In a world where it’s not always easy to find your place, having friends who understand your journey can be a real game-changer. We all know that meaningful connections can happen with anyone, but there’s something uniquely special about bonding with friends who share your LGBTQ experience.
So, get ready for some awesome tips on how to make gay friends. From engaging events to powerful apps, we’ll help you build your LGBTQ tribe in no time.
If you’re using drugs or alcohol to cope with feelings of loneliness and isolation, La Fuente Hollywood Treatment Center can help. Call us today at 888.903.9898 to learn more about our LGBTQ-specialized program.
Why Is Having Gay Friends Important?
At the risk of stating the obvious, being a minority can make you feel isolated. One of the best ways to combat this loneliness is by making friends. And while you can definitely have deep, meaningful connections with straight and/or cisgender people, there’s something special about having friends who share your experience of being queer.
To put it another way, having gay friends means having a shared history and a strong sense of togetherness. This built-in support system is crucial when it comes to navigating the ups and downs of being an LGBTQ person in a straight-dominated world.
7 Tips for Making Gay Friends
Now that you’re on board with the idea of having gay friends, it’s time to discuss ways to build these connections. Below, we share our top 7 tips for making gay friends. Try one of them (or all of them) until you find a few people you click with.
1. Go to queer events
Attending queer events is a fantastic way to meet gay friends. These events encompass a wide range of activities, from quiet book readings and calm drawing sessions to lively drag shows and raucous Pride parades.
Not sure where to start? Use social media platforms or event-centric apps like Meetup or Eventbrite to explore upcoming events in your area based on your interests and schedule.
2. Join an activity
While we appreciate the value of queer events for making new friends, they often happen infrequently, providing only one opportunity to connect with potential friends. A better approach is to engage with ongoing activities or groups. By nature, these events give you multiple chances to build relationships and expand your interests. Consider joining a cooking class, sewing lessons, a writing group, or learning a new language.
Online platforms like Meetup and Facebook can help you discover activities. If you live in a bigger city, your local LGBTQ community center is a good resource to tap into for queer-centric events. Exploring LGBTQ sports leagues like the United States Gay Sports Network and OutLoud Sports is another option.
We’re pretty confident that these tips will help you get started. But just in case you don’t find something that piques your interest, remember you can also start your own group or club.
3. Don’t fear the apps
You’re probably accustomed to using apps like Grindr, Scruff, and Her to find your next hookup, but plenty of people are open to making platonic connections on these apps. If that’s what you’re in the market for, we recommend writing ‘looking for friends’ in an easy-to-spot location on your profile.
Are you still feeling icky about using dating apps to scope out your next friend? We get it. There are plenty of apps just for making friends. Here are some of our top recommendations:
- Lex – A queer-owned and operated app dedicated to helping LGBTQ people find friends and local queer events.
- Bumble BFF – No longer just a dating app, Bumble BFF gives users the option to search exclusively for friends using the familiar swipe-right style.
- Hey! VINA – A friendship app made by women, for women. Also offers communities, an option that allows you to find interest groups.
- Friender – Find friends based on shared activities.
4. Hit the gym
Cultivate friendships while working on your fitness by hitting the gym. Thankfully, there’s no right or wrong way to go about finding gay pals at your local fitness center. For instance, you could sign up for a group class, such as yoga or spinning, in order to meet like-minded individuals. Or you could strike up a conversation with the gym staff as a way to connect with fellow fitness enthusiasts.
5. Tap into existing connections
Leverage your existing connections by letting your current friends introduce you to others. Shared acquaintances often lead to instant connections, and you might quickly find yourself forming a tight-knit circle of friends through these mutual connections.
6. Volunteer with an LGBTQ organization
Volunteering with an LGBTQ organization not only allows you to give back but also opens doors to new friendships. Whether it’s offering mental health support or advocating for LGBTQ rights, non-profit organizations are almost always on the lookout for new volunteers.
Here are some organizations to contact:
- The Trevor Project – Trained counselors provide 24/7 suicide prevention support for young LGBTQ people.
- Gay for Good – A network present in 20 cities that aims to connect LGBTQ and ally volunteers with local organizations in need of support.
- Human Rights Campaign – A leading LGBTQ human rights organization offering in-person and virtual volunteer opportunities.
- Local LGBTQ center – Present in larger cities, these organizations provide a combination of events, sexual wellness services, and community outreach.
7. Find interest groups online
Exploring interest groups on platforms like Reddit, TikTok, Twitch, and Discord can be a goldmine for meeting new friends. That’s especially true if you live in a small town without much of an LGBTQ community.
Not sure where to start? Begin by brainstorming a list of your passions and interests, then look for communities where these topics are being discussed. That could take the form of an Instragam fan page, a gay subreddit, or something else entirely — the possibilities are endless!
Just be mindful of how much time you’re spending online and make sure to prioritize groups that make you feel better, not worse.
Build Relationships at La Fuente
A treatment center is probably not the first place that comes to mind when you think about making new friends. And while our primary focus isn’t networking, fostering a sense of community is one of our goals.
We achieve this by offering group therapy sessions, engaging alumni events, and regular 12-step meetings. In this way, our clients get to work on their sobriety journey while simultaneously building strong connections within a sober LGBTQ community.
To discover more about our LGBTQ treatment programs and the benefits they offer, please call us at 888.903.9898.