So, what do you do if you move into a town and feel like you are the “Only Gay in the village?”
This was the thought of one of the founders (C) of Weymouth Gay Group, 15 years ago. Today you might be tempted to try the numerus dating and social apps, but they were not so prominent back then.
So said C, “I decided to sit in a corner of a pub every week and enjoy a real ale, with the thought that if only one guy turns up to join me that’s a bonus! After spreading a few leaflets around town slowly the numbers attending increased.”
He added “At one time we had over 30 LGBT people regularly attending, with guys traveling from Dorchester, North Dorset and even Somerset to join us. Our numbers are also boosted during the summer with LGBT tourists visiting the area.
“We now meet up twice a week, Thursdays the group meets up in The Swan Weymouth from 8pm, and our Monday meetups have developed into “Meals Out on Mondays~. An opportunity to eat out at the many restaurants that our seaside town offers. This is a way of enjoying quality food and company! The summer months are enjoyed with beach BBQs, and trips to Pride events
“It’s great to see a new shy person blossom over time, and form lifelong friendships and even relationships in our group. We know we have guided many over the years in their personal life journey.”
The second area of our group that has developed over recent years is our outreach through our website and connections with a range of other organisations and groups, to the Dorset LGBT community and beyond.
We are very pleased that our website has been called “The LGBT Bible locally” by the NHS. We have a lot of info there, 25 – 30 Dorset LGBT events each month, local LGBT community news (70+ stories last year), plus our helplines page. During 2022 we produced a poster promoting our helplines page and sent this to all the local Doctors surgeries and other NHS outlets. This has been very well received having one website page devoted to helplines and support groups for LGBT people. It also helps with some of the enquires we get every year, while we offer friendship, we are not a support group, but we are happy to sign post to a range of local, regional and national organisations.
On social media our twitter account has around 2,500 followers, and is, like our website, a brilliant way of keeping up to date with news and info for those who may not find it easy to attend our pub meetups.
We are a member of a number of umbrella LGBT groups including The LGBT Consortium, Dorset LGBT Voices Forum, LGBT Network for Change. We also help to promote groups like The Gay OutDoor Club, GLUG (Scuba diving LGBT group) and many more that have events in our area, on our Events Diary listings as well as on twitter.
That we are still filling a very valuable role for our local LGBT community (both in a pub, and online) is truly amazing after 15 years and is something to celebrate, you are welcomed to join in with us too!
Have you ever felt like you are “the only Gay in the village?” If so, why not try what we have done! Brill to know that we have helped to inspire Taunton Gay Group and others who model their groups on us.
“Real Ale & Real Friends!”
Weymouth Gay Group
Email: [email protected]