Past TRIBE Topics (2015)

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West Hollywood Library, Community Conference Room – Park Level
(Validated parking is available in the 5 story parking structure)
625 North San Vicente Blvd.  West Hollywood, CA 90069
3rd Wednesday of every month, 7:30 pm

Team Gay – Activities
(Wednesday, February 18, 2015; 7:30pm to 9pm) 

For decades social spaces for gay men were typically bars and bathhouses. Now we have virtual space and a plethora of social groups, sports teams, and other options to associate in. This discussion will explore the social opportunities available for gay men beyond the bars, both virtual and physical. We will also explore ideas about spaces that are still missing and how we might create them.

Discussion Topics:

  • Revisiting the gay male enclave.
  • Why is social space important?
  • Are we striving to create it in a purposeful way?
  • The relationship between gay culture and physical gathering spaces.
  • Pride Parades/Festivals – how are they relevant?
  • Virtual Space – opportunities and pitfalls of virtual space.
  • Inventory of physical gathering spaces available today
  • 31 flavors and only 52 weekends


Lumbersexual – Masculinity
(Wednesday, March 18, 2015; 7:30pm to 9pm)

 Masculine ideas are changing rapidly for society as a whole. The lines defining masculine identity and sexual orientation are vanishing or being redrawn. Tonight we’ll take a critical look at today’s interpretation of masculinity and how that meaning affects society in general and gay men specifically.

Discussion Topics:

  • How is masculinity celebrated in contemporary culture?
  • What are some examples of masculine emotional states or ways of being?
  • Is hyper masculinity the new “gay look”? ie: Leathermen, Muscle Marys, tattooed circuit guys
  • Drag queens, lady boys, and queer identities – how do we handle nonspecific expressions of masculine and feminine energy?
  • What do you like about masculine energy?
  • Does masculinity define sexuality and sexual performance? btm, top, etc
  • What are the challenges of living a masculine existence?


What’s Your Favorite Color – Race and the Gay Male Community
(Wednesday, April 15, 2015; 7:30pm to 9pm) 

As we gain equality in all areas of society, the issue of race and racism are still alive and well within the gay community. How does it affect you and how do you perpetuate it (or not)?

Discussion Topics:

  • What are the negative race stereotypes in the gay male community?
  •  Are we all racist in some way?
  • Are we more or less sensitive to minority communities because we are all part of a minority community: the gay male community?
  • How does race affect the life of the gay men’s community?
  • Do we handle it better or worse than mainstream America?
  • How big a role does race play in our dating and sex lives? Does it matter?
  • Pride and prejudice: Discrimination and judgment within our “community”


Shirts and Skins – Sexual Subcultures and Ways to Be Gay
(Wednesday, May 20, 2015; 7:30pm to 9pm)

 Our Tribe consists of a wide variety of diverse sexual subcultures. From Hipsters and Gender Benders to Twinks and Bears to Leathermen and Puppies, and every color of the rainbow in between, there are so many different ways to be gay. Which subcultures do you identify with? Which do you not really understand? How many different kinds of gay are you?

Discussion Topics: 

  • Types of sexual subcultures
  • What’s your favorite way to be gay?
  • The fear factor: what are the sexual subcultures that you don’t really understand?
  • Sexual Anarchists vs. Picket Fence Preference
  • Pride and prejudice: Discrimination and judgment within our “community”
  • Trying it on: what subculture would you like to be a part of?


In and Out – Being Out or Being on the Down Low
(Wednesday, June 17, 2015; 7:30pm to 9pm)

 The process of coming out is not a one-time deal: our initial coming-out is followed by a nearly daily process of coming out every time we start a new job, move to a new city, reacquaint ourselves with old friends, or meet new ones. In this month’s program, the Tribe will share their coming out stories and difficulties and talk about why it is so important to come out, who to come out to, how to do it and how this never-ending process impacts our lives.

Discussion Topics:

  •  Why coming out is important
  • Coming out in your daily life
  • Who you come out to and how you tell them
  • Personal or Political – Coming out as activism
  • Public Displays of Affection
  • Mentoring and setting an example for gay youth


PrEP – Medical Tool In the Shadows
(Wednesday, July 15, 2015; 7:30pm to 9pm)

Pre Exposure Prophylactic, or PrEP, is medication that can greatly reduce the chances of people acquiring HIV. Why has it been so controversial? We will focus on the social, political, and economic impacts PrEP is having or could have on our community and beyond. 

Discussion Topics: 

  •  How effective is PrEP alone compared to condoms alone?
  • What does “Safe Sex” mean today?
  • What is the safest sex possible today? Most Risky? What is in between?
  • What does “treatment as prevention mean?” Does it work?
  • Who profits and who goes broke if PrEP stops HIV transmission?
  • Would PrEP have been controversial in 1989?
  • Is it possible for this to be the last HIV generation?
  • How do sex positive/negative messages effect our approach to this medication? 


Gym Guys and Muscle Marys – Health and Fitness
(Wednesday, August 19, 2015; 7:30pm to 9pm)

 The gay male culture, particularly in West Hollywood, has often been accused of being health and fitness conscious to the point of obsession. How committed are you to being fit? How often do you work out and where? How much do you know about the health issues particular to gay men? In this month’s program, we examine the health, fitness, and medical issues facing men who have sex with other men.

Discussion Topics:

  • How much do you work at working out?
  • How important is your health vs. your body image?
  • Fitness and West Hollywood gay male culture: A six-pack at all costs?
  • Steroids, testosterone and other enhancement drugs
  • The Big C – Prostate, Testicular and Colon cancer
  • The urge to merge: the gay male sex drive


Positively Negative – Sero-Discordant Couples
(Wednesday, September 16, 2015; 7:30pm to 9pm)


Truth and No Consequences – Game Night!
(Wednesday, October 21, 2015; 7:30pm to 9pm)


The Gay Handshake – Monogamy, Open Relationships and Hook-Ups
(Wednesday, November 18, 2015; 7:30pm to 9pm)

This month the TRIBE will focus on the one thing all gay men have in common: our urge to merge with other men. Come learn about other men’s dating habits and experiences. Maybe share your own story.

Discussion Topics: 

  • Grindr vs. the Bars
  • What’s the difference between dating and hooking up?
  • Cruising, computers, and smart phones. Using your tools.
  • What gets a guy a second date with you?
  • Deal breakers.
  • Good Sex and Bad Sex: how do you define it and is it a deal breaker?


The Straight and Not Narrow – Interactions with Straight Men
(Wednesday, December 16, 2015; 7:30pm to 9pm)