connect / 2020
We have been offering retreats and immersive experiences for men of transgender experience for the past two years. We would like to shift into also creating this offering for transgender and cisgender men, with the aim of creating shared brotherhood and learning to become better men together.
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
- County of Los Angeles
- City of Los Angeles
In what stage of innovation is this project?Expand existing program
Please list the organizations collaborating on this proposal.
- The Intentional Man Project
If you are submitting a collaborative proposal, please describe the specific role of partner organizations in the project.
Intentional Man Project will focus on cross promotion to engage men of all kinds. Camp Lost Boys currently serves trans men exclusively and Intentional Man Project serves trans and cisgender men. It is our aim to bring men of all experience together and IMP will do this through its broader reach.
In programming for events and gatherings, Camp Lost Boys will provide chat leaders and experts from the trans male perspective and Intentional Man Project will provide leaders that are cisgender.
What is the need you’re responding to?
Camp Lost Boys was born out of necessity. Transgender men have no other dedicated space (worldwide) or services that care for their specific needs. This event has literally saved lives. It was at the first gathering in 2017, that I realized how isolated I’d felt from other men and my own masculinity and, consequently, how I’d been harboring an old and obsolete hatred in my heart. The damaging beliefs I’d had about all men being toxic had corroded my sense of self. I realized all men (not just trans men) are isolated, depressed and suicidal, as indicated by the statistics. Men are 4 times as likely to die by suicide than women and 51% of trans men under the age of 18 have admitted to attempting suicide.
Camp Lost Boys is helping trans men love themselves, love each other and build community. We want to extend this into the larger culture of all men.
Why is this project important to the work of your organization?
While so-called crises of masculinity have existed as long as the concept of masculinity itself, we are experiencing a moment of greater cultural awareness today. Men’s work may be nothing new, but our approach is completely radical and different from what has come before and what currently exists. Much of that work is not in conscious dialogue with broader social questions, but treats men’s issues as stand-alone and solipsistic. Our work is unique in its nature. Unwaveringly allied with and rooted in intersectional feminism and social justice movements, it approaches men’s work from an expansive and inclusive way, transforming greater communities by positively reshaping individual lives.
All of our four events have had attendance of between 30-45% men of color and between the ages of 18-76. It is always our aim to continue to grow our diverse attendance.
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?
- Direct impact
- Indirect impact
Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.
These events transform men. It allows men to have a deep inward moment of self reflection. They will build deep connections to themselves and their fellows, while unpacking patriarchal gendered norms and building authentic connection to self. This experience resources men with new tools for understanding privilege and how they can extract themselves from patriarchy and begin to work in solidarity with women in non-binary people, with a simple approach to personal growth based on five progressive tenets: awareness, connection, accountability, empathy, solidarity.
This experience not only transforms the men, but it transforms their subsequent communities.
Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.
A few factors will define success. If we are able to produce an event for 100 men, half of which are cis gender and half trans men and there is a diverse age range and men of color in attendance. If in the exit survey men express radical transformation, life changing or life saving sentiments. If we are able to host an event full of conversations and workshops that transform the culture of masculinity in the men that attend and their subsequent communities and that ripple effect takes hold of LA. And especially if it becomes clear that there is an ongoing desire for more of this event.
Which of the connect metrics will your submission impact?
- Social and emotional support
- Public arts and cultural events
- LGBTQ+ equity and inclusion
Are there any other LA2050 goal categories that your proposal will impact?
- LA is the best place to LEARN
- LA is the best place to PLAY
Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?
- Access to the LA2050 community
- Host public events or gatherings
- Communications support
- Office space for meetings, events, or for staff
- Capacity, including staff
- Strategy assistance and implementation