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In that room, about fifty men — some thirty “Journeyers” and fifteen staff members — sat on the carpeted floor of a ranch lodge two hours outside of Phoenix, Arizona.Most of the men, except for a few of the staff members, struggled to overcome their attraction to other men.I sat on the floor between the outstretched legs of a camp guide, my head leaning back against his shoulder.The guide sat behind me, his arms wrapped around my chest.But, somehow, that Golden Child was hurt, and you put up a wall to protect yourself.” Or it might have been when other men in the room broke out in song: How could anyone ever tell you That you’re anything less than beautiful?How could anyone ever tell you That you’re less than whole?
Somewhere in the room, a man sobbed over the sound of the music.
It was the first night of “Journey into Manhood,” a 48-hour weekend retreat designed to help gay men become straight.
This hold was called “The Motorcycle.” Five men surrounded the two of us, their hands resting gently on my arms, legs and chest.
There were about ten other groups like this sitting on the floor in the darkened room: one guide giving “healing-touch therapy” while the surrounding men rested their hands on the receiver. Others were turned towards their guide, cradled the way a parent would hold a sobbing child who had just scraped her knee on the sidewalk.
I don’t remember exactly when I felt his erection pressing into my back.
It might have been while he whispered in my ear, “Long ago, you were the Golden Child.