An exceptional resource for gay men to explore and better understand the complexities, joys, challenges, frustrations, thinking and emotions involved with being a gay man in today’s world.

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The Quest Workshop for Black and Minority Ethnic Gay and Bisexual Men

We are delighted to announce that Public Health England (PHE) has commissioned The Quest to deliver its flagship “The Quest Workshop” to Black African, Black Caribbean, mixed Black and other ethnicity (BME) gay and bisexual men who have sex with men (MSM).

The delivery of the workshops is part of a wider PHE project evaluating different models of direct behaviour change interventions for BME gay men and MSM aimed at reducing health risk behaviour and building resilience.

As part of the project, The Quest will be delivering two workshops in London and one in Manchester. The first set of workshops will be taking place in March 2015.

Click here for more details.

 

 

The Quest 2015 Retreat

The Quest Countryside Escape is a chance to leave the city behind to relax and reconnect with a fantastic group of gay men. Set in acres of woodland, gardens and rolling countryside, the Dunford House Estate in West Sussex will be our very own home for this long weekend escape.

We will explore in typical ‘Quest style’, where we find ourselves in our life – the trials and triumphs, the breakthroughs and breakdowns within the peace and tranquility of this wonderful countryside estate.

When: Fri 3 – Sun 5 July 2015

For more information and booking details, click here.

Our next The Quest Workshop for Gay Men will be taking place on Fri 20 – 22 February 2015.

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 13 Feb. Continue Reading →

About us

The first step towards contentment is the awareness and appreciation that everyone is different. We therefore understand that each person who decides to embark on The Quest will have a different motivation for participating.

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.

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Events Calendar

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What we’re reading

Regardless of whether or not you decide to embark on The Quest, here are some resources for the journey.


Continue Reading →

Gallery

2014 London Pride


"Interesting, enigmatic and enlightening"- Jonathan
"I was unsure about The Quest. I left exhausted, drained and enlightened. Mind opening, fun, hard, fascinating. Thank you"- Phil
"It felt like my third coming out. After coming out of the closet, then out of the HIV closest and finally and powerfully coming out of the closest I had made for myself in which I was suffocating. Thank you guys"- Paul
"As someone who has become disheartened by the commercial gay scene I was impressed with the workshop and the way it reminded me that gay men have a depth of experience, an integrity and a nobility that is second to none."- Ian

Our Mission

The Quest’s mission is simple – to help gay men better understand and transform the relationships they have with themselves, others and the world they inhabit.

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.

Continue Reading →

Workout Sessions

We recognise that once the Weekend Exploration workshop is over and we re-enter or day to day lives participants will want to secure, strengthen and expand the progress they have made and so we offer a collection of additional support.

Find out more

Life In Colour

Red and yellow and pink and blue, purple & orange and green…

Life is always a little more exciting, fulfilling and invigorating when you see it open to new possibilities – this reflects the theme and essence for our blog.
Continue Reading →

The Quest Workshop

Although it might sound like the most daunting of our services, The Quest Workshop for Gay Men forms the centre piece of our work.

The Exploration is held over 2.5 days – Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday; along with an evening follow-up session, 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.

Find out more.

My Story‘ is an ongoing series featuring previous participants of The Quest Workshop.

Ian Smith attended The Quest Workshop in September 2014…..

What brought you to The Quest Workshop?

I had developed a general malaise towards life. I felt disconnected from my friends and my surroundings. Feeling that no-one understood me and because of that I didn’t want to try and connect with them anymore. At weekends I would only leave the house to scratch the itch of needing sexual contact, otherwise I would have been in my pyjamas all weekend. Life wasn’t getting worse, but it definitely wasn’t getting any better. I decided some changes need to be made. Continue Reading →

Sex: Smoke and Mirrors – what lies beneath our desires, addictions and compulsions

In conversation with Robert Weiss

RobWeiss_Web200x300Robert Weiss LCSW, CSAT-S is Senior Vice President of Clinical Development with Elements Behavioral Health. He is author of Cruise Control: Understanding Sex Addiction in Gay Men and Sex Addiction 101: A Basic Guide to Healing from Sex, Porn, and Love Addiction. An author and subject expert on the relationship between digital technology and human sexuality, Mr. Weiss has served as a media specialist for CNN, The Oprah Winfrey Network, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Today Show, among many others.

Ade Adeniji (Co-Founder of The Quest) sat down with Rob during his recent visit to London to talk about Addiction, Drugs, Intersection of Race and Sexuality, Gay Culture and much much more.


Ade Adeniji: Having read your book [Cruise Control: Understanding Sex Addiction in Gay Men], one of the things that struck me is that I meet a number of gay men who have many of the signs of sex addiction that you identify in your book, and yet, they don’t use the word ‘addict’. Do you come across that in your work?

Rob Weiss: I think it’s very individual, but there’s also a lot of denial. If you look at the back of “Cruise Control”, there’s a little section about why I wrote the book. What it says is that I was at an HIV conference in the 90s and I was sitting backstage with a bunch of therapists, who were gay men. They were complaining about how they could not talk about the problems within the gay community – such as domestic violence, drug and alcohol problems, and sexual acting out – because there’s this thought that when you have an oppressed minority, and if you’re among that minority, that you don’t want to say what your own issues are.

It’s like being in an unhealthy family where no one talks about the problem. Because if, as gay men, we say we have sexual problems, then the larger culture says, “See, we knew that. We knew those people were all sick, and all sick about sex,” so it just doesn’t get talked about. This was during the height of the HIV crisis. Continue Reading →

My Story‘ is an ongoing series featuring previous participants of The Quest Workshop.

Steve Harding attended The Quest Workshop in June 2014…..

What brought you to The Quest Workshop?

I became aware of the work of The Quest through a mutual friend of Ade’s. Over the years I have done a fair amount of personal development work, but this has been largely one to one and I was keen to gain a new perspective on my ‘story’ through group work.

What was your experience of The Quest Workshop?

I found The Quest workshop challenging, nourishing, enlightening and overall a life-enhancing experience. Continue Reading →

My Story‘ is an ongoing series featuring previous participants of The Quest Workshop.

Jide Rowland Macaulay attended The Quest Workshop in April 2014…..

What brought you to The Quest Workshop?

First it was my curiosity to find out what was going on. I knew that I had issues, mostly especially at the time I was struggling with many undecided matters about my sexuality and importantly decisions about my future. Deciding how to deal with issues with my “family of origin”, dealing with both internalized anger and external abuses, my religious community and reconciling my sexuality as a black gay man of faith, and of Nigeria descent.

What was your experience of The Quest Workshop?

Extreme, candid and authentic, extremely genuine and a life saving experience. Whilst I have attended numerous workshops about being gay and life, The Quest workshop stood out as exceptional, and I have since challenged myself to build on what I have learnt, so I can move forward positively. Continue Reading →

The Two Way

Ian McCurrach talks to Darren Brady (Co-Founder of The Quest and The Daring Way™ Certified Facilitator-Candidate) about The Daring Way™ workshop

Ian: Can you tell me what The Daring Way™ is all about?

Darren: The Daring Way™ is the way in which Brené Brown translated the findings of her research and the content of her book “Daring Greatly” into an experiential workshop.

The workshop explores what it takes to ‘Show up, Be seen and Live Brave’ in the world. The premise is that we can live our fullest life when we move beyond fear and shame and learn how to navigate the negative inner dialogue that keeps us small. The workshop develops our ability for self-compassion and empathy as we identify what brings us joy, passion and fulfillment. It is very much an examination of where we are today and where we want to get to tomorrow. It is interactive, creative, educational and pioneering. Similarly to The Quest, this workshop takes place over a Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday daytime.  Continue Reading →

The Quest Xmas Party

Tickets now available for The Quest Christmas Party

Join us for The Quest Christmas party on 6th December 2014 from 7pm at Brown Sugar on High Holborn.

Reconnect with Quest friends you’ve met throughout the year at our events and workshops and make new ones during what is sure to be a memorable evening full of great company, laughter and connection. Continue Reading →

THE QUEST THIRD BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION & FUNDRAISER

Thomas Doogan talks about the recent 3rd birthday bash for The Quest

Don’t you just love it when people feel entertained, have a lot of fun and all for a good cause? Well that’s exactly what happened when we recently celebrated The Quest Third Birthday at The Proud Archivist, which sits canal side in Haggerston.

From the moment I arrived, I could see the effort that has been invested by the party committee, Michael, Neil, Kenni, Rod, Peter and co! They created a special space for us for the celebration. For me it’s seeing this effort that really displays what community means and how everyone’s effort can play a big part in success.

We were met with champagne, always a good friend, and a room so beautifully dressed up and decorated. And were there balloons?? You betcha! Continue Reading →

Reflections on The Quest Summer Retreat

Dan Hall and Thomas Doogan share their reflections on attending The Quest Retreat, which took place in West Sussex from 4 – 6 July 2014

Dan Hall

Not long ago I spent an evening dancing, rather well I’ll have you know, to Suede and Kate Bush at the RVT in Vauxhall. Within an hour of my arrival I was clamped to a massive ex-rugby player and we snogged non-stop for the next three hours. It was a good night.

Inevitably the lights came up and I asked whether we should go to his place or mine. He smiled kindly, wrote on my hand, “Read VELVET RAGE”, kissed me, and left. Horny and irritated, I ordered the book the next day and consumed it in almost one sitting.

Fifty per cent I found to be pop-psyche rubbish. All that stuff about seeking approval from disapproving fathers was nonsense in my world. And, for me, the intrusion of the author’s own life into the narrative got in the way of the copy. But enough of the book chimed to make an impact and I thought too much of my life rested on: if he’s not worth fucking, he’s not worth knowing. Even without the direction of The Quest, it was clear this was a pretty shitty attitude. Continue Reading →

5 days on The Daring Way™

Ade Adeniji and Darren Brady, Co-Founders of The Quest, recently went to San Antonio to take part in The Daring Way™ certification training. In this conflab, they reflect on their insights since the journey.

Darren: It’s been 5 days since we finished participating in The Daring Way™ training in Texas with Brené Brown. What reflections and insights have you had since then?

Ade: Too many to roll off in a single conversation, and many are still percolating.

One of the main things that immediately dawned on me whilst there is that there are many practitioners out there who are also keen to work with their clients on issues such as Shame, Courage and Vulnerability. In our journey with The Quest, it has often been hard to find other practitioners, in the UK, doing this work.

From a practitioner’s perspective, The Daring Way™ program was a good way to integrate the work we have been doing with gay men. The essence of the program was – Show Up™, Be Seen™, Live Brave™ – this pretty much captures what we have been doing with gay men over the past 3 years; looking at the thoughts, feelings, beliefs and behaviours that can often get in the way. Continue Reading →

The dilemma of ‘hook-up’ apps

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 →

“KILLING MY MOTHER” – Review

….. by Michael Gaffney

Ade - Story 1I 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 →

The Two Way

Ian McCurrach talks to Peter Collins about his experience of marching in London Pride

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 →

The Two Way

Ian McCurrach talks to Ade Adeniji

5 Steps to Authentic Self Expression

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 →

Reflections on the Journey

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 →

The Past Is A Foreign Country

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.

The Past Is A Foreign Country from Little Red Shoes on Vimeo.

“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”

The horizon beyond Same-Sex Marriage

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 →

Aching for Home

“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 →

The Quest One-Day Workshop

5 Steps to Authentic Self-Expression

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 →

Growing Up Gay in a Straight World

In this conflab, Ade Adeniji, Co-Founder of The Quest and Sunny Bahra, a previous participant of The Quest workshops, talk about the notion that ‘Gays need to grow up’.

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 →

The Quest Weekend Workshop

Ade Adeniji and Darren Brady, Founders of The Quest, talk about the Weekend Workshop for Gay Men.

Previous participants share their stories.

“My Wish for 2014……”

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:

  1. What I learnt from my journey with The Quest in 2013 was…….
  2. My 2014 Wish for myself is………….
  3. My 2014 Wish for Gay Men everywhere is………
  4. My 2014 Wish for the Gay Community is……….. Continue Reading →

Memories of 2013

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 →

Coming Home for Christmas

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 →

Broadcasting Ourselves

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 →