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As an openly gay facilitator at EVRYMAN, a men’s wellness organization, I really wanted to host an event to celebrate Pride. But how do you do that when 95% of your membership is straight? I banded together with fellow gay EVRYMAN facilitators Marc Holzman and Mike Sagun, and we came up with the idea to host an event where straight men could learn more about our community. This could be a safe space to ask tough questions, and go deeper with other men into the bullying, shame, and our life experiences as gay men.  We are thankful for Rhone for sponsoring this event and spreading the word!


The event was held on June 18th, and while we thought it would be great to have a few men join, our hearts burst when so many men joined the call. These men were straight, gay, bi, and all eager to open up. Men discussed their coming out stories, their love of their trans and non-binary children, and their past experiences both with bullying and being bullied. As Owen Marcus, EVRYMAN’s co-founder stated, “I don’t get moved to tears by sadness much these days, but courage is a different story. Today I saw so much of that from these men, and I have such respect for the LGBTQ+ community for that courage.” While there were too many topics to address in 90 minutes, the question that came up the most is, ‘How can we help?’ 


Here are some of the responses that resonated:


  • We don’t want acceptance; we want to be your equal. It’s not enough to ‘tolerate’ us. 

  • Go deeper than appearance. You don’t need to know why people dress, act, or look a certain way. Find the common humanity between you.

  • Engage with an LGBTQ person, get to know them. Ask an LGBTQ friend if they are open to sharing their coming out story. 

  • Fight for us. Straight people are often in circles we are not. Be an ally and discuss LGBTQ issues with other straight people who may not be allies. Vote for people who support the queer community.

  • Ask people their pronouns and if you use the wrong pronouns, simply apologize.

  • Support local LGBTQ shops, yoga studios, bakeries.

  • Watch the docu-series PRIDE on FX/Hulu. This new series chronicles 60 years of Pride by the people who lived through it and did the work. 

  • Pride, equality, LGBTQ rights and issues are important 365 days a year, not just for one month (as Rhone’s David Benavides reminded everyone as well!).


I am grateful to all the men who attended the event, and in case you missed it, this will be an annual event for sure. Interested in connecting with this amazing network of men? Come join us on one of our weekly calls and get ready to have your heart opened.


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