Manifest was founded more than 23 years ago in 1996 from a vision I had about having a place for Gay men to really be themselves. Since my youth, I had imagined a place free from the structures of the straight world, a place to recharge and to reconnect with other Gay men.
The social conditioning that awaits a Gay man coming out of the closet is just as intense as the conditioning he is leaving behind. We do to each other what many minority communities do in response to the outside stressors: we force each other to fit into tight little boxes of how we believe we should behave in order to " protect" the outside world. Our response to this extreme pressure from the outside is to destroy ourselves from within.
We kill each other with snarkiness. We do it with our dicks when we are sexual without consciousness. We do it with judgements over how people look, what they say, what they wear, or with how much money they have. We do it with the commodifying of each other.
It is no wonder that most of the resources from our community are channeled into a few areas. We spend money on sex, clubs, alcohol, entertainment and bars.
Then we spend money to fix the problems that this "freedom" generates:
higher rates of suicide, drug addiction, domestic violence, STI's, depression from using the Apps and not connecting, longing for partnership, and the list goes on.
We come together over major crisis and over major fun, which is no different than what the straight world does. The difference is that we can not afford to wait until the next major event, we have to do it now...we are an urgent matter.
We have an opportunity to finally create a stronger community based on connection, on love, and on kindred spirits.It's an every day process, a never ending wake up call. If you go to sleep, you'll be pulled into the current of what we've been told to expect from Gay life and you'll miss the actual freedoms that are available. Our Identity is constantly being shaped by the community at large- I'm encouraging you to find your own True North.
When you tire of the whole Gay rat race, when you are over being used or using men as things, when you want a life worth living, give us a call. Make Manifest part of your journey. Be in it for the longhaul.
How Man-I-Fest came into being...
Kurt Wagner, B.S., M.A., LMFT, Ph.D.
He is a transdisciplinary somatic psychotherapist incorporating Core Energetics, hypnosis, NLP, Gestalt, movement and exercise, epigenetic theory, and Psycho-Physical Therapy™ in his work. He has a private practice in San Francisco where he works with individuals, couples, and groups. The primary focus of his work is with embodied somatic psychology, Somatic Resilience Theory©, relationality, and sexuality. This work for Gay men is body up and not head down. This is a phenomenological approach that taps into your felt sense of yourself and allows your mind to change with your body.
His published dissertation: Somatic Resilience in Gay Men: Living and Thriving in a Hostile World. He is also a contributing author to Diverse Bodies, Diverse Practices Toward an Inclusive Somatics, edited by Don Hanlon Johnson. Kurt authored the chapter: Somatic Psychotherapy with Gay Men. https://www.diversebodiesdiversepractices.com
He has conducted groups, workshops, and classes for The California Men's Gathering, Spectrum in Oakland, Marin Aids Project, and the Harvey Milk Institute.
He holds a bachelors in Zoology, a Masters in Counseling Psychology, and a Doctorate in Transformative Studies. He also did graduate work in AI at DePaul University Chicago, and Creative Writing at the University of Illinois Chicago.
Certifications & Trainings
Aura Soma– Osho Commune (Pune, India)
Core Energetics- 4 year Training, International Institute of Core Evolution, (Mendocino, CA)
Esoteric Science– Osho Commune (Pune, India)
Hypnotherapy Training Institute (Santa Rosa, CA)
Intuitive Counselor- Academy of Intuitive Studies (Sausalito, CA)
Mariel Practitioner- (Chicago, IL)
Massage Therapist- San Francisco School of Massage (San Francisco, CA)
NLP Institute of California
Past Life Regression– Osho Commune (Pune, India)
Psycho-Physical Therapy- Bill Bowen (Berkeley, CA)
Reiki Master (Seattle, WA)
Tarot Osho Uta Institute (Köln, Germany)
Trance Dance Facilitator Natale Institute (Amsterdam, Holland)
Classes and In-Service Events
Adjunct Professor CIIS - Human Sexuality Ph.D. Program: Caring for the Sexual Body, Fall 2015
HIV and Gay Men, Presenter, American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT), Annual Conference, 2015
Sexuality and Somatic Psychotherapy, Human Development, Mark Ludwig, Somatic Psychology Department (SPD), CIIS, 2015
The Somato-Psychological Cost of Social Marginalization: Stress, Awareness, and Resilience. Fall Somatic Speaker Series, CIIS, 2014
Deconstructing traditional binary gender/sexuality,The Body Experienced, Verbalized, & Conceptualized, Don Hanlon Johnson, SPD, CIIS, 2014
Queer Embodiment, Presenter United States Association for Body Psychotherapy Conference (USAPB) 2012
Practicing Therapist’s Panel Discussion: Couple’s Therapy Integrative Counseling Program (ICP) CIIS, 2012
Practicing Therapist’s Panel Discussion: Sexuality, ICP, CIIS, 2011
Gendering, Human Development, Mark Ludwig, Somatic Psychotherapy Department, CIIS, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Somatic Therapy and Gestalt Training Module, Bay Area Gestalt Institute (BAGI) Spring & Fall 2011
Clinical Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction- SPD, CIIS, Somatic Couples Therapy, 2010
Clinical Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction- CIIS Somatic Psychology Clinic, 2009
NLP Resourced States for Presentation-Integrative Seminar, Cambria Lowe, CIIS, 2009
NLP Resourced States for Presentation-Integrative Seminar, Mark Ludwig, CIIS, 2008
Gestalt Intensive Training, Lu Grey, Gieve Patel, Integrative Counseling Program, CIIS, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Theories & Techniques I of Somatic Therapy, Meg Chang, SPD, CIIS, 2012
Principles of Somatic Psychotherapy, Somatic Psychology Department CIIS, Ian Grand, 2009
Professional Organizations and Associations
American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT)
California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT)
The Community Academic Consortium for Research on Alternative Sexualities (CARAS)
Gay and Lesbian Therapist Association (GayLesta)
San Francisco Chapter of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (SFCAMFT)
Sexual Medicine Society of North America (SMSNA)
United States Association for Body Psychotherapy (USAPB)