GAY 101: How Do I Meet People In Richmond?
How do I meet people in Richmond? Where do gays and lesbians hang out if it’s not in a bar?
These two questions are submitted to GayRVA.com more than any others.
Richmond, while a beautiful place to live, has a long-standing reputation as a difficult place to meet people and make new friends. As someone who’s lived in Richmond since before our younger readers were born, it’s hard for me to judge. But I’ve heard it said often enough that I’m willing to concede Richmond is a tough nut to crack.
We here at GayRVA don’t shy away from a challenge, so the editors have asked me to tackle these questions and offer some suggestions on places to meet people — perhaps thinking that my years of being out in Richmond would give me some insight.
No special insight is necessary to find places in Richmond where gays and lesbians hang out – anyone with the internet connection it takes to view this page can find dozens of places to meet new people outside of a bar. Richmond has LGBT sports teams, churches, discussion groups, book clubs, theater groups, and volunteer opportunities just to name a few. Click around GayRVA and you’ll find links to the Richmond Lesbian Feminists, the Rainbow Bowling League, the Richmond Men’s Chorus and Richmond Women’s Chorus, and the Richmond Triangle Players. Spend a few minutes on GayRichmond.com and you’ll find links to the members of the Central Virginia Rainbow Partnership, which includes churches, support groups, advocacy organizations like Equality Virginia, and social groups like the Primetimers and the Three Dollar Bills.
Virtually anything that’s taking place in gay and lesbian Richmond is going to be mentioned online – so if you’re looking for places to meet new people my advice is to start there. It may take a little digging, but someone in Richmond is doing something that interests you and posting information about it on the internet. Check the GayRVA and GayRichmond.com events calendars. Facebook is also a tremendous resource – “like” GayRVA on Facebook if you haven’t already – we update about upcoming events all the time.
Finding out where to meet people in Richmond isn’t nearly as mystifying as figuring out how to make new friends here.
Most activities and events in Richmond are organized by people who already know each other, and a newcomer can be very intimidated in an environment where everyone else seems to already be friends. This is where a little insight comes in handy: most gay and lesbian Richmonders are very receptive to making new friends, but you’re probably going to have to be a little bit assertive to make it happen. You’ll have to step outside your comfort zone to make new friends quickly in Richmond.
That’s a topic that deserves a column all its own, so next time I’ll delve into strategies to help newcomers navigate the ins and outs of gay and lesbian Richmond. And of course, your questions are appreciated – submit them to email@example.com or the anonymous tip box on the home page, and we’ll try to answer as many as we can.
Paul M. Newton has lived in Richmond since 1986, all of that time in the Fan except for a brief stint in Brandermill. He works in human services and volunteers periodically with several LGBT organizations.
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