Thursday, August 16, 2007

Queer Spirit/Money/Pride Counseling

There have been some questions regarding Queer Spirit and its relationship with Pride Counseling. Pride Counseling is a personal business of Jerry Buie LCSW. Pride Counseling has been around for about 4 years as a formal counseling agency to the GLBT community. Our website is Queer Spirit is something totally different than Pride Counseling. Queer Spirit is about community, spirit and being queer. It is personal passion of mine that is taking root and growing in a wonderful manner, but distinct and different than Pride Counseling.

My friend Bo Young is the Editor of a queer spirit journal named The White Crane. This journal is a wonderful publication for the queer community with writings that are provoking and informative. Bo create the White Crane Institute to support communities and efforts similar to Queer Spirit.

For years now I have envisioned queer men getting together in the wonderful surroundings of Utah to explore and understand who we are. Meeting John Cottrell a few years ago we realized how we shared in this vision. He was already generating interest in Yoga, relaxation/mediation techniques and body work. We began a process of unfolding for ourselves what a queer retreat might look like and we quickly acknowledged the financial angle that might be a challenge for those who needed to attend and might not have the resources. We have applied for grants but with limited success. We do local fundraising and this has been successful and has facilitated or partially facilitated scholarships for folks to attend. The cost of the retreat covers the cost of the ranch, lodging and food and to a small degree the cost associated in educating folks about the retreat. The editor of White Crane offered to integrate us into his 501 Non profit considering his mission statement was the essence of what we wanted to accomplish in Utah. Our connection to this non profit makes funding issues for the retreats less complicated and also makes funding agencies more interested in assisting us. The funds that have been raised and generated that go beyond our expenses such as lodging, food, supplies, advertisement, etc go back into the non profit and become start up funds for the next retreat. One of our goals is to create an accessible event. John and I have seen that this retreat could be a powerful venue for folks in recovery or in other challenging life circumstances. It is a retreat.

So please do not confuse Pride Counseling with Queer Spirit. Two different ventures and two different ambitions. I do want to thank White Crane Institute as they have provided a generous start up funds (, Q Salt Lake who has been generous with rates for ads as well as visibility, The Pillar who recently did an article in our behalf, The Center who have linked us to the broader community, and Yahoo Groups and the various Utah Yahoo Groups who have willingly donated space in their listserv in helping us get the word out. It is this type of energy and spirit of things that truly transforms a community into becoming a powerful force.


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