s just, I mean, I know from a coaching perspective that people will only use the group at the level of their consciousness at the level of their perception.
And that’s okay. So my work has been to like make space for that, even when I don’t agree with a lot of the things people say, Matt, you said at the beginning that you can go in there and get it very triggered as DUI. Right. I still go in there and I want to just become a keyboard warrior sometimes. And I don’t,
I was like, okay, this is where they’re at. That’s okay. That’s allowed. So I think that’s, that’s the frustrating thing for me is to see that happening, especially because this community I’m sure for all of us, it’s like, you know, someone has had an extended family. It’s like our little baby grown baby now, but a baby nonetheless,
that we care very deeply about. And I know that all of us share a little bit about a little bit of that passion to, to elevate the conversations that we’re having as gay men. And so, yeah, I think that’s been, that’s been a challenge is to see it happen and let my ego just step aside and let them, let them come at us personally,
that people have come at us personally many times and as a group and, and all the things and just kind of letting them have their opinions. And that’s been a bit of my own growth and my own, my own challenge. At the end of the day, you can come into this community and you can have a wonderful time and you can get anything you want out of it.
But a community is only as good as the people who are in it. And so if you’re going to just show up and want everything spoonfed to you, that’s not what we’re about. Right. We will make room for you. We will make space for you to the best that we can, but it really bothers me when people don’t have that, that I guess they’re just not at that level where they can take charge of their own or they can own their own experience.
That’s, that’s what I’m trying to say, owning their experience of the group. We can create the space, right? I’ll all eight of us do a great job, creating the space, creating opportunities. We do the free zoom hangs every month, right? In addition to the journaling questions and all the opportunities we give. But if you can lead a horse to water,
but you cannot make a drink. So I guess I’ll leave it. There that’s been my biggest frustration. I just want to say, yeah, I was like sitting here all the time, like cocoa, Like jazzed up. I’ve felt it. Cause when they come for us, they come hard and I’m like, you got to go to therapy, that’s on you.
And it took a while to get there though. Like it takes a long time to get to a place in the leadership area where you’re like, oh, you need to take care of you. And this is your stuff. And differentiating the difference between your personal stuff and somebody else’s personal stuff. But yes. Thank you for that, Michael. Yeah.
We’ve all done a really good job. All of us, all of us here in the moderation team and the leadership team since the beginning of helping each other out. Cause I think at some point we’ve all, we’ve all made a mistake where we’ve all been attacked or something, and we’ve all done a really good job of holding space for that person. And that’s another thing I really appreciate about you guys.
Yeah. I think that’s why we have such Trust and cohesion as a group because we all have each other’s backs. Right. So yeah, that’s beautiful. My I’m going to have a similar, so that’ll be the 2.0 of what Michael said, but my own flavor. So I’ll see. But I want to hear what Ryan has to say. First.
I was actually thinking about this and a fondest memory of GMB is actually it was about a year and a half ago, Matt and I had a little bit of a TIFF and Matt set a boundary and Ryan was not having it. Ryan was like, Nope, no boundaries. Not allowed. That’s not okay. Ryan was not having it. And so I took my little tantrum and I did my little thing,
you know, over in my corner. And at the time Reno was still a part of the group. So he even messaged me and he talked to me and he said, you know, he talked me through it and I didn’t realize it at the time, Matt. And this is why this has become one of my fondest memories because you just sat there and you were like,
when you’re done, I will be here. When you are done, throwing your fit. When you are done doing what you need to do, I will be here and we will talk. I think that was the moment that I learned what true friendship was. I learned what it was like to have a true support system, you know, and to be able to trust somebody because you were,
you let me have my fit and you were there when I was done, you know, it taught me so much. That is why it’s one of my fondest memories. It taught me more than any book ever could have. So yeah, that’s what sits with me. You’re adorable. You know, it’s funny because we were on both. We were on different sides of the coin,
right. I was learning how to set boundaries and really stay in my truth. And you were learning how to receive. And we offered each other that one year and we did the work together and that’s the, that’s the power of this community. We’re all just mirroring each other. And when we can hold space for that mirroring, it’s like so profound,
the transformation that can happen. So yeah. Do you feel complete? Okay. So I’m going to answer the same question as Michael, but I’m going to, I’m going to answer it double-sided so I’m going to say, what is the most challenging thing about being part of this community? And then what has been the best thing? Because there’s, there’s,
it’s, there’s so much right. I’ve experienced it through my ego and I’ve experienced it through my soul, my heart, and I have two different experiences and I want to bring voice to both of them. I think, like I said earlier, the first year was really, really hard for me. I was coming at life through a people, pleaser energy,
and I had a lot, a very strong trauma response of fawning. And when you’re front facing in a community like this, you get the brunt of all the stuff. And I did not know how to handle that. My nervous system was dysregulated constantly and lots of activation, my own shame was stimulating other people’s shame. And I think that was through my videos,
my content, there is an energy that I was in and it was stimulating the energy in other people and that’s transformative energy, but it’s still very painful energy to be with. And it’s also painful as we receive. And, and that led to some of the stuff that you guys were talking about, just projections and a lot of hatred and hate mail and things like that.
And it was really hard for me, but it was, I truly believe that the universe put me in this situation because it knew that I needed to go into the depths and, and learn how to deal with criticism and conflict and these things. So I could become a stronger leader and that’s at the end of the day, what happened? I feel like I’m a stronger leader.
I practice more humility than I ever have in my life. And I think it’s because of conflict and criticism. And I’ve learned how to receive criticism in a conscious way. And like Helen said, I know what is, I have really good discernment now. Right? What do I take on what’s mine? And what is being projected at me from other people’s pain?
And I think if there’s one thing I’ve learned out of this community is the how shame expresses itself in the community. It leads to cruelty towards self and others, right? So the way that we’re treating others as the same way we’re treating ourselves, and I’ve seen that exemplified so much in this community and it’s been challenging holding space for that because it’s just painful to watch and it’s painful to see,
and you’re taking hurt people and making them more hurt. But I think it’s in that, that hurt energy that the transformation starts to come through. So the people pleasing side of me has been completely transformed. I don’t people please anymore. I’m very boundaried. So I think there’s so much benefit and beauty that’s come out of this and I’m now practicing with,
or showing up with more courage. I still think there’s area for improvement in this space for me, because I do still get that like energy of like, oh, I’m going to post this in the community. And then which haters are going to come in and chime in and make, you know, and dissect my work and write and all that sort of stuff.
But I’m just like, this is their experience. I’m creating an experience for somebody, right. I don’t need to own that. I don’t need to take it on. I just need to leave it there and I need to let people digest it and consume it at the pace that they’re going to. Right. So a lot of detachment I think, has been really helpful for me.
And so that’s, that’s kind of like, you know, the ins and outs. And then I would say the, the best thing for me about the community is to twofold. I think the first side is the spiritual aspect. The re one of the reasons why created that, that video is because I was yearning for my people, my tribe, I had never tasted that before.
It was all party boys, circuit parties, you know, drinking drugs that hyper-sexualized energy. And that just, wasn’t neat. I tried so hard to fit into that because I wanted community, but it just was not me. And when I created this, it was like, oh yeah. Like these are all my people, right? These are the people that are interested in philosophy and spirituality and psychology.
And if you look at who’s in the community now, like it’s amazing. Like we have like healers and astrologers and all these people, and these are, this is my jam, right. This is what I live for her. And it’s so cool to have that. So that’s been, that’s been huge. And then the other aspect is the international flavor,
because I love to travel and I love to meet new people. And I love, you know, these zoom Hangouts, where we get to see people from all over the world. And I now have friends pretty much in most countries across the world. So it’s absolutely amazing. So I know that if I ever travel I’ll have people that I can connect with.
And so, yeah, it makes me very happy. Well, we got a few more moments. I want to just open up the floor. If anybody is feeling inspired to share anything or the floor is yours before we wrap up, I’m just going to say that I’m grateful for the people on the soon, including Caleb, who’s not here, but the people in the zoom,
the moderators who helped us get here, who are no longer moderators, but we still love and appreciate them because they were part of the journey as well. And the listeners, the listeners, like this is why a lot of reasons why we do this and the listenership just month after month, week after week continues to grow. And it kind of blows my mind that there’s so many of you out there in the world.
There’s a lot of you, like, there is a lot of you and that, that means that something’s going right. Like, you know, something good is going on here. And people are seeing that and feeling that, and then they’re telling their friends, even if it’s like a secret, like, oh, you should have listened to this episode or,
oh, you should listen to this. Or like, you should check this out. And so I just wanted to express my gratitude for everybody out there, listening and watching and supporting. Cause you know, it’s been a wild two years and I’m looking forward to the next two years. I love that. Thanks Colin, Steven. So the pandemic definitely shown a light on mental health in a way that the universe never paid attention to it.
I mean, not that it wasn’t in people’s awareness, but I think people realized how vulnerable they are to the world around them. And that we need to connect with each other in a more meaningful way. And in a way that transcends being this independent being, you know, like an island unto ourselves, the way most people tend to be on a daily basis is I’m independent.
I don’t have to be vulnerable. I don’t have to work on myself and I’m strong, tough. I don’t have any issues to deal with. And the truth is we all do. And this brotherhood has given me an opportunity for vulnerability in ways I never thought possible. And I love everybody that’s on this podcast as well as people that I’ve met that I never would have met if it wasn’t for this community.
And I love that. Thanks for sharing Steven. You know, what I’m in gratitude is for is that, you know, information is free and I’m just so happy that the brotherhood has so many opportunities where information is literally free. This podcast is like free. And you know, when I came into this community, like I was abused financially in a previous gay community and I definitely was not looking to spend any money and you know,
just being in this space and being able to, I don’t know, come home to myself. Right. And just really allowing myself to be seen and to be heard and to really muster up the courage to call out my bullshit on my BS. Sorry, just really like strip away the victim hood, then the excuses and you know, why can’t do this?
Why I can’t do that. And being in my light, thinking like information on dual citizenship and like planning my liberation life. Right. It’s Listen, y’all do not know like that experience in Canada was just so life changing, but I did not want to go back on the plane. I literally was like the last night I literally was in bed at my Airbnb.
Like, okay, how can I, you know, send a nice message to my boss that telling her that in 30 days I will be leaving because I’m moving. But no, that’s a topic you see, this is what the brotherhood has done to me. I couldn’t, I couldn’t imagine a million years to be in this flow, in this energy of really being like free and like limit limitless.
So all of those pains and excuses I was living behind. Like it’s no more because that was just a recording. And like I learned to this community, I can hold myself hostage or I can be free and just be me. Thank you. Hmm. That’s amazing. We’ve converted. Ya. You’ll be Canadian in no time. Yes. And I received that.
Like I will still hold on to the emergencies, citizenship, like it’s, it’s it’s okay. But like literally the Doosan is what I’m calling for in my life. So this, any listeners out there that knows any information on dosage and ship reach out to me because I wants To get married to Warren Who wants to get married to me and we can do the,
Get ready, Warren. Here it comes. I love it. I’m embracing it. That’s good. Anybody else want to share anything? Can I share one thing quickly? Yeah. So I want to take a moment. So remember earlier I was talking about creating the space for everyone and then there’s the people who don’t take it. I want to take a moment to acknowledge all of the people on there are far more who have,
who have practiced that courage, which is what it is to be seen and be heard. So kudos to all the listeners out there, all the people that are in the group who have made a post who have made an intro post. I know I am an introvert. It would take me so much. It would cause so much fear and anxiety within me to put together a post and hit that publish button.
So for all those of you who have done it, thank you. It contributes to that, that fabric of the community. And also to those who come to the GMB zooms that we have on the last Thursday of every month, each week, Ryan is my lovely co-host hi, hi Ryan. We have more and more people who are new. It’s their first time.
And I love that. I love meeting people for the first time. You know where you’re from. Tell me, tell me how you got here. How’d you find us? And so we love that and I want to acknowledge that that’s, you know, we do create the space and if you’re out there, we invite you, take, take your space,
come to the table, take your belt, take your spot there. So yeah, just a big warm, thank you to everyone who has expressed the courage and, and is the example for the rest of the people who are, and I get it, who are like, yeah, I’m not sure. I don’t know if I want to join or I don’t know if I want to go we’re we’re a good,
friendly bunch. That’s it? Yeah. I think that’s important to bring voice to. It’s not easy going to those things, even still for me, I still get nervous going. So for people to show up in practice, courage, over comfort, it’s huge. And that’s where the transformation lies. So yeah. My second one, you said, all right,
I think we are complete. It seems like everybody’s said their piece. One thing I do want to say is, come and join us in the gay men’s brotherhood. That’s what this whole thing is about. So come and join us if you’re not there already come and join us. And I know there is some people that don’t have Facebook and if you wanted to create an account just to come join us,
that’s cool. But make sure you email us and let us know your, your profile because we often don’t approve new profiles because there’s lots of spam and we’re very, very protective of our community. We want to make sure that we uphold its integrity. So the moderators are declining posts that appear to possibly be spam. So let us know just private messages.
If you do get declined and you’re a legit person, make sure you email us at info at gay men’s brotherhood.com. So we note that we can approve you in that. You’re you’re legit. I just wanted to say that. Yeah. And thank you. Thank you to everybody for coming and spending this hour and a half today to share your experience. I feel full,
my heart feels full hearing all your guys’ stories. And again, I just feel rejuvenated and happy that we’re doing this work and we’re giving birth to this amazing thing. That’s just growing and growing each month. So for the listener viewer, please leave your comments on this episode, let us know what your thoughts are about the brotherhood experience for you. And we’d love to hear,
hear that what you’re experiencing and how you’ve been experiencing the community. Yeah. You have something to say Callan. Yeah. I just wanted to say, and if all the cool kids out there still listening and they want to get the shirts that me and Michael are supporting. If Michael wants to stand up, we’ve got gay men going deeper podcast, or they can go over to our Patrion and find out the information on how they can get themselves those shirts.
And it also helps support us and this amazing community. Yeah. Cool. All right. Well until next time, everybody much love To be celebrating both.