Evoco Center is (will be) a place where you belong.
We provide space to evoke our full authentic brilliance
– to honor, nurture, and celebrate our intrinsic nature.
Part gay monastery, part scouts, part sexual playground, part "maker's" farm,
and part commune, this will be a permanent physical location with experiences
built specifically with you, the gay man, in mind.
With intentions for:
The offerings will include:
Making things with our hands
Fire Ceremonies and Men's Work
Most gay men spend much of our day to day life existing in a world that is built for someone else. This is so pervasive that many of us are comfortably numb to that fact.
The world, especially in the United States, is built around rituals of hetero-normative culture, of opposite sex dating, pairing, and parenting. Leaders in media, government, and religion make decisions prioritizing those issues. As a result, we as gay men do
what we can to fit in.
Let me repeat that; we as gay men do what we can to fit in. The problem is, fitting in has a profound negative affect on human beings. The psychological and spiritual effect of fitting in diminishes us. It makes us psycho-spiritual (psycho, as in, loony, fruitcake, head case, crazy...); most often the effect is mild, but sometimes the effect overtly warps our mind and spirit.
Yes, that’s heavy.
Brené Brown researches shame and illustrates the profound difference between fitting
in and belonging. In her book Braving the Wilderness Brown outlines, in elegant, humorous, and scientific detail, the cost of fitting in. Please read this book! The bottom line is that shame diminishes our authenticity. When we are denied our authentic expression, we experience the toxicity of shame. Shame can lead to loneliness, and according to Brown, loneliness is more toxic than smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. It can, and does, kill us.
So, who are we authentically? Well, all of us are truly unique, but gay men do have a number of distinct gifts for humanity. According to Raymond L. Rigoglioso and his book
Gay Men and The New Way Forward, we have 14 specific gifts. They include Serving & Healing, Reinventing Manhood, and Freeing and Enriching the Human Spirit. The good news is that one of our gifts is being models of authenticity. It’s in our DNA.
According to my own life experience, the joys of authentic expression can only be described in terms of belonging.
In 2007 I won the title of International Mister Leather. I chose to participate in the competition being as honest as possible. Several of the answers I gave to questions put to me during the competition caused many raised eyebrows on faces of the 9-
membrer judging panel. I choose to stand in what Brené Brown calls the “wilderness” by speaking my truth, as opposed to giving answers I thought would make me fit in.
So, when the waves of applause rushed over me in the Chicago Theater auditorium of 2,000 people who apparently agreed with the decisions of the judging panel, it felt real.
I felt loved. And when I received a text from my straight boss, a man literally managing the City of West Hollywood, when this man sincerely congratulated me, I felt a human connection with him I didn’t think possible.
As gay men, we spend so much of our lives existing in a world that is not built for us, we forget that there is an option to finding ways of fitting in. Once we do some self-reflection we will know where we belong. Many of us have never experienced what it’s like to participate in an occasion that is built specifically for us and our particular expression of humanity on the planet.
That is the primary reason I am creating Evoco. It is a very specific set of ideals for a very specific set of human beings. Not every gay man will belong at Evoco, but those who do will find joy.
Eventually we will have our own physical space with offering that include yoga, meditation, discussion groups, celebrations, silent areas, food, phone-free hangouts and a spa. Until that happens, I will continue to welcome those who resonate with Evoco Center’s mission and vision at Flux Rebellion. It is the facility of my current yoga offering, it is a space where the owner literally hands us the key and leaves the space to us.
When the door locks, it becomes Evoco Center, a place for gay men to revel in our legacy and our intrinsic nature.
It’s a place where you will be offered opportunity for heartfelt connection with other men.
It’s a place where you will be challenged to be authentic.
It’s a place where you belong.