Graham Hadley attended The Quest Workshop in May 2013……
What brought you to The Quest Workshop?
I was introduced to The Quest through a friend who had been on the weekend workshop. I had been doing lots of personal development work through an organisation called ‘The Essence Foundation’ and a series of gay men events through Loving Men. I was intrigued to see how The Quest was different to Essence and Loving Men.
I did go along to a Quest First Tuesday gathering in Soho to get a better idea about The Quest before going on the course. I received such a warm and friendly welcome that I decided to do The Quest weekend workshop in May 2013.
What was your experience of The Quest Workshop?
I thought it was excellent. The co-facilitators, Ade, Darren and Ernesto were highly skilled and quickly tuned into what each person was needing out of the weekend. They created a safe and explorative space where I felt I could reveal my true authentic self and make deep connections quickly. It was amazing how soon people were willing to share deep and often very painful experiences from the very first evening of the workshop.
Was it what you expected?
I did not really have any preconceived expectations. I felt some apprehension mixed with excitement about what I might find out about myself. I also hoped I might find some new gay friends with common experiences of life. I was not disappointed. I was also intrigued about what a gay men only workshop would be like, and how different it might be from previous personal development work I had done.
What did you get from the workshop?
I found the group sharing so powerful. Listening to everyone’s stories and experiences was very humbling. I felt something in common with every member of the group. There is something very different about being together with other gay men, outside of the usual gay scene.
I made deep and intimate connections with several gay men, who I remain in touch with. I revisited some of my own issues and saw them in a new light, even though I did not experience any new personal revelations, I learnt to get back in touch with my playful side.
What difference has the workshop made to your life?
It reinforced aspects of myself which I had some familiarity with, but also has led me to give myself permission to lead a more authentic life and to be proud to be a gay man. Indeed I have been on the last two London Pride marches under The Quest banner for the first time. I also went on The Quest Summer Retreat in 2014, which was a great experience with lots of fun and more personal insights. The Quest is certainly now firmly part of my gay family and support network. If you are hesitating about doing a Quest workshop go for it as it could quite literally change your life for the better.
To find out more about The Quest Workshop or to register, click here.