The Toronto Men's Group is a discussion; support and social group for gay guys in Toronto since 2006.
★ We've already had more than 750 meetings! together as well as many socials ★
The Group is on the Meetup site since 2010. Several guys attend meetings on Wednesday and Thursday evenings at 7pm. The group offers men an opportunity to meet new friends, discuss life issues and interactions with others, learn about ourselves and others, relationships, challenges that we face such as discrimination; mental health issues, finding a partner; staying in a good relationship; how to re-invent and empower yourself; and many more - see more topics below. Your participation level is up to you, some guys might attend "just to listen", especially in the beginning.
"Victory Award" 600th Meeting! Sept 2013
The number of members are capped at about 120 (around 80 via the Meetup site), this is done for meeting space and group logistic reasons. The group's SUCCESS is largely contributed to guys showing up for meetings, this is NOT a non-active group that's only on the internet. Because of the group's structure - it's a bit like a big hockey team that practice together: Once you've attended your first evening and you like the experience - it is recommended you attend meetings on a reasonable regular basis to stay part of the group. There's no reason to fear the 1st evening you attend: Come soon, the group is popular because people ENJOY being here! See the "Group Reviews" tab.
WE HAVE 3 GROUND RULES
CONFIDENTIALITY - What we say and discuss in the group is confidential. SAFE AND NON-JUDGMENTAL - You are in an environment where your ideas and thoughts can be openly shared (if you want), for feedback and discussion. RESPECT - You can really share anything on your mind and what you want to talk about, just do it with respect towards others.
*Please don't cancel ON the day of the meeting. This will result in Meetup showing a "no show" tag next to your name and if it happens again, your profile will be deleted automatically*
ADDRESS; TIME; ETC FOR THE GROUP MEETINGS
Location : Downtown at Homewood Avenue, M4Y 2K2, Toronto.
The precise meeting location is provided to you once you've signed up for the group.
It is close to the subway & streetcar. If you arrive by car, free
parking is available in the underground parking garage.
When : Every Wednesday and Thursday evening.
Time: 7 pm till 9h30 pm.
The Group has supported several charities including the above groups.
ATTENDING THE GROUP
Sign up via Meetup, see the tab on the top right hand corner of this page "Join us!".
The atmosphere at the group is often described as "Caring; respectful; interesting; vibrant & life-changing!" I respectfully ask members not to cancel attending a meeting ON the day of the meeting. I know this is not always possible, but this will result in your chair being empty, thus taking the opportunity away from someone else who could have been here.
YOUR PHOTO ON MEETUP
For uniformity, upload a picture of yourself when you join. If you want to stay "anonymous" on the net (not all of our members are out of the closet for example, and we fully respect that), a small picture or one taken from a distance is also good. Feel free to use a nickname or a pic of a flower or cat for example! Note that if you do upload your own picture -most of our members do- it will appear on the Meetup site and people might find it via Google, etc.
Discussions may be simple and fun with loads of laughter or it can be very serious. There's usually a topic lined up for discussion but men are also encouraged to bring topics to the table that is important to their lives. The guys attending range from middle 20's to late 50ties: this makes it a very interesting mix! On an average evening there might be 3 students; a teacher; a lawyer; a nurse; a psychologists; a social worker; a banker; a construction worker; 2 retired guys and 3 it-workers present.
Many friendships have been made from this group, not to mention some longterm partnerships as well. The group is therapeutic, but not group therapy. By this, I mean that you will find that just being with other gay men and talking about our lives can be very interesting - it is a safe place to meet friends, it's local, and a good break from the day to day "maybe boring & maybe straight" life. The group always welcomes new members when there's space available! The group's core consists out of active members that attend our weekly meetings every week or for at least three times a month.
The Group might be ideal for someone who:
*Is new to Toronto or Canada or the gay world!
*Feels alone, a bit down or isolated for various reasons
*Wants to meet people who he can really talk to & feel connected to
*Wants to enhance his experience of life but is not sure where to start
*Seeks informal "therapy" for feelings of low-selfesteem / depression / etc.
*Wants to have the opportunity to meet new friends in different age groups / ways of life
*Who needs an opportunity to talk about his life & have people who will really LISTEN
*Wants to re-invent himself in many aspects of his life and surroundings & feel good!
*Need guys to socialize with on a regular basis; explore the city; movies; sport; etc.
*Is still in the closet and wants to meet gay people in a safe, constructive environment
*Who wants to have the opportunity to have solid "food for thought" to reflect on life
*Needs support in feeling part of the gay community and other aspect of daily living
*Who wants to feel part of a positive; supportive group / community
*Is willing to try something different to feel content about life
*Is looking for long-term friends or even a life partner!
-Nobody loves me
-Fear of getting old
-I am alone & lonely
-Why relationships fail
-I am in a straight marriage...
- I am bi and not sure where I fit in
-Be more dynamic & make new friends
-Where do I meet a guy for a relationship?
-I can be a fulfilled person on my own!
-Is there a 100% pro-gay church?
-How important is a perfect body?
-Where is the love in the world?
-Does God really hate/love me?
-Living with illness
-Sexual health: Hiv, etc
-Build a solid Self-esteem
-I need quality gay friends!
-SOMETHING is missing in my life...
-I find it hard to exempt myself as gay
-Will the straight world ever accept me?
-Change your life and feel GOOD about it
-It is not what we say, it is how we say it
-The poisonous effect of negative thoughts
-We judge in others what we judge in ourselves
-Disturbances are an opportunity for self-healing
-Purity comes through seeing and allowing who you are
-When we look at another person we are seeing ourselves
-Usually we want the other to change so we can feel better
-You say: “Why can’t you accept me just as I am?” Do you accept everyone just as they are?
-What will happen if you pull away from your restrictions?
-There is only two choices in life: Love or Fear
-A life un-exament is a life not worth living
-Is it a terrible thing "to let your image go"?
-People will really move you. Nothing else
-Do we get stuck in our basic instinct?
-Do you want to miss your own life?
-Find out who you really are.
ABOUT THE FACILITATOR
"Andreas Oberholzer did group, couple and individual counselling in Johannesburg and London for 20 years. He is the founder and facilitator of "The Toronto Men's Group" as well as "GROUP11" in Canada. His motivational work is mainly focused on self esteem issues and self-empowering as well as matters specific to the gay community. Andreas was the Publisher and Editor of South Africa's largest gay and lesbian publication "GAY SA", and is the author of nine books. He left South Africa in 1999 and lived in London for three years, prior to settling in Toronto in 2002 where he works as a Life Strategist.” A well-known example of a life Strategist is Dr. Phil that first made his appearance on the Oprah TV show.
If you are interested in private sessions, feel free to contact me directly on firstname.lastname@example.org or look at my website at www.2visit.itgo.com/custom2.html Note: Your first one hour session is offered without obligation to attend further sessions. All the sessions; correspondence & communications are confidential and private.
One of my objectives with the group is "to give back" to the community.
Not only more self-empowered individuals!; but we also support various charities such as Pflag; PWA; United Way; Food Share; It gets Better Anti-bullying campaign; Fife House; MCCT; Dogs & Cats Animal Rescue; The Altzeimers Foundation; Youth Line and Triangle Programme.
Some guys come to the group for a reason - for example to get help with feelings of low self-esteem; and once they feel better, they leave the group and do well in life! Or with the objective to make friends; they achieve it and then move on, also forming their own friendship circles. Some guys come to the group for a season, for example while they study in Toronto. Some guys come to the group to stay - some of the original members are still in the group after hundreds of evenings together! Our weekly meetings are held in a relaxed, private and safe atmosphere. On an average evening there is 15 to 20 guys in attendance - please contact me as soon as possible to secure your place. Cool drinks, coffee, tea and cookies are provided. The group have a social element too, and we often go out for coffee after the meeting. BBQ's, Potluck and Movie evenings also take place during the year including a Thanksgiving meal; Christmas dinner and a New Years party!
A FEW REVIEWS
An excellent forum for any gay man interested in personal growth. This group is one of 10 things you have to try before you mature. It's a must for new self-discovered gays. Whether you need a social therapy or want to meet new people or just wanna try something new. As professionally but yet casually facilitated as it is, this group is my religion. Amen :-)
This is the best place in Toronto to meet REAL people. I tried many other groups, but found them to be atificial and without proper focus. In this group, there are many single guys attending; some that's in relationships; and even couples too. This makes for a dynamic mix of perspectives...very interesting. For me is a very very rewarding experience to be part of this group. For half the price of a decent meal & coke you get the opportunity to work on the corner stones of your life, and change for good.
I absolutely think it is an amazing opportunity to jump outside of one's day to day life and look at yourself by experiencing the world of others.
This group is a Godsend for those of us who are healing, searching, exploring and desire to live in the world with full passion. Andreas gets my vote for Citizen of the Year for creating a beautiful safety net for gay men of all circumstance and bringing them together to share their journeys.
A positive and healthy way to discuss challenges that many men face. I have found the group to be very positive, and I can't help but discuss my issues. It's been a great find for me.
Thank you for another fantastic meeting. It is wonderful to see how everyone openly shares their experiences in a welcoming, friendly and fun environment. Love the laughter and the learning. Since joining I have made many great new friends. I look forward to each and every meeting!
This group is a great resource for seekers looking to untangle internal knots. Andreas is a master at showing you the ropes.
I found this group at the lowest point in my life. These men -- the friends I have made, have been instrumental in my 'comeback' and I thank my lucky stars everyday that I found these angels.
If you're looking for empathy, opinions, and support without the molly-coddling, this is a fantastic group.
I was feeling very anxious and depressed when I discovered the group more that 3 years ago. Now I'm seeing the bright side of life too. If it has not been for this group' constant support in my life, I would have gone home a long time ago. With my tail between my legs.
This group helped me a lot and I am now enjoying life much more since I joined this group 5 years ago. I made many many nice friends via the group! We laugh a lot together and sometimes there is even a tear or two. But is’t all good in a safe; informal but structured environment & the socials are great.
I don’t know what I would have done without this group. I arrived in my new country with high hopes; just to find the gay world is a bewildering experience. Tried to make friends; meet people; with very limited success. And then I walked through Andreas’ door and found 22 people in one room from 15 different countries. All ready to support me! (Just when I honestly no one cares anymore...). I made 8 good friend in six weeks: two in their 20ties; four in their 30ties; one in his 50ties and one mentor in his 60ties! I & my partner love this group. Thankful for ever. Bravo guys! We can't wait for Wednesdays!
Too good to be true? - come and find out for yourself!
JOIN US & COME AND FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF. AND YOUR LIFE.
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