Skip to site navigation

Meetings at CGM during 2000

Open discussion on the recent legislation in Vermont. Also, we discussed the differences between domestic partnerships and gay marriage. The contact list has 23 names on it.
Personal support for member, who had just endured a surprise breakup this week. Also, it was noted that the old Skuffy's Restaurant was purchased, and the owner was considering hosting an "alternative night" on Sundays. [Update: 10 years later, I don't think this ever happened.]
Jeremy had been contacted by a reporter at the Concord Monitor this week, so we discussed just how much the group's moderator can say to the press. The contact list has 31 names as of tonight.
Open discussion hosted by Stu.
Our first problem with a growing, open contact list: unwanted forwards and jokes (spam). We developed guidelines for how to use the list, provided assurance that you can be removed from the list, and acknowledged that given the above, one cannot truly guarantee that this behavior will stop.
Tonight we discussed whether we're ready to be seen in the NH Pride parade behind a banner with our group name on it. Consensus: yes! Next question: Will we have a float? Consensus: ask us again next year.
Tonight we discussed the "T" in our GBT inclusion policy. Jeremy had been contacted earlier this month by someone who said, "At various points in my journey toward self awareness of being transgendered, I've identified and/or lived as a married man, a gay man, a bi man, and then a transgendered bi-woman, and finally, as a person who is most comfortable as none of the above." This person was willing to come speak to us. We decided that it would be a very informative meeting. Also, we decided to attend the AIDS Response Seacoast Annual Gala as a group, and subsidize the ticket price to make the event more accessible to all members.
Discussion of Billy Jack Gaither, a 39 year old gay man, who was viciously beaten to death and his body mutilated and burned a year ago this week. Much had been uncovered about his killers, including their need to punish Billy for their homosexual desires. This led to a very uncomfortable question: are we the most dangerous of the homophobes?
Open discussion hosted by Eric. [Eric warned me after this meeting to brace myself for one particular new attendee. "He took over the meeting!"]
Tonight CGM members came together to protect the group by ejecting a highly disruptive attendee. The meeting, which was intended to be an open discussion, abruptly became a special business meeting when the attendee, who introduced himself as "Outrageous Raging Love" threw a book across the room. In my follow-up letter to the members, I wrote the following: "I want to commend all of those folks who spoke their feelings and their minds during the meeting. You did the dirty work that I was supposed to do and yet could not (as this was utterly new to me). In spite of my own level of discomfort, I did find it very refreshing to watch everyone treating the group as their own child--something worth protecting and fighting for. This I have always felt, too, and I feel the decision we made today was the right call."
Tonight we reflected on the March 10th meeting. Consensus: Our actions were correct, and CGM has a survival instinct that is good and strong. As we were filing out of the church, we noticed that "Outrageous Raging Love" was at the microphone, having taken over another meeting.
Movie night: Common Ground.
Discussion on whether it's time to pursue genuine non-profit status (501c3). We noted that the benefits include being able to hold fundraisers for other organizations. Consensus: let's see if we qualify and what the cost is.
Trying to cope with a few growing pains (room is too small, people are interrupting or holding sidebar conversations). After this, we got a preview of a talk given by Tim on homophobia.
Our first vocations/avocations night. We discovered just how varied, talented, and aspiring we are.
A smattering of topics tonight: how the straight community perceives the gay community, the spiritual side of our lives, and a few coming out stories as well.
The group was surprised to learn that The Advocate called searching for gay groups meeting in Concord. Some of us agreed to be interviewed by them, and we arranged to take photos of us. [Update: We appeared, with photo, in the June 20th edition.]
Movie night: Trick.
Jim Bretz returned to the group for the first time in a year and was surprised to find it so vibrant and alive. He came to discuss a tradition that had been previously kept by Out & Proud: purchasing the awards given out by the Manchester Performing Arts Association (i.e. the NH Gay Men's Chorus) at the Leadership 2000 Awards Dinner. CGM will spend a few weeks before deciding to do this.
The group learned that Dr. Laura Schlessinger was moving her radio show to television and thought it was time to talk about her. The discussion started with this question: Does she have a right to say what she says? This led to our examining her motivation for saying what she says.
One member mentioned a whole list of travel plans during his introduction, which led to many questions, so our main topic became “gay travel”. Later, we reopened the discussion of becoming a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. To that end, a work group committee with 7 members was formed this evening.
With Father’s Day approaching, a member expressed worry that his relationship with his father was not where he hoped it would be. This led to many members reflecting on their own (very unique) relationships with their fathers.
Social Evening! In preparation for New Hampshire Pride, we spent this evening painting a banner for our group. The following day, 17 people marched behind the new banner. Wow!
One of our “facilitator-free” nights! (Jeremy was away.) Actually, right-hand man and backup facilitator Stu was on hand, but members Richard and Michael had been “knighted” to present the evening’s topic. The triumvirate came up with an interesting discussion on stress, and the ways in which folks deal with it.
All-business meeting. Normally, we confine business meetings to the 7:00-7:30 slot, but our involvement in the Leadership 2000 Awards Dinner was important, so we needed to hammer this one out. By the beginning of the July 7th meeting, we moved and passed a resolution to sponsor the dinner.
How homophobia still runs rampant, despite the advances we have made in the years since Stonewall. A new member gave us a chilling account of how he and his friends still face stalking by old high school “buddies.”
Homophobia Part II. We discussed a hypothesis brought up at the CGM Reading Group on July 11: Do homophobic attacks originate more from a man’s deviance from the gender-specific roles he is expected to follow (which can be independent of homosexuality), or simply from what he does in his bed?
Homophobia Part III. Some members attended the SGM Cruise on July 16, but as the date approached, most admitted they felt anxiety in going. We discussed whether this was internalized homophobia, fear of rejection among people whose opinions we perhaps care too much about, or just a lack of face-to-face social skills in a world where gay men meet each other electronically.
The long awaited Sex meeting! First, we played musical rooms. Then, we filled out a survey, the results of which will likely be discussed at the August 11 meeting. Then we opened the floor, touching on many different aspects of sex. Casual sex, open relationships, intimacy, cybersex and the impact of the Internet, monogamy, chemistry, how sex improves with age, all were covered. An excellent meeting!
Movie night...featuring the first 3 episodes of the steamy Queer as Folk (U.K. version).
The Sex Survey Results meeting. Tonight we followed up on the July 28 meeting on sex. Many of the individual results were surprising and sparked further discussion. In some cases, we discovered that the survey questions were interpreted differently among members, which demonstrated how unique and “unrehearsed” this topic can be.
Movie night...episodes 4-6 of Queer as Folk.
The nature of confidentiality and how it is being affected by the existence of the web and email.
CGM’s 1st Anniversary Party and Movie Night! Tonight we wrapped up our viewing of the first season of Queer as Folk (episodes 7 and 8) while having punch and pie!
How to meet guys. Tonight we built a good formula for success in the ever-elusive dating scene. First, put yourself out there in social situations, particularly those where the probability is high that the guy you’d like to meet is gay. Second, don’t meet someone with the hope of finding a someone to meet someone. Third, love yourself, because Jack Palance wasn’t kidding when he said that “Confidence is sexy!”
Personal support for member.
On the heels of GMT Weekend, we discussed gay men’s retreats. Many members had been to one or more of the myriad of growth opportunities out there. Most of these members reported that the overall experience was very positive; for some, it was life changing.
A very “good mood” crowd tonight. This week, members Tim and John were featured on the front page of the Concord Monitor for their efforts in forming the Concord Alliance of Gay and Straight Educators. We basked in the positive response this has received. Then, we ventured into personal stories from members of how coming out has evoked very positive responses from the people they are closest to.
An ad hoc kind of week, with Sam making his facilitorial debut. Tonight’s topic covered current events in the gay community. Later, the group shared a birthday cake with a member who just turned 40!
Sam returned to the helm to lead the group in a Gay Trivia game! Correct answers earned “points” for each of the six teams that played; the winning team was individually crowned with tiaras! And anyone who broke the rules had to put his tongue on Sam's teddy can guess how the punishment was stated.
All business meeting. Tonight, the group discussed, modified slightly, and then ratified the bylaws formed by the CGM workgroup committee over the summer. This was a major milestone towards becoming a non-profit organization. 29 of the 32 attendees ratified the bylaws.
Tonight we carved pumpkins for the Keene Pumpkin Festival, which demolished the world record with more than 23,000 simultaneously lit jack o’lanterns!
Several mini-topics this evening, hosted by Stu. First, on the heels of the Nov 7th election, who are our friends running for State and National offices? Next, Euthanasia for dying animal companions (and partners). Finally, taking the first Coming Out steps by placing a pride sticker on your car...what are the “Pros and Cons”?
A pulse measurement of the media. How are shows like Will and Grace, Normal Ohio, and Queer as Folk doing towards avoiding the “gay stereotype for a laugh”? What about movies? What about internet depictions such as Queer Duck? Most agreed, we’ve come a long way.
Some specific questions, posed by member. How do you know you are gay? How do you know that the guy you’ve met will lead to “true” love?
Day after Thanksgiving Potluck at Stu and Dave’s house. This was so well received that it might become an annual event!
Our first Annual Meeting. Tonight we held the election of officers for our first Board of Directors. But first, we had to decide a few do we vote, do we accept absentee votes, who gets to vote? After announcement of the election results, we brainstormed on the types of activities the group can now get involved in, and what the group ought to focus on in the coming year.
How death or illness around the holiday season affects one’s enjoyment of it.
The irony of getting a cheerful Christmas Card which says, “Oh by the way, I’ve got cancer.” Some members admitted that there’s no really good time to announce a terminal illness. Some went further to say that a handwritten note at Christmas, no matter how odd, is still better than an obituary sent by a relative or loved one years later, completely by surprise. Tonight we also acknowledged the 27th anniversary of the American Psychiatric Association’s recommendation to remove homosexuality from the DSM (the manual of mental disorders).
Our first Yankee Gift Swap! Sam led the group in the festivities, and Dave supplied punch and pie for everyone!
Bad dates! Everyone’s had them, everyone would rather forget them, but they do make good story (and topic!) material. This segued later towards homosexuality in the schools. How? I don’t know, I was late to this meeting! Many thanks to Sam for taking over in my absence!

Link verify request

Broken Link?

If you find a broken link, . Thank you.