According to Michael Hobbes’ 2017 Huffington Post article, Together Alone: Why Didn't Gay Rights Cure Gay Loneliness, gay and bi men are experiencing loneliness at an alarming rate. This can partially be attributed to the stress endured from being in a minority community while looking for belonging. Thisworkshop provides time and space for gay and bi men interested in bringing loneliness out of the shadows and examining its various shades. It will use fun interactive theatre games, writing exercises, and other participatory activities to unpack the ways minority stress contribute to loneliness, and to imagine what the opposite of loneliness could look like. Suitable for anyone who identifies as a gay or bi man who is currently feeling or has ever felt lonely.
Research and Background
Abu Ansari has been an artistic associate with Voice of the City since 1999 and recently served on its board of directors as vice president of making art. He is currently pursuing an MA in applied theatre at London’s Goldsmiths University. Abu began researching loneliness to gain perspective on his own struggle to find belonging following a succession of loss, grief, and a move to a new country.
For his dissertation, which will be completed at the end of August, Abu is researching how participatory arts can be employed as an intervention for loneliness in gay/bi men. Research shows that minority stress, or the anxiety experienced on a day-to-day basis by people within a stigmatized minority group, can be an indicator for loneliness. Gay/bi men are specifically at risk, as the judgement, alienation, and expectations for masculine perfection imposed by a heteronormative society often get reinforced by other queer men.