We often get contacted by guys who are coming out or are new to Wellington and they have no idea how to meet other gay guys socially. When we start to run through a list of options, usually they're really suprised. Here's a list of 20 ideas I've put together and sent to a couple of guys recently. Tell us what you think - what's missing that you'd recommend?
20 things a gay man in Wellington can do to meet other guys socially...
1.Drop in at the S&M bar on Cuba Street. They're friendly and there are free newspapers and pamphlets that tell you what's going on. If you feel awkward with nothing to do, come to one of their camp bingo (bingay) evenings on Wednesday and have some fun.
2. Go to Pink Ink. The gay men's book group that meets monthly to discuss and share books and DVDs. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org, mobile: 027 274 4200
3. Try bowling. Sundays, 5pm at Strike, 399 Hutt Road, Lower Hutt. Playing 3 games of tenpin in teams of 2. Cost is only $20pp. email: email@example.com
4. Sing with the gay and lesbian choir, the Glamaphones. Rehearsals are on Thursdays 6.30 - 8.30, at St Mary's Hall in Boulcott Street, 50m up the road from the church. Contact Jo Calascione firstname.lastname@example.org or Jan Suckling email@example.com
5. Learn how to dance. DANSSINZ classes for Wellington Gay and Lesbian dancers and friends are held at Thistle Hall, located on the corner Arthur Street & Cuba Street, upstairs (enter through Arthur Street side). Payment is by koha/donation. No partner is necessary. Sunday Nights. 7-9 pm
6. Chill out at a cafe. Abode Cafe, 28 Cornwall Street, Lower Hutt's only out and proud gay owned and operated cafe!
7. Get fit running. Frontrunners is an inclusive running group for the Capital’s gay and lesbian runners. They meet outside the Freyberg Pool on Oriental Parade on Sundays at 9am.
8. GOTH. It's not what you may think. Gays Of The Hutt is a gay mens social group that meets in the Hutt for pot luck dinners. The group's meetings are on the second Saturday of each month from 7.30pm-10pm (from February-November). The attendee numbers vary from about 7-15 people each month. Contact GOTH by phoning the gay helpline on 473 7878.
9. Pack condoms. The NZAF Āwhina Centre is based on Willis Street in central Wellington. Our one constant opportunity is condom packing. One evening every week we have a dedicated team of volunteers who gather at our main centres to pack condoms. We distribute around 30-40,000 condoms each month - that's a lot of condoms! We would love your help to pack them.
10. Swim. Different Strokes is a group of mixed ability swimmers who swim together for fitness, fun and friendship. All ability levels, male and female swimmers are welcome. Coached swimming training sessions every Monday at 7:00pm; uncoached training sessions every Thursday night at 7:00pm and social swim sessions every Sunday at 5:00pm during winter daylight saving times and at 6:00pm during summer. Address: Freyberg Pool, 139 Oriental Parade, Wellington. (Thursday and Sunday). WRAC, 63 Kilbirnie Crescent, Kilbirnie.(Monday). Email: Different Strokes Website: www.dsw.org.nz
11. Hear a coming out story (or tell yours). Newcomers is a group run by Gay Wellington where guys meet every second Tuesday from 6pm to 7.30pm to share their coming out story or hear others talk about their lives. Great to do if you're coming out, but if you've already been there you can still come and help other guys by telling your story. Phone the gay helpline on 473 7878.
12. Cycle. Yes, Wellington does have a gay men's cycling group. The guys cycle for an hour most Saturday mornings and have coffee afterwards. Phone the gay helpline on 473 7878.
13. Get political. The Queer Avengers is a group fighting homophobia and transphobia, in Wellington and further afield. They meet every Thursday and they like rainbow balaclavas and unicorns. Contact them by email at: thequeeravengers AT gmail DOT com.
14. Volunteer. Gay Wellington runs a helpline, coming out groups, School's Out, a HIV/AIDS grant fund and much more. They have monthly guest speakers from the community as well as monthly social events. Phone the gay helpline on 473 7878. If this isn't your thing, have a look round for other volunteer groups to join. Gayline is another group of volunteers working to help others who are gay or are exploring their sexuality by maintaining a database of what's on. Check out http://www.gayline.gen.nz/contact.htm
15. Become a social fruit. Social Fruits is a social group for young LGBT people 18-30 years. Contact Ellen on 027 5499542 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
16. Are you a gay or bi dad? Gay Dads is a friendly social group for gay dads and their partners. The group meets monthly (usually at weekends) for a pot luck meal and drink. This is a social group and they normally meet in someone's house. email email@example.com
17. Take a trip out of town. The Kapiti Rainbow Club is a social group for men in the Kapiti and Horowhenua areas. Monthly gatherings, email firstname.lastname@example.org. There's also Rural Blokes, a social group for gay men in the Wairarapa that organises social events. email email@example.com
18. Network. Rainbow Wellington is a group representing the interests of, and organising social functions and activities for, the local GLBTI community. They hold regular events and publish a very good newsletter. It costs $40 to be a member. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or check out their website which is always up-to-date and quicker than email: http://www.rainbowwellington.org.nz/
19. Walk on the wild side. Wellington has two gay saunas - Checkmate at 15 Tory Street and The Emperor's Bathhouse on 5 Wigan Street.
20. Admire the flora. Join the Wellington Rainbow Gardening Group. email email@example.com