Question: Aren’t gay men just like everyone else? Aren’t you playing into stereotypes of gay men?
Answer: Most human beings are much more alike than they are different. But differences can be observed among all major cultural, ethnic, and racial groups. To the extent that all people are alike, gay men are just like everyone else. To the extent that groups contain distinct characteristics, gay men possess essential differences from other men. Stereotyping involves making a blanket generalization along with a negative judgment. In this book, we explore the range of gay men’s differences from a perspective of honoring those differences.
Question: What are the 14 Distinct Gay Male Gifts?
Answer: The foundational gift is Masculine-Feminine Intelligence, which shows up in nearly every other distinct gift. The 13 other gifts are divided into three categories as follows:
Serving and Healing: A Gentle Collaborative Social Orientation; An Orientation toward Service; Religious Reformers and Spiritual Leaders; Teachers of Compassion, Generosity, and the Authentic Masculine; Models of Forgiveness.
Reinventing Manhood: Friends, Soul Mates, and Co-Revolutionaries with Straight Women; Esthetic Outsiders and Gender Tricksters: The Art of Camp and Drag; Modeling Sustainable Manhood.
Freeing and Enriching the Human Spirit: Sexual Leadership; Fine Attunement to Beauty, Creators and Keepers of Culture; A “Gay” Spirit; Models of Authenticity and Courage, Cleansers of Shame; Outsiders Driving Evolutionary Advancement
Question: Do all gay men possess these gifts?
Answer: Each gay man will possess his own unique constellation of these gifts. Many gay men will recognize all of these gifts within themselves, though they may manifest some gifts more strongly than others. Most gay men will see at least a solid majority of these gifts within themselves, though some gay men may possess just a few. Every human group contains variations, but that does not mean we cannot observe distinct characteristics of a given group.
Whenever I gather gay men to discuss what makes us different, these gifts surface again and again. What's unique about this approach is that we are creating a self-generated narrative about traits that characterize us as a group. This model presents an entirely new way of valuing the contributions that all humans make to society.
Because of these inherent variations, Gay Men and The New Way Forward is written as an invitation to self-discovery. It invites the reader to ask himself which gifts pertain to him, and to what extent he embodies these gifts. It contains a self-assessment at the end to foster this self-discovery.