5 Ways to Meet Gay Men in the COVID-19 Era

5 ways to meet gay men in the COVID-19 era

By: Jennifer McMillen Smith, MSSA, LISW-S, Division of Infectious Disease and medically reviewed by Ann Avery, Infectious Disease Physician at Metrohealth Medical Center

We’re not post-pandemic yet, but thanks to science and research, many of us are vaccinated (or in the process) and trying to return to some sort of “normal” life. Who knows what dating will look like nowadays? 🤷🏽‍♂️ It’s okay if you feel rusty and need to practice extra grace and patience while getting back in the saddle.


We’re here to help. We want to see you thriving, hunny! 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾 So here are some 🔥 tips on meeting guys in this new world. Opportunity is still out there, and if you want to treat yourself, then by all means… indulge. 👅


1. Volunteer at a local LGBTQ+ Nonprofit

Many cities also offer opportunities to get involved by volunteering at the local level with the LGBTQ community, which often proves to be a perfect way to meet other men with shared interests.

For example, there are social groups that have local chapters in cities all over the U.S. (and globally), offering active gay men a way to help promote sexual health and wellness by producing fun and informative events, organizing talks, and sometimes throwing parties. Groups like these often have their own retreats or get-togethers and organize events that are perfect for meeting other friendly people. 👋🏻

If you’re looking for an organization doing intersectional, community-driven work, check out sex worker advocacy groups, as well as harm reduction organizations. The reality is that many LGBTQ folks have been pushed to the margins. These groups provide services and support to folks in a non-judgmental fashion. By volunteering, you can leverage your skills and know-how to support individuals who could benefit from your generosity.

2. Attend gay PRIDE celebration parties

You may be thinking, “Duh! Obvious.” We know, we know, but how can we NOT list it?! That being said, the craziness and high-volume crowds that often accompany these events can deter people from attending, and these are valid concerns. Therefore, if you’re trying to avoid the mainstream madness of the actual parade or festival, seek out the private parties that often accompany a pride weekend in any given major city.

And just because June has passed, that doesn’t mean all of the Pride celebrations have ended. Some cities celebrate later in the summer and early fall. There are also Pride planning committees you can join to help make your city’s upcoming Pride even better.

3. Join a gay sports league

Most major cities have them. Whether you’re into dodgeball, volleyball, kickball—or any kind of ball—there is likely a gay league that will meet your interest. These teams are great outlets for people to enjoy the sport while also providing an excellent way for guys to meet others with shared interests.


4. Find cool meetup events

There are apps that allow users to organize their own events based on interest, hobby, sport, and more. Eventbrite and Meetup are the most popular. Some have tons of members and weekly meetups, while others are smaller and meet less frequently. There are many diverse LGBTQ-oriented groups on the platform.

You could find out more from folks using other apps like Grindr, Jack’d, and Scruff. When you get on, ask around.

5. Attend an event at a gay coffee shop

Unlike heading to the bar and hoping to make an intimate connection with someone under the influence of drinking and debauchery, coffee shops can create the perfect atmosphere to have real conversations with people who may have a better chance of remembering you the next day.😉  Visiting a local, gay coffee shop also supports the economy and strengthens community hubs.


You aren’t stuck with these five options, this is just a starting point. The choices are practically limitless so have fun and explore! Find something else that works for you? DM us on social to let us know.