Meeting GLBT Peers
Some questions have been received regarding where GLBT persons can go to meet others. This is a rather broad topic but I can offer several ideas and resources.
Relationships are grounded in common experiences, shared goals and/or mutual interests. So whether you are in search of friends or a more intimate relationship, in general, the more you have in common the better. For that reason it is helpful to meet people engaging in activities that you enjoy so that you at least start off with a mutual interest. The Western New York GLBT community supports a broad array of activity or mutual interest related groups and organizations. Contact information can be found on this site, www.gaybuffalo.org, OUTCOME, or the Gaywatch section of ARTVOICE. I know that it can be a little threatening to go to an established group or organization but you can always go with a friend and the groups I am aware of are very welcoming. If you do decide to try this then try to attend a few times before you decide whether or not this is for you.
If you are attending an area college and there is a GLBT group on campus then check it out, go to some meetings or events the group sponsors. Some of the area churches are very supportive of GLBT membership and even host discussion and support groups. The Unitarian Universalist Church and Saint Joseph’s are two of which I am aware. There are also a number of groups organized around a spiritual or denominational principal such as Dignity/Catholic or Presbyterians for Lesbian and Gay Concerns among others.
During the year several organizations in the area host or sponsor events that offer a chance to experience a broader sense of community due to the number and diversity of the people attending. Specifically I am referring to Pride activities and events including the Dyke March and the June Pride Parade and Celebration (see www.pridebuffalo.org for info), AIDS Walk organized by AIDS Community Services and the Gay Men’s Chorus concerts, usually held in January and June each year.
If you are a college student or older, you might find links to activities and interest groups through the Pride Center of WNY, located at 18 Trinity Place in Buffalo.
For those of you over eighteen or on those nights when some of the bars let in those just under eighteen with a hand stamp, it can be fun to dance, listen to music, people watch and hang out with friends. In this environment it is important to keep a heads up and avoid the pitfalls of drugs, too much drinking and unsafe sex. In a future Info Page I would like to expand on this topic but with more input from you. Contact this site and let me know about your personal experiences both positive and negative out in the bar scene and be a part of writing on this topic with me.
In closing, I hope that you find ways to connect to the community that are safe and satisfying and help you experience a sense of belonging.