"Is it possible to start a GLBT, or any 'social' group that does not involve drama?" laughs Jay, who identifies as gay. "We talked about it and decided yes, it was. So we're starting a group."
Jay is discussing a new group she, her domestic partner, and friends are starting in the Nashville area. "Very informal," she says. The group is for Tennesseans who identify as gay, lesbian, transgendered, or bisexual and who are seeking "healthy, fun activities that do not involve drugs, clubbing, or beer as a food group." Initially the group was for couples, then singles started asking to join, so the group became open for everyone. The couple plan for the group to meet once a month for social, non-alcohol and non- drug - related activities.
Jay explains, "This is not about finding a mate or hooking up or swinging or … you get the picture. Maybe you are new to the city and want to meet new friends. Maybe you are tired of the drama that can go with certain scenes and groups. Maybe you want to do fun things with like-minded people. We know there are GLBT folks who are not interested in the club scene and want to meet healthy, happy, GLBT Tennesseeans and have fun."
Ideas of "fun" involve potluck dinners, picnics in the park, fishing excursions, boat rental for a day, movie night out, dinners out at small restaurants, guest speakers with lunch or dinner, horseback riding, and volunteer work. The group will seek low-cost or free events to share. The only requirement is the event not involve alcohol, drugs, or negative "drama." Jay says discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated. All ages, races, religions, socioeconomic statuses, backgrounds, and beliefs are invited. "You can be 'out' or closeted" (Jay herself is not "out;" her partner is "out"). Those assisting in the group believe there are negative stereotypes about the GLBT community, sometimes GLBT will believe the stereotypes and "want to stay in a negative trap, or drown themselves in substance abuse. Almost a self-fulfilling prophecy. We're about meeting new friends, having healthy fun, and thinking positive."
For more information or to join in, see the Facebook page "TN Drama Free LGBT couples group" or click the link below.
If interested in joining or learning more, click HERE - Facebook page
Photo of J. Yates courtesy HERE