Hi everyone! My name is Forrest. I'm a 40yo gay designer who's largely been working in advertising for the last decade plus. After 12 years in Portland I recently moved to LA due to a massive depressive crisis. I also struggle with panic and anxiety. I'd like to meet other queer folks in the area who also struggle with mood disorders - diagnosed or not - and who feel they would benefit from weekly or twice-monthly casual support /discussion groups.
I've been having difficulty finding free support groups that deal with depression period, but the one's I've found have not felt like my community yet, and there are overlaps with gay issues that I think get overlooked or misunderstood in primarily straight contexts. I am entirely happy to include straight identifying folks here, as well, as long as the overarching umbrella is that this is a queer safe space.
Structurally, I'm imagining something like this: hosted either at a participants house or picnic style with blankets in a public park. I'm drawn to the simple style of sitting in a circle, going around and introducing ourselves and adding anything we are compelled to, speaking from our hearts. After the initial go around, a talking stick or some variety of object is placed in the middle of the circle and anyone can pick it up and talk. Only one person talks at a time; the person with the stick. Nothing is off-limits. The rest of us are there to provide attention and support.
After the circle there is time for further back and forth discussion and the possibility of going out to do something afterwards, if people wish.