Tired of online dating? Try something new!
all want our kids to be in environments that are positive and affirming for them.
A favorite of mine is a special annual summer event called Camp Camp. It's summer camp for the LGBT community. The summer camp you dreamed about as a kid is here for you as an adult. How about conferences? If you're into it, there is probably a conference with your special LGBT interest being held somewhere. Here are a few to consider:
- Transcending Boundaries Conference for the transgender community and they've got a Facebook page also.
- Our True Colors is an amazing group that supports sexual minority youth and their families. They hold an annual conference in March each year with upwards of 4000 youth in attendance.
- The Femme Conference is an event that brings together hundreds of local and national femme-identified LGBTQ people and their allies to this multi-threaded and intersectional forum.
- The Southern Comfort Conference is the largest transgender social, educational, and entertainment conference in the world.
- The BECAUSE Conference has become an important weekend attracting bisexuals, queers, trans, questioning, and all others, regardless of identity.
- Bear Pride Sleep Over Event is coming up in May. You could be there!
Are you starting to see the theme here? Google your LGBT interest and see what shows up.
6. Networks. And that means www.meetup.com plus more. This is one of my favorite resources for finding community, dates and just something to do where you live. Meetup.com has recently made it unusually painful to search their site these days so use my "go to" search source, Google.
Finding a group is just a Google search away. I typed in "transgender meetup groups" and there were three million hits. Now I'm pretty sure there aren't three million meetup groups for transgender folk out there, but it tells me that from Canada to Florida, Texas to Australia and beyond you're out there and connections can be made.
What makes meetup.com so special? Well many of the groups are absolutely free to join. Well-run groups have multiple organizers and event planners with lots of things going on, making it easy to meet LGBT folks and it's a very safe way to connect.
7. Facebook. Enough said right, yawn, boring, yeah but have you looked a little deeper. People connect on Facebook, and then if you're close enough you can take that connection off-line for face to face connections. Half the known universe is on Facebook which means lots of LGBT people are also wasting their days away on Facebook, you can too. The average person spends a couple of hours a day there and the number of lgbt groups/pages is growing every day.
Here are a couple of pages to take a look at:
Transgender Support has 23K plus likes. Have you checked this one out?
For Colored Queers is a new page but it's got legs and a unique focus and message.
My own Facebook page Gay Girl Dating Coach is out there with 3000+ likes and lots of stuff going on and lots of single ladies. I just finished our holiday campaign on how to find a date fast for the holidays. Next up is my Roadmap to Lesbian Love for 2013!
8. High school/college reunions. Now this is a really interesting way to make connections with everyone that's come out since you graduated. At my last high school reunion, I met two women who'd come out in just the last couple of years plus discovered that more than half of the women who I played field hockey with are lesbians. Did I have my head up my butt or what during high school?
For many of us, reunions don't bring up warm fuzzy feelings. We couldn't wait to get out of high school and never go back. I'm not saying you have to go back, but between high school and college class reunions people make a lot of changes in life direction and often that includes sexual orientation. Just think about it.
The age that individuals are coming out is dropping and in part because young people today have access to so much more information via the Internet. Lucky little queers! What I also see is more and more people in their 40s, 50s and beyond coming out. They are going to those reunions and you should too.
9. Volunteer. Animal Shelters, political and activist organizations and events and whatever else lights you up; the local theatre group, the gay or lesbian chorus in your area, the LGBT Community Center, the Anti-Hate Program, anti-bullying projects, Speak Out and so many other variations on this theme.
You don't have to sing or be an actor, you can buy a ticket and get the chance to hang out with local queers. You don't have to be into public speaking to show up and support others who are out there teaching the public about being LGBT. There are always behind the scenes things that need to happen and every show needs a friendly audience.
And don't forget that one of the easiest ways to meet your LGBT family is to volunteer for your local PRIDE events. And if you really want to kick it up a notch, get involved in PRIDE events in a few different communities around you. PRIDE events are growing and happening in more and more places and being spaced out across many months.
Get off the couch and get out there. Don't let 2013 go by and not get involved. I can't believe how many lesbians and gays I meet who don't participate in PRIDE. We've gotten complacent, don't be part of that crowd.
10. And finally, your local gay-friendly church. If you're a person of faith and participating in a structured spiritual community feeds your sense of well being then perhaps there is an LGBT friendly church in your community. And thank you again Google, here's a resource for you:
Gay-friendly churches. They have over 7,000 entries worldwide of churches that are gay welcoming along with a number of other spiritually focused resources and links.
We're out there, all over the place but you've got to get out of the house! Not all of these venues should be a surprise, but every day I work with clients who've never thought of searching on the Internet to get their need to for community met. There is so much information and its so easy to find it whether you're using Google, Bing or Yahoo. Get smart and use this amazing resource to find out where the LGBT singles are hanging out.
There is only one excuse for not meeting more LGBT people and that's because your butt is stuck to the couch. Get up, get out and get going. Yes you can.