9 LGBTQ Groups Guaranteed to Boost your LA Social Life

Written by | Lifestyle

shirtless men hanging out

(Photo courtesy Shutterstock: Vlad Orlov)

In the tech-centric, social media saturated basin of Los Angeles, it’s easier than ever to feel isolated and withdrawn. But thanks to the folks at Meetup.com, there are myriad ways to find like-minded actual people in real time.

Meetup.com was founded in 2002 and inspired in part by the events of 9/11 to bring people together and encourage face-to-face communication. Whether you’re into knitting or getting “baked” in the buff, here are a handful of groups — from the ordinary to the obscure — which might be just what you seek. Even if you’re only window shopping, you’ll be surprised by the diversity of options that await.

L.A. Gay Naked Stoners

It’s not necessarily something you’d put on your resume, but if getting “baked” in the buff with strangers is your thing, this is the group for you. Now that it’s legal, you don’t even need a note from your doctor. Hang out with nude stoners, compare rolling techniques or chat about the latest political news. Meet-ups include movie nights, game nights and (surprise) smoking sessions.

Queer Artists Collaborative

Put on your paint-spattered coveralls and get creative with like-minded artists in a supportive, inspirational, creative safe space. This group is all-inclusive and judgment free, “for the drag queen who makes macramé plant holders or the lesbian who writes abstract haikus about disco.” Tap into the rich legacy of LGBTQ artists from Keith Haring to Frida Kahlo and feel inspired or empowered to make a mark.

Gay Foodies

Whatever your sexual orientation or gender identity, food can be a great common denominator, since we all need nutrition to survive. So, whether you’re a connoisseur or a dilettante, this dining club embraces foodies of all stripes and persuasions. Put on your bib, bring your appetite and your sense of adventure to indulge in the myriad ethnic varieties of So Cal cuisine.

Geeks Out L.A.

Calling all LGBTQ nerds, geeks and dorks! Come out of your D&D basements and geek out over the latest video games, sci-fi series or comics. If you’re ready to inject some reality into your virtual reality, put on your glasses and suspenders and get ready for some nerd-tastic adventures. If the word adventure scares you, fret not: This group’s definition of adventure includes trips to the museum, book-reading, gayming and arcade nights.

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The Lezzy Connection

No, this isn’t a new Showtime series, but it could easily wind up on Netflix. The Lezzy Connection aims to build a supportive network of diverse women interested in fostering relationships, personal and professional through connecting on a deeper level.

WoNBaTs Comic Creators League

This group is worth joining just to claim bragging rights for being able to declare your status as a WoNBaT, not to be confused with the quadrupedal marsupials native to Australia. The acronym stands for Women/Non-Binary/All Trans, and is intended to establish an inclusive safe space to welcome the world’s next queer superheroine.

Mature Gay “Alive and Kicking”

In a town like Los Angeles where “mature” sometimes means “over 30,” this could attract a lot of members. Depression and isolation disproportionately affect gay men as they age, and “Alive and Kicking” tackles that issue head-on. Being a part of a group that celebrates age and experience (rather than trying to nip and tuck it away), offers innumerable benefits that come from being part of a supportive community. And if you’re younger seeking older, that’s okay too. All ages are welcome.

Gay Men Knit

As children, we’re taught “real men don’t knit.” This group is here (and queer) to prove otherwise. As women have known for generations, knitting is more than busy work; it’s also about community and camaraderie. It’s meditative and supportive. And who knows, you might just meet the man of your dreams. So grab your knitting needles and join the fun. All skill levels welcome, from novice to fabulous!

Gay Guys Having Fun

Who says girls are the only ones who wanna have fun? Cindy Lauper may have had a hit with her idea, but gay guys wanna have fun too. Joining a social club is just about finding a core group of people with shared common interests. And “having fun” is as good a reason as any for people of all persuasions to come together on the collective hunt. The best thing about “having fun” is that here, the sky’s the limit. Whether you’re into bowling or hot air ballooning, don your party hat or your dancing shoes and get ready for some good times.

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Last modified: December 13, 2019