The Gifted Community—What Are Our Responsibilities?

The Gifted Community

by Barry Gelston, M.Ed.

The Gifted Community is a collective whole of individuals who are as different as they are unique. We share a club that is defined by each one of us being an outlier to the norm. We are divergent, excitable, sensitive, and perceptive. Truth is that we may not even want to or feel comfortable identifying as “Gifted.” For many, growing up as different without understanding it has meant feeling alone in a crowd and feeling misunderstood. We laugh at the wrong punchline, share references that most don’t get, and feel passionately about serious topics that only cause glaze and snickers in others.

As the world looks to the gifted community to solve their problems, we have a responsibility to put on our oxygen masks first.

Barry Gelston, M.Ed.

What brought us here?

Historically, GHF is a community that has been an entry point for many into the world of “living with giftedness.” Families usually find us at a point in their lives when educational institutions no longer work for their kiddos. Their gifted and 2E children do not fit into the system and parents are willing to give up the social structures that define most people’s lives. For most, courage and fear are the two most prominent defining emotions. Parents are in the process of changing family lifestyle in order to replace the rituals of traditional school.

Our origins are in the roots of gifted homeschool families coming together to support each other in what is quite often a reluctant endeavor. Long conversations were shared in a Yahoo Group (Forum), called the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum. For me, that forum was my entry into “Gifted Land.” I was looking for help with my son, what I got was just as much or more about learning about myself. GHF launched me on a journey of self-discovery and connecting with people that are now many of my closest friends. What I have learned since has far eclipsed the topic of gifted homeschooling, yet the themes involved are the basis for what has improved my life.

So what is it that we have in common?
For various reasons, most of us feel separate, introverted, and focused on our regular individual pursuits. Among us, there is no clear standard-bearer, just archetypes that have little to do with our personal realities. The question remains, how do we find common ground where our commonality is our uniqueness, our individual differences from the norm? The reality is that our uniqueness is our commonality and there is a lot to learn from it.

We are responsible to put on our oxygen mask first.

In our community, we are a network. Our relationship reflects the infrastructure on which we are built. GHF is a hub that connects influencers and nodes alike. GHF is not an authority, rather we look to our community as our greatest strength which is to understand the gifted experience from our diverse experiences and specialties. We are learners, thinkers, researchers, educators, artists, musicians, and craftspeople. We integrate and we specialize. We are serial thinkers, lateral thinkers, and relational thinkers. We can look at the world from a wide variety of angles with different perspectives and skill sets. As the world looks to the gifted community to solve their problems, we have a responsibility to put on our oxygen masks first.

How do we make this community work?

First and foremost, we must start our community from a place of presumed mutual respect and caring for each others’ well being. We are here to educate and support each other. The ability to engage in a positive community experience is an important part of each of our personal development as gifted adults.


GHF Board President

Barry Gelston has an M.Ed. in mathematics education and an undergraduate degree in psychology. Mr. Gelston specializes in working internationally as a private educator for gifted home learners. As an activist, Barry leads GHF with the goal of empowering the gifted community to collaborate to ensure that the learning needs of each gifted person is met. “Our community is filled with brilliant professionals, passionate and engaged families, and most of the tools necessary to help each gifted person engage in the love of learning.”


From the Editor


Celi Trépanier

The Gifted Community—What Are Our Responsibilities?

The gifted community is parents, educators, mental healthcare providers, medical professionals, and gifted individuals. We are all linked together through our concern for the social, emotional, and educational well-being of all gifted individuals. However, what is our responsibility as a member of the gifted community?

Barry Gelston, M.Ed., the president of GHF Learners, has written a poignant and heartfelt article about the gifted community and our responsibilities as members of this unique community. His quote, "As the world looks to the gifted community to solve their problems, we have a responsibility to put on our oxygen masks first," tells us we need to first nurture and grow our caring, connected community. Only then can we fulfill our potential and become all we can be as a dynamic and productive community.

As part of the gifted community, what role will you play in creating a vibrant, respected, and fruitful community?

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Celi Trépanier
Editorial Director for GHF Learners


GHF is pleased to support 2 Days of 2e again this year!

If you have a gifted child or student with a learning difference, then 2 Days Of 2e is the conference is for you.

2 Days of 2e is all ONLINE:
* listen to presentations,
* interact with speakers,
* connect in our discussion forums for parents, teachers and clinicians, and
* meet resources in our VIRTUAL Exhibitor Hall!


It’s time to welcome your child to GHF's Online learning community. With our third session commencing October 14th, we wanted to ensure that you had all the details regarding our amazing lineup.

GHF Classes are designed to accommodate 3 to 12 learners per section. Classes meet once a week for 8 weeks and are held via Zoom video conference. The tuition for each class is $160.


For those of you who can give at least $500 we have created a special recognition program where you will be listed on the GHF website and in our monthly newsletter, The GHF Journey, as valued members of the community. Donations may be kept anonymous.

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