Why Everything To Sea aims to be a safe space for men to be with each other, in a judgment-free zone.
“Whether we recognize it or not, our bodies bring the closet with us into adulthood.”
So stated writer and podcaster Michael Hobbes, in his explosive Huffington Post 2017 article, as he went deep into “the epidemic of gay loneliness”. It was an in-depth analysis on why, despite the many advances made in LGBTIQ rights globally over the course of the previous decade, many queer people, including gay men, continue to suffer from a lingering sense of loneliness, alienation, or even depression.
Hobbes rattles out the statistics: in the U.S., gay men are 2 to 10 times more likely to commit suicide and twice as likely to have a major depressive episode compared to heterosexual men, and have fewer close friends than straight people or gay women.
Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, where gay marriage has been legal since 2001, gay men remain three times more likely to suffer from a mood disorder than straight men, and 10 times more likely to engage in “suicidal self-harm.”
In Sweden, which has had civil unions since 1995 and full marriage since 2009, men married to men have triple the suicide rate of men married to women.
“All of these unbearable statistics lead to the same conclusion,” writes Hobbes. “It is still dangerously alienating to go through life as a man attracted to other men.”
Hobbes has a point. What with contemporary gay men’s tendencies to be deeply judgemental–if not flat-out rude and bitchy–towards one another, even larger socio-cultural and legal advances might fail to sustain our self-esteem, itself already compromised by growing up in the closet. Internalized homophobia is still very much a thing.
A Radical Proposition
A movement like Radical Faeries, for instance, already recognized this proclivity in the gay rights movement as far back as the 1970s.
Established as a “worldwide network and countercultural movement seeking to redefine queer consciousness through secular spirituality”, Radical Faeries was a reaction against the social emptiness that many gay men felt was present both in the heterosexual establishment and “the assimilationist gay community”.
What assimilationist community? One of the Faeries audaciously described mainstream gay culture as “an oppressive parody of straight culture” for taking place primarily in bars and barely (if at all) encouraging people to form bonds or care for each other.
Meanwhile, Radical Faeries believe in living out one’s sexuality in a way that is “very connected to the Earth” by organizing gatherings in outdoors, natural settings.
Free To Be Fairy
Similarly, the spirit of Radical Faeries permeates the core principles and conduct of Everything To Sea – except, of course, they are with a couple of twists: we incorporate the naturist element into our fold, and our travelers aren’t limited to the queer community but include cisgender-identifying men.
There’s a reason for this. While we live in a world where different permutations of gender and sexuality pop up seemingly on a daily basis, there are issues pertaining to cisgender men that, say, trans women or gender-non-conforming people might have a hard time relating to–and vice versa.
While it’s absolutely essential to be open and inclusive to all genders and sexualities in our daily life, Everything To Sea aims to provide a safe space strictly for cisgender men to socialize with one another in a judgement-free (and clothing optional) space, flanked by the healing powers of nature.
This way, when our guests return from our trips, they come out – pun intended! – as more sound and secure individuals, more in touch with their emotions, more open about themselves and their lives, and eventually, more understanding and empathic of the world that we live, flaws and all.
What do you think? We’d love hear your comments below.