One of the problems that a lot of guys have and are asking me about is where they can find other gay men — besides at the online personals sites.
Most of the guys that ask this question have one or more of the following characteristics:
1. They live in a smaller city, when compared to the BIG cities.
2. They’re usually not “Out” or they’ve only been out for a short while and don’t have many gay friends.
3. They think they’re the only gay person in their area.
Tune up your Gaydar, because regardless of your circumstances and regardless of where you live we’re going to take a look at some of the ways you can find out where all the gay men in your area hang out.
Now I do realize that it’s possible to live in a town where there’s next to no gay men around or at least none that are available. I have lived in some really small towns – three and four digit populations… So, you may have to take the occasional trip to your nearest large town in order to find any sizable gay population.
The first thing you need to do is take a good hard look at the city or town that you do live in. I had a boyfriend who claimed that there were no gay bars or gay organizations in his town. I couldn’t believe it because he lived in a University town and one of the Universities or Colleges had a major arts program…
Sure those aren’t proof that there’s got to be some gays out there, but my Gaydar says that those are indications that there’s going to be a few gays hanging around town. A quick flick through the local phone book confirmed my suspicions. Three gay bars, (one of them was a leather bar), a couple of gay book stores, the campus Pride Society – all in a “conservative mid-west state town”.
The phone book or Yellow Pages is a great resource. Whenever I’m traveling, one of the first things I do when I arrive or stop off in a city, is check out the phone book for gay book stores and gay bars.
Another resource that I’ve found invaluable is gay book stores. In addition to finding good reading material or a cute book store owner, employee or fellow gay bookworm, gay book stores often sell or give away “Pink Pages”. What are Pink Pages? They’re like the Yellow Pages, only geared towards the Gay and Lesbian community. Sometimes the Pink Pages are brochure sized, others are larger – booklet sized publications.
Speaking of the Pink Pages, there’s numerous Pink Pages on the web – many that are specific to certain cities or regions. Go to your favorite search engine, type in “Pink Pages” or try “Pink Pages and The City That You Live In”. (Skip the quotation marks.)
Two last points about gay book stores… Check out the inevitable bulletin board AND ask the clerk where the gay hot spots are. Also ask him about the special events, Pride festivals or social clubs and groups that happen and meet in your area.
Another place that you should check out is your local PFLAG chapter, (Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays). In the U.S. pflag.org is the site to visit. You can find out where your local chapter is, find out more about gender identity and sexual orientation as well as some great tips on coming out. In Canada, pflag.ca is the site to go to.
Once you start doing a little research you’ll begin finding out about the places to go to. You’ll find that there are more opportunities than meet the eye – you may even find that there’s a much larger and vibrant gay community than you suspected. That’s when you’ll start meeting other gay men or at the very least the opportunity to meet them.