Finding ways for LGBTQ people to meet without bars and apps

Whether looking for love, friends or a sense of community, there are options for LGBTQ people in the Boston area to find each other

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There are fewer bars and clubs dedicated to the LGBTQ community in Boston compared to the past, with so much migrating online. But if meeting people via app isn't your thing, there are other options.

"There's always something to do," said Beth McGurr. "You just need to know how to find it."



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McGurr is the founder of Lesbian Nightlife, which produces events primarily for lesbian, trans and queer women.

"You can come, you can make friends, or you can find the love of your life," she said.

Her events take over different venues across the region, giving people a chance to discover new places and meet new people — and in person, rather than online.

"You actually get to see somebody in person and meet them, I think it's just a different vibe," McGurr said.

Hundreds of people in the LGBTQ community, mostly gay men, are making friends through flag football.

"It started as a way for people to meet each other, who were like-minded," said Mike Beamer of FLAG Flag Football.

Players are on a different team each season, so there's a constant rotation of people to get to know.

Some are there for the sport and exercise, others for social activities before and after practices and games — or all of the above.

"This gives people a different way to meet that doesn't necessarily have to have alcohol involved, for one, and a way for a network to come together, doing something everyone wants to be there to do, but also to meet new people, as well," Beamer said.

Since 2006, the Boston Gay Professionals Meetup Group has hosted get-togethers at various venues monthly.

"When people comes to the Boston Gay Professional events, people are there to network and meet, you know why everybody's in the room," said Daniel Batterman.

There's no mystery, unlike online, where you might not know exactly who you're dealing with.

"When somebody's standing in front of you, they're standing in front of you — you're able to assess them, you're able to view them, and you're just able to observe, and I think you just walk away with a fuller experience than just meeting someone virtually," Batterman said.

It's a more casual experience, and perhaps less anxiety-inducing than a bar or club. Event hosts even help introduce people to each other.

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