MORE THAN JUST A GROUP OF GAY COACHES
By Anthony T. Eaton | Freelance Writer
Recently I sat down with my longtime friend Tim Kincaid, newly elected president of the Gay Coaches Alliance, to talk about the Alliance and being a gay coach. Tim is a leadership coach and consultant specializing in strategic communications, change management, and leadership development and teaches numerous university courses.
Tim described the Alliance as a group of men who identify as gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer. The centraltheme is that they identify with men as male and male. Collectively they work with coaches or are helping professionals who use coaching as a critical component of their work. Currently, about a hundred and twenty-five men belong worldwide.
“It has a nice tribal feel to it. You could say it feels like coming home in a way that is kind of rare for gay folks.”
Tim and I discussed how you still feel different even in the most welcoming, nurturing environments. The group’s purpose is to give members a sense of belonging that other organizations don’t.
The Alliance was formed in 2003 by a group of gay male coaches that includes present members Dave Allen, Michael Cohen, and Harry Faddis. The group believed there was a need for such a group and that gay men could be especially powerful coaches. Because there isa shared experience that many of us have gone through, it often allows us to bring a different emotional connectedness to coaching. That connectedness includes a kind of empathy and understanding, especially of those who are similar because they have been maybe marginalized or have not had the same opportunity.
“One of the underpinnings is that gay men can make for really great coaches for anyone, not just for other gay men.”
Because gay men have spent a lifetime shape-shifting and hiding in plain sight, even in welcoming environments, they have become good observers. Hiding in plain sight has made us curious about what’s the thing beneath the thing.
The story of feeling alone, growing up and into young adulthood, and not feeling like they had anybody in their corner comes up again and again with gay men. Because of the shared experience, gay men significantly benefit from coaching. Again,
Although the group was designed to get more gay men to become coaches and get more coaching to gay men, many members coach all kinds of people. For Tim, it is mainly in the business realm and academia.
“Whether conforming or marching to your own brightly colored gay drum, a coach is there to support you in creating the life you want, dream of, and richly deserve.”
Because many coaches are independent, working for themselves, we could not overlook the pandemic’s impact on the group and its members. Before COVID, the group met in person once a month but has been having monthly zoom calls for members who can also invite the occasional guest. Given the pandemic’s impact on social interactions, Tim said that they were surprised to have several more men join. Some of the new members are from as far away as the UK. Having members outside of the United States has brought a global feel to the Alliance and its members. When it comes to the business of coaching, it has been a mixed bag depending a lot on what kind of coaching members do and it is individually focused or geared to corporate clients.
In addition to monthly meetings, the Alliance has a virtual conference in the winter and then in the spring and will resume their face-to-face in-person conferences at their Eastern Mountain Retreat Center in Upstate NY.
“Those retreats are amazing with high-quality content, lots of coaching, presentations, and learning. So, there’s a rigor to it.”
It is important to note that the Gay Coaches Alliance is not just a group for coaches to meet; it is also a place to find a coach if you need one, whether that is for something personal or for your career. Tim shared that the Alliance has grown and changed over time and continues to do that as the world we live in continues to grow and change. As those changes happen, the need for gay coaches and the Alliance continues to grow.
To learn more about the Alliance or find a coach, visit their website and use the coach finder feature to search based on different criteria. https://thegaycoaches.com/