The Gay Coaches Alliance isn’t what it sounds like — members like Tim Kincaid just want to make gay men more fabulous
RICH LOPEZ | Staff Writer
When I first heard of the Gay Coaches Alliance, my mind flashed back to my high school coach’s gloriously thick thighs in tight grey Bike shorts. Man, those were some nice thighs. Alas, this groups isn’t a GSA for queer whistle-wearers. None of these coaches were going to improve my running time. Rather, GCA is an organization of life coaches that want to get gay men on the path to a better self.
And local coach Tim Kincaid had his sights set on me.
First I had to figure out if I needed coaching. I’m pretty relaxed about everything around me. When the office is insane, the boyfriend’s in a mood and the traffic won’t let up, I can Zen myself into a chill zone. I have freakouts, but mostly, I’m good.
Then I discovered that’s not what gay coaching is about; it may even be holding me back. Chill isn’t bad, but it doesn’t put me in motion.
Prior to our laser session (translation: a roughly 20-minute abbreviated rap), Kincaid sent me the Wheel of Life exercise in which I rate key segments of life like career, relationships and personal growth from one to ten on a pie diagram. Then I connect the dots to see how un-round my wheel is. Even cavemen would’ve thought mine was a hot mess.
“That’s not unusual,” Kincaid says. “Let’s take a look at some of these.”
We discussed safe ones like “physical environment” and “career.” I didn’t want to get into specifics about my “erotic fulfillment” or “significant other/romance” channels in just a few minutes. That stuff is too juicy and will wait for my memoirs.
The idea behind coaching works to help people build stronger lives through deep listening, compassion and empathy. Ultimately, the client (here, me) comes with his or her own answers.
“We help them think through situations by asking powerful questions,” Kincaid says. “Coaching is more present- and future-oriented with a bias for action.”
As it turns out, my bias for action involves clearing out the dining room and looking for advice on a potential side business. After moving into the boyfriend’s house, I’ve wanted to make my stamp on the place. My ingrained laziness at moving heavy things and unpacking forgotten boxes is my biggest opponent. Only no longer! Thanks, Tim Kincaid!
“Part of coaching is to deep dive into your values and see what makes you tick,” he says. “If that value isn’t being honored, we have to get to what will resonate with who you are.”
To make me accountable, he finally asked if I’ll do it. I learned that when a coach asks something, a simple “yes” or “no” suffices, but with a nay comes a counteroffer and I did not have time for that. I mean, Project Runway is back on.
Thus, by Labor Day, that room will be (notice I didn’t say should) edited down to the necessities before making a den out of it. As for the side business, he assigned me to contact a peer I knew in the field to pick their brain and get some basic advice. That was done by the end of the day. Score! Man, progress felt good.
Kincaid discovered his passions have altered over the years. He dreamed of working for American Airlines, which he did for 16 years. At 50, that changed. He took an early retirement package, earned his doctorate, received coach training and now he makes lives better — or gives them direction rather. Although the focus of him and the GCA is geared toward gay men, he’s not opposed to expanding his services to the other letters of the LGBT communities.
“The alliance figured there were a lot of gay men who needed a coach to get past unquestioned beliefs or things told to them by culture and society,” he says. “I would love to see other groups form and coach all people in the community. This is just the starting point.”
I told Kincaid I felt guilty for wanting more since dreams of mine have come true. He told me something I never considered.
“Just dream some more,” he says.
That’s some good Oprah-stuff right there.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 9, 2011.