A new men’s social dinner group will host its next monthly event Jan. 12 in Lansdale.
Northeast Philadelphia resident Dennis Leigh, 50, began the group in October. According to Leigh, social groups for gay men were popular in the 1980s but died down as new social avenues became available.
However, Leigh wanted to create an alternative to the bars for gay men.
“I don’t go to bars and it was another outlet for men to get together without going to the bars,” he said. “In a bar situation, there are times where you feel pressured. I wanted to get away from all of that.”
The group so far has a total of 10 members, but Leigh said that number changes every month. He tries to get the group together every second Saturday of the month.
The group is for gay men over 21.
“Some of our older members expressed interest in having younger members in the group; however, I wanted to keep the group professional,” he said.
So far, Leigh has promoted the group through Craigslist — which he said has caused some issues, as some people perceived the group to be focused on sex, which he emphasized it is not.
Word of mouth through current members has helped promote the group, he added.
In addition to the monthly dinners, Leigh said the group hopes to organize trips to New York City or to area gay BINGO events.
Leigh said he anticipated the group widening its membership and scope in the coming months but staying committed to its original goal.
“I am always open to feedback and people giving me ideas,” he said. “Right now, we are unique because I know there are meet-up groups in the area, but we are a dinner group.”
The group is currently developing a website, and those interested in getting involved in the meantime can contact Leigh at email@example.com. Interested members should include their name, age and location.