Dan Skili hosts the Gay and Bisexual Men’s Wellness and Support Group on MeetUp – with almost 300 members. Dan writes a little more detail about the groups for our Community Blog, below.
“We are celebrating nearly 18 months of our group: Gay & Bi-sexual Men’s Wellness and Support Group on MeetUp – with almost 300 members.
The group became a twice-monthly group from meeting only monthly, due to its popularity and the sincere need for Gay & Bisexual men to get together and discuss and work with the issues that really matter to us.
The group is held at the well-known City Lit college in Covent Garden the first and the third Friday evening of every month and it is based on the Creative Arts Psychotherapy and counselling work I provide for the charity Positive East in London; where the aim was to provide an always friendly, supportive and safe space where members would feel comfortable to express and share their experiences, thoughts, ideas and feelings with other supportive and likeminded men.
Brand new members are always very welcome as well as our much-appreciated familiar faces. Everyone is always made to feel welcome in this supportive group where you will meet likeminded men. Add yourself to the meetings before you arrive on MeetUp: https://www.meetup.com/Gay-Bi-sexual-Mens-Wellness-and-Support-Group/
– or just turn up, if you decide last minute
We have so far addressed the following topics:
‘Where we meet as gay and bisexual men’.
(Where do we meet and really connect with other gay men?)
‘Homo for the Holidays – Spending time with the family during holidays away from our everyday lives’.
(Most of us survived the Festive Period one way or another but how did we experience it?)
(Do we want to be in a relationship or not, and if we were in a relationship, what kind of relationship would suit us best?)
(Self doubt – How much is society and community telling us how to look?)
(Is it something which is hard for us men? Or not perhaps? Is monogamy something we can work on, if we feel we are with the right man?)
(Do you ever feel lonely? How do you experience loneliness? What’s your loneliness threshold? Do you think others are lonely?)
‘Dating apps ‘
(What do we really think of the social meeting apps?
Are they a useful place to meet other men socially, for a date or for sex?
Are they a cold place leaving us feeling more alone because of people’s rudeness and insincerity? Was life better before the apps?)
‘What is it to be a man in 2018?’
(Men can be sensitive, reflective, tender, listening, helpful, protective, vulnerable, sad, nurturing and supportive – but hey, so can women, right?
Women can take action, be decisive, managers, leaders, breadwinners, intellectual, aggressive, team-players, goal orientated, trustworthy defenders – but hey, so can men, right?)
(Do you feel that you live in a community?
Do you feel rooted where you live and with the people around you?
Is there a gay community? Do you feel a part of it?)
(What is your relationship to sex? Do you enjoy it mostly – or not?
Do you feel you get enough?
Do you have too much sex?
Would you say you were addicted to sex?
Do you struggle with monogamy?
How often do you think of sex?)
‘Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs’
(Do you feel you have most of your needs met in your life?)
We look forward to continuing with our group and work with many more topics.
‘Do you wish you were straight?’
(If yes, why is that? Do you manage to love yourself for who you are? Are you living ’compartmental life, being selective about where you are out?)
‘Life Style Choices’
(How much are you in charge of your own life?
How do you choose to live as a Gay or Bi-sexual man?
Have you made deliberate choices in your life or did things just happen?
What are the choices you made?)
‘IN or OUT of the closet’
(Are you in or out of the closet? Are you ‘down-low’ and discreet or do you shout gay slogans from the highest roof tops? Are you mostly proud of being gay only once per year at Gay Pride? Do you ‘compartmentalise your life, so that you are out some places, with for example certain friends and not at work? Have you often felt that you wanted to come out but find it really hard to? Are you and your partner secret to the world? Are you anxious that your family and friends won’t like it or will disinherit you? Do you need likeminded men to support you with coming out and perhaps even be role models, of a happy life as an out gay or bi-sexual man?)
Please do support our group by coming along to our meetings and by liking us on our Facebook page with the exact same name:
‘Gay & Bi-sexual Men’s Wellness and Support Group’.
Find us on MeetUp:
About Dan Skili:
Dan Skili is a qualified Dramatherapist, and is a facilitator of Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed (Forum Theatre and Rainbow of Desire) and Laban Movement. As a Dramatherapist, Dan is registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), and the British Association of Dramatherapists (BADth). He has been a practising Dramatherapist working with young people, adults and older people in central London since the year 2000 and has his private practise currently based in Wapping, Eat London.
Dan has several years’ experience working as a professional director of theatre and facilitator of therapeutic discussion groups with the charity Positive East, amongst others. Dan qualified at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, and works as a drama and movement teacher and dramatherapy mentor at The City Literary Institute in Covent Garden.
Dan was the original co-founder of Eurika Theatre company and redshoestheatrecompany. He also directed the very successful world premiere and run of the play ‘Dangerous ‘, which ran an impressive 40 nights in London and Brighton. Dan’s directed the world premiere of ‘The Ignorance’ for Fortress Productions, and also wrote and directed the critically acclaimed ‘The Machine’ for Pride in London Arts Festival 2015, which invited the audience to discuss the topics presented, relating to relationship matters and general quality of life issues.