Before we tell you what we teach at Journey Into Manhood and through the Brothers Road community, perhaps — because of the amount of false information that has been published about us — we should start with what we DON’T teach, and what we DON’T believe.
What We DON’T Teach and DON’T Believe
We DON’T teach or believe that:
- Gay people are bad, sick, broken, or “less than” others.
- Homosexuality is a mental disorder or mental illness.
- It’s possible to simply “pray away the gay” (a mocking phrase coined by opponents).
- Sexual orientation is a choice, or changing it is a simple act of will.
- Gay people don’t deserve equal rights or should not be afforded the full and equal protection of the law.
- Gay people deserve any less respect than others.
- Those who experience homosexual attractions have deliberately chosen to feel those feelings.
- Everyone can change their sexual orientation if they want to bad enough.
- Anyone can change their sexual orientation, if they would just try hard enough.
- Everyone should try to change or should want to change.
- If you don’t change, it’s your fault, or you just haven’t tried hard enough.
- There is any such thing as a “gay cure.” (In fact, we find the word “cure” to be offensive.)
- Anyone can or should be pressured or forced to change his sexual attractions.
- There can be any guaranteed outcome of this work.
Read more at Correcting False Information About Us.
What We DO Teach and DO Believe
Now that we have cleared away some lies and misrepresentations about us that circulate among certain critics, we’ll tell you what we DO teach at Journey Into Manhood and through the Brothers Road community:
You are good and valuable just as you are, right now, today, unchanged — and even if you never change.
You have brothers who see your “shadows” (weaknesses, blind spots) and love and accept you just as you are.
Shame never brings about meaningful change, healing or growth. Bringing our shame into the light by being authentic and vulnerable with a few trusted others can significantly reduce shame and bring about healing and self-acceptance.
Your beliefs create your internal reality. Change your beliefs (about yourself and others) and you change the world as you know it.
Same-sex attractions are not simply chosen and cannot simply be “unchosen” as an act of conscious will.
Same-sex attractions most likely develop, for most people, as a result of both “nature” and “nurture” — a complex interaction of biology, innate personality, life experience, emotions and behaviors over years, especially the early years. Brothers on a Road Less Traveled and our Journey Into Manhood program primarily address whatever portion of one’s sexuality may be a result of environmental influences (“nurture”).
Behaviors, choices and individual identity are particularly malleable and subject to change. Feelings and attractions usually take much more effort to channel, diminish or redirect, but these, too, can be fluid in many cases.
Many of us have experienced significant and lasting change, healing and growth in our lives by doing what we call “M.A.N.S. Work” and living these principles in our daily lives. “M.A.N.S.” is an acronym that refers to:
Masculine Connection. Building our internal sense of masculinity, self-esteem, assertiveness and personal power (feeling “man enough”). Creating deep, authentic, brotherly friendships (claiming your place as a man among men).
Rigorous Authenticity. Being “real,” uncovering and feeling our authentic feelings, and healing emotional pain from the past.
Genuine Need Fulfillment. Discovering and meeting underlying, core needs (like affirmation, acceptance, community, belonging, brotherhood, love, spirituality and life purpose).
Courageous Surrender. Letting go of harmful beliefs, self-destructive behaviors, resentments and past hurts. Yielding our hearts to God or a Higher Power.
In doing “M.A.N.S. Work,” particularly essential to our growth have been:
Building self-esteem and self-confidence.
Growing in sexual integrity, sexual sobriety, fidelity or chastity — however you may define it for yourself.
Growing in spirituality.
At Journey Into Manhood, we focus especially on self-understanding, emotional healing, and uncovering and meeting some of the core needs that often underlie incongruent same-sex attractions or other unresolved issues around men and masculinity.