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BONUS: New Masterclasses & Exploring Mentorship with Sister Unity

episodes show notes Oct 30, 2020


GerleMen listeners: She is hilarious. She is irreverent. She is devastating in her academic acumen and her theatrical talent.

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Hello GerleMen listeners.

She is hilarious. She is irreverent. She is devastating in her academic acumen and her theatrical talent.

And, although we may be laughing, her messages are packed with wisdom and insights many listeners will find life-affirming.

While we pause our regular episodes and prepare a spectacular Season 2 of the GerleMen Podcast, we’d like you to enjoy some short, bonus episodes, co-hosted by my dear friend and rambunctious orange Nun, Sister Unity of the Los Angeles House of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.

So enjoy the show my friends! We’ve packed all this awesomeness into some very short clips.

Mentioned in this episode:

Dr. Don Kilhefner (Listen to Wisdom of the Tribal Elder with Dr. Don Kilhefner from S1)
Don on Social Media:

Sister Unity (Listen to The Queer Hero's Journey with Sister Unity episode)

Sister on Social Media:

Get connected:


Full Episode Transcript:

Mike Gerle  0:00 
Hello GerleMen listeners. While we pause our regular episodes and prepare a spectacular Season Two of the GerleMen podcast we'd like you to enjoy some short bonus episodes co hosted by my dear friend and rambunctious orange nun, Sister Unity, the Sister Unity of the Los Angeles House of Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence that we had in Episode One. She's hilarious and she's irreverent, but she's also devastating in her academic acumen. And her theater talent is brilliant. You'll hear the joy we have into laughter while we're digging into these ideas, but our messages are packed with wisdom and insights many GerleMen will find life affirming. So enjoy the show my friends and pay attention. Remember, you can find us anywhere podcasts can be found from iTunes, Stitcher, to Spotify, wherever you find us, please hit that subscribe button. Sign up to our newsletter and our website at It's a place to see some of our video outtakes from each episode or contact us on Facebook, again just search for GerleMen; and if you're feeling old school send me an email at [email protected] Enjoy the show.

Sister Unity is here on our sixth mini episode between the chasm between Season One and Season Two.

Sister Unity  1:26 

Mike Gerle  1:27 
Yes. Well, me and my business partner you've recently met, are putting together the GBTQ greatness boot camp on October 10. So did last word of the day, mentorship in the gay community. I mean, does it exist? Is it just like a fantasy? How does it work? What is mentorship? What I've learned is it's different than like a coaching situation like coaches help you get better. They might be mentors that a coach asks What's important to you and develops that helps helps you set your own agenda and helps you get what you want. A mentor is somebody that a mentee goes to and says, I love what you're doing in the world. Can you help me on my path and give me advice? Is one way I've heard it described

Sister Unity  2:17 
How are those different?

Mike Gerle  2:18 
One has permission to give advice and set the agenda and the first like the coach is listening is more of like a is not coming in with any preconceived ideas of where the person needs to go.

Sister Unity  2:31 
That's interesting. I mean, these are just terms and everyone defines them for themselves.

Mike Gerle  2:34 

Sister Unity  2:35 
My definitions, it was exactly the opposite. Because my experience of coaches or from high school PE teachers were like, you'll be here at this time, you'll hit the fucking volleyball over the net, you'll hit the shuttlecock with the badminton racquet, and then you will go to the shower and then they will go back to your class. And a mentor was much more like like my theater professors who were like, Okay, what are you interested in? Let's see, you do some work. I'll look at your work and then we'll comment about it

Mike Gerle  2:59 
or like tip on that what I just said, Yeah, and you're right. Everybody has their own. We talked about that in another episode. Everybody has their own established worldview and their own way of defining terms and whatnot. So both of those things,

Sister Unity  3:12 
You have elicited some hallmarks that for me are defining for mentorship.

Mike Gerle  3:17 
Mm hmm.

Sister Unity  3:17  
Listening, seeing, perceiving, listening grokking the person who you are mentoring, or the people that you are mentoring is essential. And the first step Well, the first step is introduction. Here's who I am. Here's my experience. Here's my resume. This is what you can avail yourself of, if you choose to. And then you have to get to know if you're going to plant turnips in the field, you got to find out whether it's loam or sand or clay.

Mike Gerle  3:47 

Sister Unity  3:48 
That it's improvisatory. The mental brings to bear experience, words that they may have developed to turn experience into teaching and methodology. And the construction of exercises, some of them are obvious, and some of them subtle or roundabout, all of which accomplish the burnishing the polishing of the nascent talent and skills and propensities of the person being mentored. The phrase that I like to think of that is kind of the mission statement for mentoring for me is from my meditation Master, make room for others good. So I'm going to equip the person with what I know if they want that, but also I am going to prepare space in the world for them to do what they do organically, and or I will prepare them to prepare their own space make their own way in the world to make their own room for their own good. If I can't be an ice breaker and unclog the Northwest Passage, I'm going to you know, show them how they can turn themselves into an icebreaker.

Mike Gerle  5:02  
Yeah, I think one of the most important things that you said and all of that is that the nascent talents, you were talking about seeing that in the other person. I'm guilty of once I get my aha moment I think everybody else should have the exact same aha moment and get to it.

Sister Unity  5:18 

Mike Gerle  5:19  
Get to it the exact same way I did. And as I've gotten older, I've learned that that's not where to start.

Sister Unity  5:26  
Yeah, it's got to be organic. You have to know what that person is and see what their talents are and what their talents are, not what their propensities are, and capabilities are and capacities are and are not.

Mike Gerle  5:40 
So is that happening anywhere in the gay community? How can we make that work better?

Sister Unity  5:45 
Have you asked the younger people what they want? many of them really want sex, a boyfriend a drink and send a dance floor. budget 20 to 20 something is totally fine.

Mike Gerle  6:00 
which then makes me wonder if maybe having all those things intertwined with mentorship is...

Sister Unity  6:07 
Oh my God. So So you say you're gonna have like older experienced shamanic men go to Mickey's and rage in West Hollywood and go out on the dance floor be like, Hey, have you read Robert blys poetry about a man and...

Mike Gerle  6:21 
I'm just saying I'm open to any ideas. I think dancing on the dance, I think it's kittens...

Sister Unity  6:28 
It's kittens under the fridge, you set out a saucer of milk and they come or they don't come. So I think mentors just put out a saucer of milk. Now there are very creative, enticing ways to do that. I have a cat have a relationship with a cat, who is human, who grew up in a Mormon family, and whose sexuality was not seen, valued, instructed, it was in fact guarded against and through knowing me for a while, I've been able to be a place where he can explore himself. fulfill his needs.

Mike Gerle  7:02 

Sister Unity  7:03 
And it's been so encouraging watching him blossom since. And one of the things that he did recently was he went to a naked yoga class. So the presence and advert and marketing of a naked yoga class for men is a saucer of milk. Grinder happens to have a saucer of milk with tendrils it was looking for, you know, I was on Grindr looking for sex when I met him. But hopefully, with any luck, I have a few saucers of milk available that come with the package, depending on how your conversation goes. Yeah, and this one went that way. Yeah. Be a saucer of milk. Be aware of your sauces of milk. Be aware of your resources, your gifts that you have to offer, you know, polish them, have them at the ready. Don't go pushing them on people. Just let them be around. Create a presence for them in the community and market them without pushing them on people but market them so that people are aware of them. Gay Pride festivals and parades are enormous saucers of milk. They're lighthouses with a beacon and they reach everywhere, but they're also sauces of milk. And they draw kids from Orange County and Kern County and the Antelope Valley where they get to have community with queerness, which is an enormous mentoring experience for them.

Mike Gerle  8:26 
You're saying a lot of the things I heard Don Kilhefner talk about and just what you're saying being a beacon as opposed to being like a dog catcher

Sister Unity  8:35 
or a drug pusher?

Mike Gerle  8:37 
Yeah, not that's kind of a saucer of milk. That's...

Sister Unity  8:40 
Yeah, a saucer of milk with a lighthouse attached to it. How's that for a weirdly extended mixed metaphor?

Mike Gerle  8:46 
Well, and I would guess it's it's not about possessiveness, either. I think that's a big difference with the mentor. It's allowing somebody to be a resource, the mentor is that resource without an expectation other than to show up with respect. Unless you have anything else on mentorship, thank you sister unity for being here, not just on this episode, but six episodes you've been here for like a month and a half. I just want to thank you for helping us fill space between our first season and our second season. And you're always hilarious. You're always thoughtful and spiritually connected, and grossly irreverent,

Sister Unity  9:29 
Totally will, except that. Mike, I want to say thank you very, very much for having me come and speak and explore these topics with you. It really is a very pleasurable experience to engage my intuition in responding to your questions about how to use things like inspiration and celebration and into intuition in both receiving mentorship and in mentoring. All of these topics are juicy and so useful for gay men. And I laud you once again for being a provider of these conversations in our community.

Mike Gerle  10:10 
Well, thank you. Thank you. Thank you for being receptive to that and bringing this to us in a such a great way.

I hope you enjoyed this bonus episode of The GerleMen podcast. I want to thank sister unity for her magic, her wisdom, and most of all for her huge open heart. We started this podcast with a promise that we'd deliver heart centered connection, both Sister Unity and I want you to feel the love that we have for ourselves for each other and for you are queer and dear family. We are all one. We are all connected. And we'll see you next time.

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