June 15th | Napa Valley College | Turning Shame Into PRIDE


  • Presented by Finn Deerhart, founder of Queer Connect
  • Queer Connect is a community for gay, queer, bi, and trans men seeking connection and tools to help craft solid authentic relationships and exciting erotic chemistry. We offer a variety of workshops and interactive experiences designed to help bring sexuality and spirituality together by increasing our capacities for intimacy, cultivating desire, and overcoming blocks to expression.


Many of us gay, queer, and trans men enter into this world with secrecy and shame surrounding our sexualities. From birth, sex and spirit are divided, separate parts of our personalities that often seem to be in conflict with each other. We may spend our entire lives trying to get back to a sense of wholeness within ourselves. We tend to make choices about sex, the emotional and physical safety of it, or lack thereof, based on our greater community’s ideas about what it means to liberate ourselves sexually. We seek refuge in places like the Bay Area where we can identify openly with other men about the sex that we want to be having, should be having, or are actively pursuing.

Against insurmountable odds, many of us have learned to live openly to the best of our abilities, but beneath our newfound freedom, the scars remain. We have been divided in half, leaving many of us without a spiritual framework that really makes sense to us. Naturally so, because we have been spiritually abused, internalizing our culture’s judgmental attitudes about who we are. In response, we create identities and relationships based largely on sex, our own subcultures that value copious amounts of free sexual expression. We need deep healing, but we often look to the act of sex, itself, to heal us—and it cannot—until we embrace the shame that defines it. True pride is born from a grounded sense of self acceptance.


In this workshop, you will learn practical tools to have more fulfilling, satisfying connections, whether you are single or in relationship. This event will focus on:

  • Intimacy—How connection with others over our personal journeys is essential to authentic relationships
  • Desire—How desire leads us into our shadows so that we might be able to heal what keeps us blocked
  • Healing—“The wound is the medicine.” How the places that have caused us the greatest pain can be transformed into the basis of authenticity and personal pride

What to Expect:

  • A blend of group discussion and practical exercises.
  • Drawing on Tantra, Nonviolent Communication, Hakomi, current theories in couples’ therapy, sex therapy, EFT, and mythology, we create a safe container for you to share about your experience.


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