gay community networking gay community networking

Network city

Indeed, the majority of Jake’s gay networking scene members are business owners, CEOs or management, and almost half of them earn over £50,000, way over the national average, with 60% aged under forty.

Club-Circa has a similar demographic. Founded in 2005 by Patricia Madden, who has a background in the publishing and leisure industries, it holds drinks parties every first Friday of the month, and the emphasis is very much on the social side of networking for professional gay men.

“All our members like to chat and have fun.” Patricia says. “In many ways, Circa is a melting pot as our members and guests are all ages and professions, ranging from baking to film, medical to architecture, fashion to the arts, media to politics and business to international diplomacy. They also come from many different cultures and ethnic backgrounds: at the end of the night it can feel as if you have taken a trip around the world without leaving London!” However all have one thing in common they are all on the gay networking scene to boost business and make deals.

Most of their members are gay men and decision-makers, or people who influence decision-making, or people who are established in their careers

Of course, it’s not all deal-making and swapping business cards. There’s a lot of fun to be had at these, and Jake makes a point in holding events in places you wouldn’t normally associate with a “normal” gay scene night out like Somerset House.

“I don’t think networking for business and socialising are mutually exclusive to gey men,” says Stephen at Jake. “Networking necessitates socialising to a point, and most good business I have made has been a result of meeting and socialising with people in the real world.”

Business relationships have been forged as a result of being a member of Jake, just as they have with Circa. But what about other – ahem – more intimate things?

“In a room of gay men there’s bound to be a lot of romance,” Stephen admits. “I’ve personally dated two men I met at Jake – although not at the same time! – and I know plenty of others who have met and consequentially dated guys they met through gay networking scene

Patricia agrees. “Our drinks parties are whatever you want them to be,” she says. “Our members and guests can make friends, make some business contacts and find a date or a lover all in one night!” And have any romances blossomed in the Circa set? “Lots! Too many to count!” she laughs, and adds, “I’m looking forward to buying lots of hats!”