Welcome to the first installment of the Guy Social Blog! Even though we’re an event planning organization bent on helping gay guys and girls step off social media and get social #irl, the digital conversation will continue to be omnipresent in our lives. So naturally, we’re choosing to keep the social aspects of our events alive online with the reinvigoration of our Instagram account and launch of this schmancy blog.
Now for some quick background info about me — my name’s Ben. I’ll be curating the blogs and tackling some of the social media aspects for Guy Social. If you’ve been to an event within the past month or so, you may have noticed me running around with a camera and if you follow our Instagram, I am the guy wrapped up in the blanket (it was a Monday, what can I say!). If you see me at a future event, feel free to say hi! I’ll even throw in a few ice-breakers for free: 1) I once woke up to a muster of peacocks outside my house. 2) I have great potential as a bear whisperer (the wild animal, not the gay subgroup). Ask me about a story or hit me up with one of your own, it might just be featured.
So, how did I find Guy Social?
I moved to New York City five months ago, from the rural Midwest, to pursue a career in video production. As much as I hate to admit it, I was a walking cliché. Moved from a small town: check. Big dreams in the big apple: check check. Going to redefine myself: check check check. Explore the newly accessible gay scene: Cheeeeeck! Needless to say, I went from introverted, country bumpkin to city boi in a blink of an eye. Fun fact: there’s a good chance that your average New York office building holds more people than the population of my entire hometown. I lived approximately half a mile from my nearest neighbor on a gravel road which promptly turned into an unplowed snow drift during the winter months.
Because I moved from so little ‘city’ to so much city, I often got the question if I was ever overwhelmed. The answer naturally being yes, but not in the conventional sense. I wasn’t overcome by the sheer volume of happenings in the city, but instead by my inability to find a community amongst the chaos. I had work, but nothing after hours. Going to lounges for parties and bars for pub trivia offered potential but rarely resulted in me walking away with a lasting connection. Grindr and Tindr were a new game entirely. The city had revealed a protective membrane, keeping its secrets safe. I was furious that I had not yet found a way in.
The next meetup.com event on my list of strikes was Guy Social’s monthly bowling event. In passing, I overheard some guys at work say, “The gays love their bowling,” so I took that as a good omen. Wearing my only pair of chinos that conveniently highlighted my best asset (yes, that’s a pun about my bum), I entered the Time Square Bowlmor, awash with a mix of nerves and excitement. Actually, that’s a lie, it was just nerves. I had never been with this many gay guys in one setting that wasn’t a gay club. And I had only been to a gay club twice in the Midwest. But unlike the club, there was no need for me to stand around with a drink. Jonathan and Joey, event organizers, welcomed me with literal open arms, picking the New York newbie out of the crowd. From there, I met my first New York friend and have been attending Guy Social events on the regular. This was the community I wanted.
So whether you’re a staple New Yorker or a noob like myself, I would encourage you to come check out an upcoming event. We offer so many unique and diverse events, both paid and free experiences ranging from wine tasting to Gayzer Tag (yes, it’s laser tag for gay guys). Or, you can be a part of the community in another way through story contributions or our volunteer outreach programs.
See you ‘round!
*One last parting note: With the onslaught of political turmoil, no matter which side of the aisle you are on, I want to say upfront that we won’t have political commentary on this blog. Guy Social is designed to be a safe and inclusive group for all. The blog’s focus will be on gay life and issues featuring personal interviews with attendees of our events, profiles on local gay-owned businesses, and guest writers. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean we won’t shy away from issues that stir up a debate: drugs, sex, race, relationships, and the flavor profiles of red wine.
Congratulations! You have completed the first blog! Now on to the Guess-A-Butt minigame. Which one's mine? Which one is Joey's (our CEO)?