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Event Dates:
April 20-23, 2023

ManREACH registration is now open


The term "heart-centered" refers to a presence of mind that allows each of us to honor our feelings and the feelings of others. Such emotional authenticity creates a safe, nurturing environment where men can share their truths. Within this space, each man can speak openly and honestly, be heard without judgment and enjoy the support of his community. Within this space, each man has the power to offer and receive unconditional love, wisdom, acceptance, compassion, and healing.


The heart-circle has roots in many cultures. It offers a sacred space where men can speak from the heart rather than the intellect. After an opening ceremony, which is used to help focus the group's intention, a talisman is passed around. The person holding the talisman may speak, sit silently or pass it on in a clockwise rotation. While holding the talisman, the speaker is witnessed by a community of listeners. There are no responses, interruptions or side conversations. The heart circle is a place of emotional authenticity, non-judgmental listening, respect and compassion, and it profoundly affected the men who participated in it.


Building Community

The excitement that North Florida ManREACH is generating among gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (GBTQ) men throughout north Florida underscores the need for such a gathering.  GBTQ men have an underlying desire to connect in deeper, longer-lasting ways with other GBTQ men, but there may be barriers that interfere with this, including: unresolved issues resulting from internalized and external homophobias, mistreatment and abuse by previous friends, sex partners, and the community-at-large; the isolating and damaging effects of alcohol and other drugs, often as a form of self-medication and/or a reflection of community norms; awkwardness due to lack of experience, low self-esteem and poor body image; and cynicism, born out of defensiveness, doubting that such connections are possible.


North Florida ManREACH offers GBTQ men a support network that has not been available to them before and is helping them build a community where none existed before. ManREACH embraces the notion that a community-building project can encourage deeper, longer-lasting relationships among rural GBTQ men, with ensuring health benefits, by a combination of strategies, including: immersing men in an environment where such relationships are modeled and expected; providing a supportive environment for men to reveal their difficulties and successes with emotional, spiritual, physical and addictive issues; connecting men with support, treatment and care resources as needed; and supporting men in their recovery and journey toward wellness. It is these principles that will guide North Florida ManREACH's planning, decision making and growth in the years to come.


What guys have said about ManREACH: 

Why did you attend a ManREACH gathering?

“ManREACH has helped me find honest, supportive connections I didn’t think were possible with other men.”

“To catch up with old friends and make new ones.”

“Because this is about my community, and community is important to me.”

“I’m addicted to love.”

“To experience the love and beauty I see in each individual and the sense of power I experience when we get together.”

“To experience the love and beauty I see in each individual and the sense of power I experience when we get together.”

What did you enjoy most about this gathering?

“Relaxing and interacting with other men in an environment that encourages us to be all we can be while acknowledging who we currently are.”

“The love and support that comes from being in a group of men who want to free themselves from the stereotypes and judgments of the outside world.”

“The love, compassion and honesty.”

“Discovering that my experiences as a gay man are far more common than I realized and just knowing that others have gone through it, too, makes things easier.”

“The heart circles and the massage workshop.”

“The fabulous food!”

“What’s not to like?”

What did you take home from this gathering?

“Greater self-acceptance.”

“Increased knowledge to protect my health.”

“A support network for personal change and growth.”


“Unconditional love.”

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