Year-End Giving by Tom Kovach
Once upon a time, three storms came together to challenge the resilience of Body Electric and the BE Community. We started with a new wave of COVID-19; we found a way to work through that only to face Mpox; and as the vaccines for Mpox were finally rolled out, we all got hit with inflation and a slowing economy. This has negatively impacted our workshop attendance and our ability to pay our operating expenses.
Throughout this story, we have many heroes:
- the BE Ambassadors, who have volunteered their time and talent to help promote Body Electric in new locations and ones we have not been to for quite some time;
- the BE Board, which has been so generous with its members’ talent in helping with major projects like the new website, the Justice Equity Diversity and Inclusion Committee, strategic planning, grant applications, and fundraising;
- our beloved Body Electric Facilitators, who help us in our transformative journeys and also donate generously to Body Electric;
- the coordinators, who work so hard behind the scenes to make our workshops possible, pleasurable, and welcoming, and who are often some of our largest donors both in waiving their earnings and giving their own money;
- the Body Electric Operations team, who work for far less than they are worth but still volunteer time to help make the school run.
But with all this amazing cast of characters, the real hero is you. None of this is possible without you taking your heroic journey of transformation, you helping others into the work, and you providing us with the memberships and donations that funded the scholarships for over 100 recipients this year and helped us overcome this very difficult year.
We appreciate all that you do for the school, and now we are asking for you to help us meet 2022’s many challenges and keep Body Electric running as we prepare for our 40th anniversary. There are several ways to support us:
- Donations All donations are tax-deductible. Please check with your employer to see if they offer any matching funds.
- Amazon Smile When you shop at Amazon, a percentage of your total can go to Body Electric — at no extra charge.
The Body Electric School thanks you and wishes you a happy holiday season!
An Interview with Collin Brown by Craig Cullinane
Craig Cullinane interviews Collin Brown about his online course “Gay Soul – Finding the Heart of Gay Spirit and Nature,” which runs for 16 weeks starting on Tuesday, January 10, 2023. The course is based on Mark Thompson’s book Gay Soul, which offers interviews with 16 prominent gay men from the past.
What do you love about this class?
I think this is an amazing book of stories of gay men who were really important during the 1950s and ’60s, like James Broughton, Harry Hay, and Andrew Harvey. Paul Monette was a beautiful writer for many years, and he died earlier than he should have. I’m so glad that Mark Thompson wrote those beautiful essays with these gay elders and made it possible to get to know them.
What is your hope for the participants of this class?
That they will learn more about their own gay soul. People will learn about these gay elders but also use that as inspiration to explore themselves. I’m asking them questions so they’ll get to know themselves better. And they will share their answers with a group of people, which brings them together. The stories in this book act as a mirror for the participants, and with the questions, they’ll help activate their experience of their own gay soul.
The author of Gay Soul, Mark Thompson, was the editor of the Advocate, and he had the opportunity to personally interview all these men — including Malcolm Boyd and Joseph Kramer, the founder of Body Electric. Some of the people in the book are therapists, some are writers, and some explore BDSM. This course can also serve to connect people to their gay lineage, learning a lot about themselves as they learn about gay history. The class also creates a community of people, and there’s so much that can happen when we’re connected in community.
I’m excited about this. It’s important that we are informed about the people who came before us.
Collin Brown (he/him), the former director of the Body Electric School, is a teacher, life coach, and spiritual counselor who has developed and facilitated experiential learning courses for 30 years.
Spotlight on Community by Craig Cullinane
Craig Cullinane talks with Ken Immer, producer of the Body Electric Erotic Liberation Podcast, about his history with the school, his enthusiasm, the Ambassadors program, and why he thinks the podcast will be a great tool for helping people understand what BE is all about. “It’s very accessible and real,” Ken says, adding, “I think that everyone will probably hear themselves in every episode.”