While the need to be sociable hasn’t waned during the coronavirus pandemic, the method in which the gay community is socializing, for now, has changed.
The Gay Vista Social Club (GVSC), based in Miami, has been creative and adapted to do its part by hosting its first virtual event earlier this month on the Zoom platform.
Executive director David Quinones said the April 11 event was the “GVSC WhoDunIt? Witchcraft & Wizardry Magical Mystery.” He said the free event was inspired by the Harry Potter series and the accompanying location of Hogwart’s Castle.
Teams read over clues, looked at evidence, and did investigations in a virtual role-playing game.
Other virtual events include an online social media contest called “Category Is,” as well as a dinner and movie night through a partnership with the OUTshine Film Festival.
GVSC has worked with OUTshine since 2017, supporting them as the community partner and co-host for their “Men’s Spotlight Film & Party” events.
The “Mix-N-Mingle Dinner & A Movie Too” had about 40 attendees who watched the 1996 British film “Beautiful Thing.”
Up next is the “Queers Got Talent” karaoke night on April 25, which will be hosted by Quinones on Zoom and Watch2Gether.
Quinones said he hopes to organize about three virtual events a month.
On May 5, he said, GVSC will also launch a virtual event for its philanthropic efforts.
“Our philanthropic event we host is called ‘GVSC GaYme Night TUESDAYS’ which allows guests to play a series of house party games similar to [the TV show] Hollywood Game Night, mixed with a different live game show finale to win prizes,” Quinones said.
GVSC’s philanthropy program targets two efforts, Quinones said. There is the “Gay Vista Scholarship Club,” which provides scholarships for LGBT individuals through the Unity Coalition|Coalición Unida; and the “Gay Vista Social House,” which provides sustainable housing and social programming for LGBT seniors through Lambda Living.
GVSC was founded in 2016 in an effort to offer Miami’s younger adult gay men some attractive options for hanging out and interacting that didn’t always rely on the nightclub and bar scene.
It expanded its reach into Fort Lauderdale and Wilton Manors last year, too.
Quinones said GVSC is an inclusive group, but it’s mostly geared toward gay, bisexual and queer men.
The No. 1 age range is 25-to-34 year olds, he said, followed by 35-to-44.
He said there are men from their early 20s through their 50s, however, who have attended events.
“As long as you have fun at the events – the mission is building friendships, social engagement, and meeting new people,” he said.
Couples come to the events, too, and single guys have met their future partners through GVSC.
Quinones, who has lived in Miami since 2001, described GVSC to SFGN last year as “almost like a fraternity without a university attached to it.”
Past events have included attending productions at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts and the Aquaman underwater men’s burlesque show at the B Ocean Resort near Fort Lauderdale Beach.
Other events include the “Gone Wild Gay Days Weekend Retreat” and the “SWIM-End of Summer Pool Party.” GVSC has hosted “MISSION: Escape South Beach,” “Sunset Kayak to Camp Crystal Island,” (in honor of Friday the 13th) and the “Let’s Get Soaking Wet MIAMI Party Boat.”
For more information, and to connect with GVSC, go to gvscmiami.org or search @GVSCMiami on social media.