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Sunday, April 6, 2008

Please tell me there's gays here...

Firstly, welcome!

If you're reading this then (thank God!) you must be one of Napa's gay or gay-friendly (not to be exclusive, the lesbians, bi's and transexuals are all welcome).

Here's the deal: I've grown up in Napa for most of my (gay, yet previously closeted) life. I went to school here, then commuted to college and now I continue to work and live here. For better or for worse, I call Napa my home. Classmates and friends have come and gone (and some come back a second time around), but I've pretty much been here the whole time. Three years ago I took the leap and began coming out to close friends and family, and now I'm looking to get more connected with a newer, queerer part of my community.

It's not easy, though. Napa's got a whole lot more wine than diversity. I definitely have my work cut out for me.

My straight friends (we're mostly in our mid to late 20s) complain that there's nothing cool to do here...and admittedly, there isn't much. Unless you like tours or expensive food. Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of both (especially if they both involve alcohol) but I'm looking for places where the gays and gay friendly are! There's a huge arts community, so there have to be tons of us mixed in there...

As I search around the valley, I'll be checking out the caf├ęs, the shops, the bars, restaurants, nightlife, events, activities, clubs and more. Got a tip for me? The comment box is always open: (If you're worried: even if your email comes all pretty in pink, I'll be discrete with your identity).

I'm gonna need all the help I can get. Even's coverage of the valley is five years old and limited to Calistoga's mud baths, a few B&B's and some restaurants. (Okay, they do mention Napa's Opera House, but that's definitely more gray than gay.)

As good as I am at it, I can't just bitch about there being nothing to do. I should do something about it. This blog is my attempt at finding Napa Valley's other fruit (pun very much intended). In the mean time, I look forward to seeing you out and about. You know, give me the secret hand-signal...and be sure to post comments on the blog!


  1. This is going to be so much fun, we are all going to learn a lot of the napa valley!

  2. Thanks for the comment!
    I hope we all learn something...I'm figuring that some will just read, but I'm hoping that more readers will interact: sharing their experience and also where the cool spots around town are. And if, after searching there isn't anything going on, let's make something happen!

  3. First of all, who are you and why should I (we) be interested?

    Secondly, why are you so ignorant to what is actually happening "gaywise" in this community?

    Lastly, who are you!!?? Most critics and bloggers identify themselves in some way. You often use "we" as though this is an organization no one has heard about. What's up with that?

    ---proceeding with caution

  4. Firstly, I'm glad you're at least proceeding!

    I would like to thank you for coming to the site and sharing your opinion and questions.

    (There's so much to include as a reply that I should almost post this as a full entry instead of a comment. Maybe I will...)
    I am a gay man living in Napa and I grew up here and have first hand experience of what it is like to be gay in Napa (especially on the day-to-day).

    Why should you be interested? Well, if you're queer of any sort and live in or are from the Napa area, you know that there isn't hardly anything going on around here that is promoted for the gays and that Napa's gay community is very hidden if not invisible. While I know that there is a wide spectrum of people that make up Napa's queer residents, for the most part people aren't very open or "out" here. This blog is my attempt to help us to connect to each other and to what's going on here in the Valley and nearby.

    I haven't announced who I am because I want this site to be about the community and connection and not myself personally or so much as an individual. This blog is written currently only by me, with input from gay and straight friends and anyone who emails me through our "tipline" which is just an email and myspace inbox I've set up for this purpose. I do have other LGBT folks who have given me their input and experience with places and topics, and am currently talking to them and others about co - or guest authoring on the blog. I write in the "we" because my inspirations for posts come from multiple other people and I also want this site to offer the feel of a community (we're not alone, etc.) . Plus, when I do add other writers to the ranks, it's much easier to write "we" now than to have to go back and edit later. :)

    I am not sure if you are from or have lived in Napa, but I hope you can share in the appreciation for the goal of this site, which is "finding (and connecting with) our community within our community."

    As always, your comments, suggestions and ideas are welcome. Keep on reading, commenting and "proceeding"...with caution or not. ;)

  5. Oh...and as for why I am so ignorant to what's happening the community:

    I'm not sure if you mean the entire gay community or just in Napa.

    Well, Napa does not have much going on in the community, and that's what this blog is about: finding and connecting with the gays here. If you're from here, I think you'll know what I'm talking about. If not, ask around to any gays you know that are from here.

    If you mean in general: I wouldn't consider myself ignorant, but definitely hungry to learn. I've only been out in the last few years, and even then I'm not the one running around with the rainbow flag, so I've still got tons to figure out.

    If you have insider info that I should know, or places, experiences, etc. to share: please do!