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The Gay York Region Social Group logo: A symbolic map of the region using rainbow colours to represent the nine municipalities of Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan and Whitchurch-Stouffville
York Region's gay social group.
Membership Statistics
As of March 2011, we had more than 200 members of whom 60% were male and 40% female.
The breakdown across age groups was as follows:
Age GroupMembers
Under 20:8%
20-29:39%
30-39:14%
40-49:22%
50+:17%
Why was GYRSG created?
Unlike Toronto, in York Region there are very few social venues and events that are renowned as gay-friendly. Our social group was created in 2006 to enable members of our LGBT community to socialize and meet each other in an environment where they know that their sexuality will not be an issue.
Do I have to be gay or lesbian to join your group?
We welcome people of all genders and sexualities. We only require that everyone is fully accepting of others, irrespective of sexuality and gender identity.
I'm not 'out' and need to be discrete. Is it safe for me to attend a GYRSG event?
Yes. Over the past eight years we have hosted more than 100 events, but never has our group been a focus of attention at any event venue. Rarely is anyone aware of the nature of our group apart from our event attendees and venue staff.
Will I have to mix with others of different age groups?
It depends on the event. Presently our events are mostly open to all age groups. As we no longer require any online registration by people attending our events, we can no longer provide precise statistics. When we were able to do that, back in 2011, the distribution of our members across different age groups is shown on the left. In the future, we may arrange more events that are limited to specific age groups.
In York Region, there is also York Region Gay-Straight Alliance (YRGSA), based in Richmond Hill, and YRGSA North, based in Newmarket. Both groups cater specifically for youth up to the age of 26 and some members of these groups also attend our events.
Will it be a big ordeal to attend my first event on my own?
No. Many of our event attendees come on their own. And we know from experience how difficult it can be at first to socialize alone, if friends can't be invited to join you because they are unaware of your sexuality. As a result, we go out of our way to make newcomers feel welcome.
Most of our events are at venues that are open to the general public. So, if you prefer, you can even start by sitting at a nearby table and eavesdropping on us, and then join us when you feel comfortable. You certainly won't be the first person to have done that!
Whereabouts in York Region are your events?
We try to schedule our events at various different locations across the region, but in recent times most events have been held in or around Newmarket and Aurora. We also try to favour event venues that are close to major transit links, e.g. Viva, for the benefit of those who do not have the use of a car.
How many people attend an average event?
It varies and we have found it impossible to accurately predict attendance for any event. But, for our regular monthly events, the average is probably around 8 and it's almost always between 5 and 12 - except for June (pride week) when it usually exceeds 30.
How would I find the social group in a restaurant or bar?
We always label our tables with posters showing the GYRSG logo, as it appears at the top left of this screen. Additionally, the owners of these establishments are always aware of our location and they or their staff would be able to direct you to our location.
Are there any fees for joining GYRSG or attending events?
No. GYRSG is a non-profit group operated by GayYorkRegion.com and it is entirely free of charge. We are however grateful to receive small donations to help us cover various administration expenses. Donations can be made online at GayYorkRegion.com.
Most of our events are free to attend, but occasionally we may need to charge for event attendance. Event details shown in the GayYorkRegion event calendar will always clearly indicate when event admittance is not free.
Do you provide free food and drink at your events?
Very rarely. Normally we would expect you to pay for your own food and drinks.
Do I need to bring anything to your events?
At any venue where alcohol is available, in order to purchase or consume it, you may be asked to produce id as proof that you are 19 or older.
Can I chat online with other GYRSG attendees, using this website?
We are not an online dating or social networking service. We are a real-life social group.
However, some of our event attendees have created a profile in the 'Community' section of the GayYorkRegion.com website and this allows them to communicate with others who have profiles. This facility is also free of charge and allows you to very easily locate others in your own locality.