The Hump Day Social: How a monthly social event in Reykjavík for gay men has been running for over two years now and has become a deep-rooted social network.
The next edition of The Hump Day Social is scheduled this Wednesday, July 10, at Skúli Craft Bar (Aðalstræti 9), from 7 to 10 pm. This monthly gay social event has been running steady for over two years, bringing gay men together once a month, always on a Wednesday, each time in a different bar in Reykjavik. Andres Pelaez, one of the two men behind the event, explains us how the social event, simply meant to help gay men get over the bump of the proverbial work week hill, grew over time into a deep-rooted social network.
You launched The Hump Day Social 2 years ago, in May 10, 2017. What was the initial purpose?
”The Hump Day Social was created as a monthly social event for gay men to meet up and enjoy the company of others in the community. We had heard so many times that there was a lack of a gathering space or event to encourage gay men to meet up, make new friends, have a conversation, that my dear friend Todd Kulczyk and I eventually decided to take action.”
”The average number of attendees is from 15 to 30 and this has held to this day. I believe the most amazing thing here is that we have built a very strong core group that is willing to meet time and again.”
How has it been going since 2017?
”It has been going quite well. As you pointed out it has been over two years since we started and we are still around! We have been holding the event every month since May 2017, even though we usually take a break in August. The average number of attendees is from 15 to 30 and this has held to this day. I believe the most amazing thing here is that we have built a very strong core group that is willing to meet time and again.”
Can you describe a typical Hump Day Social event?
”The Hump Day events are quite straightforward and organic. Todd and I get to the venue at least 15 minutes before the start of the event to introduce ourselves, then we just start welcoming everyone and get on with conversations. We never have a set topic for the evening or any rules/specific activities. As long as everyone is having fun and being kind to each other. Most times, even though either or both the organizers leave, the group has been known to stay at the bar until much later! Which brings us to believe we have done our part and the space and fun has been created. It’s such an amazing feeling.”
Can you tell us more about the men who attend your events?
”It is a lovely mix of Icelanders and foreigners. I do believe Icelanders sometimes are a bit dissuaded by the fact that the events are created in English, but both Todd and I are not completely fluent in the language yet … Nevertheless, everyone who identifies as a gay man is welcome, whether they drink alcohol or not, whether they are single or in a relationship (open and closed). Attendees’ age range anywhere from 20 to over 60. We have been so happy to see so many senior gay men joining us at times, having long conversations with them is fascinating and a beautiful learning experience to the younger community.”
Do you know if friendships have been forged, or if somebody has started dating, launched a project together or something like that, following these events?
”We have definitely seen people becoming very good friends and meeting beyond the Hump Day Social events, and that is the beauty of it! I always thought it would be amazing to bring people together who probably wouldn’t have initiated contact with each other on a regular basis. I don’t believe Hump Day has seen a couple formed, but crossing fingers for every single gay man who attends! We would love for everyone to find happiness. There have certainly been talks about different projects or people helping each other with other matters of life/work/volunteering, but nothing specific I could mention as I do like to keep the privacy of others.”
”We have definitely seen people becoming very good friends and meeting beyond the Hump Day Social events, and that is the beauty of it!”
Two years later, do you think you achieved your initial goal?
”Absolutely! We feel that we have achieved to open a space for people to meet others in the community, to encourage people to come from behind their phone screens and be social! I can’t wait to see what the future of Hump Day brings.”
Can you tell us more about the next event, scheduled on Wednesday July 10?
”The next event will be on Wednesday July 10 at Skúli Craft Bar. We will welcome the group and anyone else who would like to join from 7 to 10 pm. There will be extended happy hour on selected beers, so I encourage everyone who hasn’t been yet to join us and meet others in the community!”