New networking venue for gay men

The Hump Day Social is a monthly social gathering for gay men, locals and tourists alike, to meet up and enjoy the company of others in the community. Last event was a smashing success. The organisers, Todd Kulczyk and Andres Pelaez say there is still much need for safe spaces for LGBTQIA+ people to network.

The next event will take place at the Beer Garden at Fosshótel Reykjavík on June 7th from 7pm to 10pm.

The organisers of the Hump Day Social, Andres Pelaez and Todd Kulczyk.

“This group is inclusive of age 20 and up, alcohol and non-alcohol drinkers, singles, couples open and closed, poly-friendly, bdsm-friendly … really you just need to identify as gay,“ says Todd when asked further about at whom the Hump Day Social is aimed. “The hope is to create a positive space for gay men to get over the hump of the week and raise a glass with each other.”

Why did you decide to organise these monthly events?
“After hosting a few open house events for LGBTQIA+ foreigners in the Samtökin ‘78 community centre, Todd and I noticed that there was a clear interest in having more social interaction within the community; it’s not the same to go to a bar and just be surrounded by friends and/or strangers in an environment where not many conversations can take place,” Andres explains. “Instead, we decided to create an event where people can come to socialize and have conversations about how life is in Iceland, it also provides a great platform for newcomers to meet friends, networking opportunities, eventually to build stronger ties to the community and meet one-another beyond the bars and the apps!”

The first event that was held at Hlemmur Square bar on May 10th was a smashing success with a signature beverage available for the group, happy hour until late and fun conversations. You intend to change venues each time you organize an event, right?
“Absolutely!” says Andres. “We want to try as many venues around town as we possibly can. Apart from keeping the dynamic of the group, we also want to do this so that we can reach out to the local scene and evaluate how open and friendly bars are towards our LGBT community.”

“The hope is to create a positive space for gay men to get over the hump of the week and raise a glass with each other.”

Now, Andres, you’re from Guatemala. Do they have events like this where you come from?
“Sadly, there are no such events in Guatemala,“ he replies. “Being gay in Guatemala is still a bit taboo, and most of the socializing happens within closed groups of friends and new acquaintances. There has been a keen interest in opening communication between groups but the country and its society are still heavily influenced by the catholic church and the “moral” background of it.”

Is the gay men’s scene in Iceland then different from what you’re used to?

The first event that was held at Hlemmur Square bar on May 10th was a smashing success with a signature beverage available for the group.

“I have been living in Iceland for five years now,” Andres continues. “At the beginning, it was a big culture shock to take in all the freedom and understanding from the Icelandic society, and going further into this I have also understood that there are still challenges for members of the community to meet friends and interact with one another, to get past the judgment or impersonality of clubs and the dating scene, so to me it was very important to become part of Samtökin ’78 to develop an attention to foreign individuals living in Iceland and adapting to this society.

We would love to see more people join our monthly gatherings, as we believe they provide a great opportunity and a safe space for gay men to meet and share.”

Todd on the other hand comes from the U.S. and has a different experience.
“Seattle has many social meet ups for a variety of groups. Some focus on networking for young professionals while others are party focused. Seattle also has a vibrant gay scene with multiple spaces that are for gay men. This is not the reality in Iceland. The shift to marriage equality creates new curiosities within the community: What is the role of ally now? If allies create spaces and nurture their success, does marriage equality mean gay spaces are now open to all?”

There is one thing Todd knows for sure. “We are not done. We need identified safe spaces for the gender and sexual diversities community.”

You can find The Hump Day Social on Facebook: The Hump Day Social

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