Before Becky and I even met we shared a vision, we just did not know it! We wanted to create events, activities and retreats that better catered for LGBTQIA women. We had become frustrated by the lack quality experiences that there were for LGBTQIA women, and how hard anything was to find unless you were ‘in the know’. We had seen how our friends (and ourselves) were tired of dating and friendship apps, but still wanted to meet new and interesting people.
And we were not alone.
Research developed by world leading research agency Kantar, for DIVA Media Group, showed a real frustration from LGBTQIA women about the current events and social scene.
- 79% felt current events were developed by gay men for gay men.
- 74% wanted to see more interest-based events.
- Only 22% were interested in dating/friendship apps to meet others.
- And only 7% go on LGBTQIA trips, but a massive 60% would if these were aimed at women only.
We have set up Out and About as a new inclusive and supportive space for the LGBTQIA community to connect with others through shared experiences. The community is growing, recent reports suggest that 13% of the population now identify as LGBTQIA. In the light of COVID-19 and many bars and physical places closing we knew there was demand for a new approach to building friendships as well as taking part in new experiences.
Out and About will both create and curate experiences, with a focus on LGBTQIA women and those who are non-binary. Why? Because these are the audience that are most uncatered for. We do intend, over time, to introduce mixed events (with supportive allies), but our heart will always be with LGBTQIA women (obv. ?)
We will be focusing on the areas that you told us are important to you; Hiking, Camping, Wellness, Food and Drink, Sport, Family and Cultural and Creative activities. We will work with inclusive event providers across the UK (and beyond) to be a one stop shop for quality events, activities and experiences. As well as partnering with established brands, we are also keen to connect LGBTQIA women with some great female identifying and non-binary events providers. It’s been so exciting to virtually meet and chat to these over the last few months. And if you are a quality event provider please get in touch!
You can use our Out and About event finder to locate experiences by type, location and date. We plan to keep it filled with events across the year. Initially we will be promoting day, evening and long weekends in the UK. But going forward we are looking to expand abroad.
At Out and About we are excited that our first two promoted events, Glamping in Wales in September and our first post COVID-19 meet up in the oldest gay pub in London, sold out. This shows the real potential for LGBTQIA meets up that focus on women and those who are non-binary.
Out and About is proud to be inclusive of all identifying LGBTQIA women and those who are non-binary. We will expect this from those who join us and especially all our partners. In fact, we will ask everyone who works with us to sign our Code of Conduct.
Becky and I are both proud LGBTQIA women (you can find more about us here), we have designed this space with our audience in mind, and we are committed to a quality experience. We are always keen to hear from you, via email, at events we run or on our Out and About LGBTQ Facebook Group.
It has been a tough year, that I think has made a lot of us both appreciate the importance of good friendships and being open to new experiences. Let’s make this the start of getting Out and About together!
We both look forward to meeting you!
Polly and Becky
Out and About Blog by Polly Shute