Ade Adeniji and Darren Brady, Founders of The Quest, talk about the Weekend Workshop for Gay Men.
Previous participants share their stories.
During the weekend we will be Investigating the past, Exploring the present, Releasing the pain and toxicity of the past and present, and Cultivating the awareness and tools to enable an authentic and nurturing present and future.
Closing date for registrations is Fri 5 Sept. Continue Reading →
Some see us as a voice of reason, others as Life Coaches or a sounding board. Most see us as a powerful and engaging platform to connect with an extraordinary caliber of gay men who are looking beyond the emotional wounds, baggage and other hang-ups that can impact our everyday lives.
We believe the true value of our work can be found in the lives of the participants, so our approach is as flexible, diverse and authoritive as you want it to be.
The Exploration is held over 2.5 days – Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday; along with a newly introduced follow-up Friday evening, three weeks after the initial Exploration. The journey is exhilarating and life-changing but also intense, revealing, nurturing and profound, all experienced from within the comfort of a safe and intimate environment.
“We call this an ‘intervention’. A way of pressing a ‘reset’ button for our lives” – Darren Brady, Co-Founder
Founded by certified Coaches and Group Facilitators Ade Adeniji and Darren Brady, The Quest is a social enterprise offering personal development workshops and events for gay men. The mission of The Quest is to help gay men better understand and transform the relationships they have with themselves, others and the world they inhabit.
The Quest Workshop for Gay Men forms the centre piece of our work, and has been been offered in London since 2011. To date over 200 men have benefited from the power of the sessions and in October 2014, the workshop comes to Cardiff! Continue Reading →
In this Conflab, Ade Adeniji, Co-Founder of The Quest and Sunny Bahra, a previous participant of The Quest workshops, talk about gay men and the dilemma of hook-up apps.
Ade: @HuffPostGay recently featured a piece entitled “why I’ve given up on hooking up” where the writer talked about his journey with ‘dating’ apps. What were your thoughts?
Sunny: The article really resonated with me as I, of late, have been having a similar attitude to the whole scenario of “dating apps”. As humans we all crave connection and online dating is the, relatively, new way of meeting and conversing with people – whether you are straight or gay.
Ade: So, what is your attitude towards these apps? I for one think that its all down to the user and the underlying ‘hunger’, ‘need’ or ‘intention’ that is driving them to use the apps. Continue Reading →
I was fortunate to witness Ade’s recent performance of “Killing my Mother“. What an arresting title and it soon became apparent how it came about. The performance was performed at the School of Social Entrepreneurs where The Quest hold it’s workshops.
I have experienced many profound and powerful feelings in this venue and this event was no exception.
I was immediately drawn in to the emotion of Ade’s vivid, visceral and candid story of his life. The immediacy and power of events was conveyed by the story being told in the present tense, although the story moved backwards and forwards between different years. I was moved to tears on more than one occasion and there were also flashes of humour, which meant that the story felt incredibly rounded, grounded and real. Continue Reading →
IM: Peter, I have never taken part in London Pride before, so what would you say to me, or others who have no previous experience about what they might expect to find?
PC: London Pride is an extraordinary event, especially if you’ve not taken part before. For me it’s an outright celebration of being gay from across the community, with a huge variety of expressions and identities of what it means to be gay to thousands individuals and hundreds of groups. It’s also a fantastic and colourful extravaganza, a real sight to behold, and a unique way to meet and party with people you’d never come across anywhere else. But London Pride also goes beyond being a celebration and for many is an important statement to London, the nation, the media and the government that we are here, we are here to stay and we are a force to be reckoned with. Continue Reading →
IM: What are the main outcomes of the Authentic Self Expression WorkOUT?
AA: The session is an opportunity to deeply explore the different aspects of self-expression and examine how we ‘show up’ (or not) for each one of them. The intention is that participants leave with a clearer idea of what authentic self-expression personally means to them, identify the gaps between where they are in relation to authentic self expression and where they desire to be and during the day we will spend time practicing closing the gap. Continue Reading →
Darren: As we approach our third year anniversary I thought it would be interesting to talk about the journey so far and where we intend to go next.
When you look back over the last 3 years what stands out for you?
Ade: So many things stand out – too many for this conflab!
I remember reading The Velvet Rage when it came out in 2005 and really connecting with it and wanting to share the insights with every gay man I knew – well that did not happen and it simply rested on my bookcase, until you and I came together for our 6-week journey with a group of gay men in the Summer of 2011. That 6-week journey with The Velvet Rage really stands out for me. I thought I knew a lot of stuff, but by the end of the first evening, I remember saying to you – ‘gosh, I am getting a lot from this, much more than I could have ever anticipated’.
The other thing related to that which also stands out for me, is the hunger for this sort of deep exploration amongst gay men. I remember us having a number of enquries as to when we would be running the next group. Continue Reading →
Editor of “Love Me As I Am: Gay Men Reflect on their Lives” and Quest Workshop participant, Francois Lubbe made a short film about Ade Adeniji’s journey with storytelling, the piece is titled ‘The Past Is A Foreign Country’.
The short film takes a brief but in-depth look at the positive impact and healing power of storytelling, and how its application and practice can transform lives.
“Sometimes, the best way to move forward in life is by looking back—even if the story of our past is one we want to forget”
As the first same-sex marriages take place in England and Wales, Ade Adeniji and Darren Brady talk about the issues beneath and beyond the legislation and their impact on Gay Men.
Darren: What impact will same-sex marriage make to Gay men?
Ade: It will have a multiple impact. Not just on gay men, but on their families and other people that they interact with. First of all, I’ll just like to say that this legislation is a great thing, because for starters it signifies that same-sex relationships are just as valid as heterosexual ones. For gay men, it means that our relationships go beyond sex and invoke intimacy, longevity and love. It also shows those in our lives who might not embrace us for being who we are, that at least the legislation validates the expression of our relationship – not that it needs validating in the grand scheme of things; but it is symbolic.
Darren: I agree. I think for future generations who are born into a time where all human beings can choose to marry, it will reset the button. Continue Reading →
“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” – Maya Angelou
I was disowned for 10 years when my family found out about my sexuality. About 3 years ago, one of my brothers died and I reconnected with my family through the mourning period. Right now, I am at my dad’s house and frequently spend time with my family.
I remember having a conversation with my brother within which I asked him to explain why he had disowned me. Continue Reading →
This interactive, fun and engaging one-day workshop for Gay Men is all about (re)connecting and (re)aligning with your Unconditional/True Self, and allowing that aspect of You to come forth – without Shame or Judgement; but with Love, Joy, Integrity and Passion.
Date: Saturday 10 May 2014
Time: 10.00am – 5.30pm Continue Reading →
Ade: Beige Magazine recently ran an article with the headline ‘Gays need to grow up‘ and it struck a cord with many people. What were your thoughts on seeing the headline?
Sunny: Well it’s been something that I have been thinking about for quite a while and the article just prompted me to talk to you about it. Why do gay men have this perceived attitude of not wanting to grow up? The article gave some interesting insights, but I think the issue is much deeper than they were willing to go.
Ade: Yes, I had thought about the theme recently too; I was getting ready to go out and had caught sight of myself in the mirror and for a minute or so I wondered whether what I was wearing was ‘age appropriate’.
But don’t you think that for many gay men, particularly those without children, it feels like time is frozen and we are forever young?
Sunny: I think that is only a tiny part of the argument. Sure children and any responsibility like that will make you “grow up” – but lots of straight people don’t have kids and their behaviour can be very different. Continue Reading →
We are conscious that this time of year is often a time of reflection and anticipation. We therefore felt it would be a lovely idea to kick start 2014 with a blog post featuring some of the gay men who have journeyed with The Quest. We hope that by sharing their responses we can highlight that we all connected and ‘wired for connection’; even though our journeys might often take us on different paths.
We asked the men to complete the four statements below:
Our intention for The Quest has always been to provide a platform that enables Gay Men to transform their lives; so that they can embrace Life from a place of authentic self-expression, compassion and fulfillment – this in turn helps facilitate a healthy and nurturing gay community.
2013 has been a beautiful year for The Quest and we have journeyed with many amazing gay men. Some of the highlights from 2013 included: Continue Reading →
I am from a sea-side town in Sicily. Christmas is one of the few times of the year when I get to come back and spend time with my family. There’s lots of noise, lots of bickering, lots of talking of who’s eating what and who’s driving who to the shops, lots of talk about nothing. My parents show affection by filling the fridge. Today for lunch it was savoury pastries, fries, aubergine lasagne, lentils pasta, chicken escalope and a slice of panettone. I have to remember to go back to the gym when I come back to London.
There is still so much I haven’t said to them, yet so much that I have allowed them to see of who I am. I love my parents, they provided for me, made sure my belly was always full and bought me toys and clothes and gave me pretty much everything I ever asked. We weren’t very good at talking about feelings, we brushed things under the carpet. When I was 8 years old I walked inside the bathroom to find my sister unconscious; she had tried to commit suicide. We never talked about it since. If we didn’t talk about it, it didn’t exist, it never happened. Continue Reading →
Today at 4.37pm Scott, aged 5, looked at a Christmas brochure and pointed to a doll set. It includes ‘realistic’ doll, clothes, hair accessories and a dressing table. His eyes lit up and he jabbed the picture shouting “me, me, me for Mistmas ”
It was 10.14 am when Jason, aged 12, spotted David in to school corridor. Heart beating, Jason approached and stuttered…”See you at morning break?”
Dwayne, aged 8 has made a Xmas card for his teacher Mr Brown. His pen hovers over the greeting he is writing inside. He hesitates before writing “love” in front of the “from Dwayne” Continue Reading →
Published by The Quest, ‘Love Me As I Am’ is an anthology of 24 biographies and letters written by gay men as they reflect on the childhood experiences that shaped their lives. The book speaks hard truths, and echoes a prevailing message of hope that promises to reach much further than the gay community and has the potential to leave a lasting impression on every reader — irrespective of his or her sexual orientation.
This Christmas Season, get the book gift wrapped and posted to you. Continue Reading →
Building on the theme of our popular ‘Getting clear on Sex and Intimacy’ one-day workshop, this interactive, fun and engaging WorkOUT is all about delving beneath the surface of our needs and wants when it comes to Love, Sex and Connection.
As part of our one-day exploration, we will be using some of the guideposts within three insightful books: Loveability: Knowing how to love and be Loved (Robert Holden), How to be an Adult in Love (David Richo) and Cruise Control: Understanding Sex Addiction in Gay Men (Robert Weiss).
Date: Saturday 11 January 2014
Time: 10.00am – 5.30pm Continue Reading →
Short documentary following Ade Adeniji, Co-Founder of The Quest and Paul Woodward, international theatre practitioner and academic, as they prepare for their two separate one-man storytelling performances, ‘Killing My Mother’ and ‘Fathers & Feathers.’
The performances were developed in collaboration with The Quest and premiered at The Pinter Theatre, in London, on 5 October 2013.
Registrations now closed
- Is it time to treat yourself?
- Want country air, home cooked food, comfort and meaningful conversations?
Our Summer Retreat may be the gift you need to give yourself!
Join another 30 amazing gay men for the experience of the year!
In this conflab, Ade Adeniji, Co-Founder of The Quest and Sunny Bahra, a previous participant of The Quest workshops, talk about the journey of black/Asian gay men and the importance of having conversations about race, culture & sexuality.
Ade: As you know, The Quest is co-organising an event this coming Friday titled “The Rainbow Intersection – a dialogue about Race, Culture & Sexuality in Modern Britain“. The intention of the event is to engage people in a conversation about multiple identities.
I’ve heard some say there is no need for such events, for the UK is now considered progressive when it comes to issues around sexuality. What’s your take on this?
Sunny: I think it’s incredibly important. The UK is leading the way as an integrated multi-cultural country. It’s because of this that I think we can and need to have conversations about race and sexuality. Lets face it racism exists, whether it’s in Europe or in Africa. It’s another significant layer of shame that we, as gay men of colour, can feel. Continue Reading →
This interactive, fun and engaging one-day workshop – with insights from ‘The Untethered Soul‘ – is all about confronting the self-saboteur and investigating the limiting beliefs still holding you back in living a life of authentic self expression.
Date: Saturday 9 November 2013
Time: 10.00am – 5.30pm
David, a previous participant of The Quest Workshops, recently performed on stage in the autobiographical storytelling piece ‘The Haunting’, here he reflects on his journey with the production.
When I first said I’d participate in The Haunting, I had no idea what it would open up, where it would lead and what I would confront during the process.
After my first meeting with our director Paul Woodward, the subject of my ‘haunting’ shifted and I saw that it was really about my relationship with sex and money. It was a surprising revelation at first and then I started to see how it wasn’t always about that directly, but more about having sex always be something ‘in exchange’ for something else.
I looked at the significant relationships in my life – and I saw how I was almost always the one supporting the other guy, financially or materially. Sometimes, it was really blatant – as with the straight guy who I met when I first moved to New York in 1975: I literally paid his rent, bought him a piano, moved him to L.A. with me – all with the unfulfilled ‘promise’ of sex that actually only happened 11 years later after he was married with children! And then, I asked myself ‘that’s all there was to it?’ Continue Reading →
Thank You to all those who voted for The Quest and got us shortlisted for the Homo Hero Business of the Year award!
There were 600 nominations and we were runners up for our category. We are especially proud that we were the only non North West organisation to be up for an award.
The important aspect of this acknowledgement is that we are now getting known outside of London and having met The Lesbian and Gay Foundation in Manchester we will be looking to deliver our workshop up north – achieving one of our other major intentions!
It was an inspiring evening and we thank you for making our presence known.
Ade: So, 11th October is celebrated as National Coming Out Day and the theme for this year is ‘Coming Out Still Matters’ – what does that theme mean to you?
Darren: For me ‘coming out’ represents something different from the ‘one off’ event many of us consider it. I think that every day we make choices of whether we allow ourselves to be seen and I consider these moments ‘coming out moments’. So it may be talking about our partners, about wanting to find a boyfriend, a book we are reading or even something about a hobby we have. It can be subtle moments where we are faced with a choice – shall I be expressed or shall I divert, go silent, retreat. Continue Reading →
Ade: I’m really looking forward to our conversation, as the subject is one I am sure many gay men can relate to. I think a good place to start is the recent survey by Grindr, which said that — “Out of 2,000+ respondents, an overwhelming 77% of them [gay men] want to get married someday (and 4% of respondents already are married)….” What were your initial thoughts when you saw that?
Francois: I get stuck here: “an overwhelming 77% of them want to get married someday”. This clearly shows that gay guys are looking for a lasting connection with one other person, which is in stark contrast of the image of gay men in the gay-and-mainstream media depicted as a bunch of half-naked exhibitionists who party hard 4 days of the week and having numerous sexual partners.
However, it will be interesting to know if those who participated in the survey hoped to meet their potential life partners on an app like Grindr, or on other similar gay hook-up sites. Continue Reading →
In July, the Southbank hosted a discussion and debate chaired by Matthew Todd, Editor of Attitude magazine, looking at whether there is a problem with Drink, Drugs and Sex for Gay Men. Francois Lubbe, Editor of The Quest publication ‘Love Me As I Am‘ and The Quest Co- Founder, Darren Brady went along and this conflab took place a few days later.
Darren – So Francois, how did you feel during the discussion?
Francois - I was hoping to hear a solution-driven discussion, since most of the panel members had already engaged in similar discussions in the past. The fact is, as a gay man, I can see that there is a problem within our community in terms of destructive behaviour and how it affects our community. In my view this is beginning to take on epidemic proportions.
D – Yes I agree. I wanted to hear more about the root causes of this behaviour and less about what the behaviour was. It felt like we were describing the problem and not considering ways forward. A bit like listening to the music being played on the deck of the Titanic. Do you think that it is difficult having a solution driven conversation? Continue Reading →
There are two distinct and very different stories being told about the experience of being gay in the UK in 2013 and the difference in these stories could not be more stark.
On the one hand, we have the positives – the soon to be legal status of gay marriage, established civil partnerships, increased visibility in the press and media, an equal age of consent, mainstream support for positive role model and anti bullying work, cross-party support for gay equality, the effective treatment of HIV, governments globally legalising equality and gay marriage, increased openness about sexual identity from public figures and gay parenting becoming widespread. This picture has lead to some naturally optimistic assumptions that things are looking good and that being gay is no longer an issue for those lucky enough to live in a progressive United Kingdom. It is a picture and a set of assumptions we all so desperately want to believe. And it is a picture that is so at odds with all the data available that demonstrates so alarmingly the state of Gay mens’ mental health both in the UK and around the world. Continue Reading →