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Out of the Woods, The Hudson Valley Guerrilla Gay Group (GGG) is part LGBT social group and part flashmob.
Launched in February 2014, “Out of the Woods” is open to all gay* residents, weekenders and visitors to provide a fun offline venue to meet others--whether your single, coupled or "complicated," a local or weekender.
One evening each month, we’ll "take over" a local bar or other normally “straight” venue somewhere in the Hudson Valley, almost always within 30 minutes of Kingston, New York. We rarely tell them we’re coming—we just show up and make ourselves at home. Sure, you could probably go to most of the places we visit at other times, but whenever we meet up, we turn ordinary places into one-time only happenings.
When we Meetup, our pop-up "invasions temporarily transform "str8" venues with an influx of gay patrons and raise the visibility of our widespread community. But this group is about socializing and having a good time, not about inciting protests. (The venues we pick love their gay patrons. Besides, we wouldn't want to $upport them if they weren't.)
Overall, Out of the Woods HVGGG is just meant of offer a new way to meet people offline (including those outside our own narrow demographics, whatever that may be), try new things and explore new places.
Event dates are announced a few weeks in advance, but the exact location is only announced shortly before the event. We always aim for variety, so the next event will probably be very different than the previous one. Above all, it's really the wide variety of people that make our events a success. So let's Meetup!
Who’s invited to the Hudson Valley Guerrilla Gay Group events?
You, as long as you come along. We strive to create more options for upstate gays who crave more community. Our ideal gathering is even more diverse than NYC gay bars and we welcome everyone—no labels required.
Okay, but who shows up?
You’ll never know until you arrive. And we don’t plan on posting photos of previous events here either. Besides, people at one event may be completely different that the next.
Based on the Meetup site, why doesn't it look like many people attend?
Due to the last-minute flashmob nature of most of our events, we rarely require RSVPs. So far, most events have about 25 attendees. Weather, timing, costs, and many other other factors also affect turnout, but we're focus less on the number of people and more on the quality of experience.
**What's up with the word "Gay?" What about lesbians, bisexuals, queers, gender f#cker$, trans, and...?
Whoa... we don't exclude anyone with the term "gay." True to the inclusive spirit of this group, we use the word “gay” to for all LGBTQ individuals—even those who avoid labels—as well as their friends. The Hudson Valley gay population is much more diverse than many believe so let’s reach out to others beyond our own demographic. Let's defy expectations and overcome the stereotypical divides (gays vs. bi, men vs. women, lgb vs. t, etc. etc.) Together, we can accomplish anything.
Are these confrontational events? Or protests of some kind?
Not at all. With so few official “gay” bars, we thought it’s time to try something new. Even among weekenders, there are many people who don't want to go to a "gay bar" every time they go out. So, this is really just a new way to see new places and meet new people.
How much does it cost to join? How much are these events?
Have no fear--Although we do have excellent tastes, rest assured we are just as cheap, er, we mean “cost-conscious” as you are. There’s no cost to sign-up, join, participate, etc. The only costs are those related to whatever venue we target. Everyone pays for their own things, whether that means drinks, food, theater admission, lift tickets, etc.
No Membership Dues are required. This is a completely not-for-profit, social venture. That said, someday we may organize a (clearly noted) fundraiser for an independent, gay-owned or gay-friendly business or LGBT cause.
Also, if you're on Facebook, please visit Facebook.com/outofthewoodshudsonvalley and "Like" us there. We'll do our best to update things on Meetup quickly, too.
What if I'm in the closet? What if I don’t want out myself on Facebook by liking the page or joining this Meetup group?
No worries. Just send an email to: OutoftheWoodsHQ@Gmail.com and we’ll add you to our confidential email list for any upcoming invitations. (As of 1/30/14, more than 30 other people have been added.)
I know the perfect bar/event to for a meet up! Do you take suggestions?
YES! And in return you’ll win our gratitude. Who knows? Maybe we’ll even buy you a drink. Send your ideas to OutoftheWoodsHQ@Gmail.com anytime and our reconnaissance team will check them out.
What if I’m too young to drink?
Most “Out of the Woods” events include a bar but not all of them. There will still be a events throughout the year open to all ages. In the meantime, check out other great local (unaffiliated) resources like these:
LGBTQ Community Center at 300 Wall Street in Kingston
lgbtqcenter.org or 845-331-5300
Any others questions?
If you have any other questions, comments, venue suggestions, or anything else email them to: OutoftheWoodsHQ@Gmail.com and someone will be in touch eventually.
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