SAN DIEGO -- A martini embodies class and sophistication -- and so do the events brought to you by Gentlemen’s Martini Night (GMN).
GMN is a business and social networking group dedicated to the social and economic promotion of the gay and gay-friendly community. Part of their mission is to erase negative stereotypes by bringing the community together for mixing and mingling in a less "typical" environment as well as in a less "typical" part of town.
The group will next meet from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, March 23, at Anthology, 1337 India St., in Little Italy.
GMN held its first event in November 2005. Then in 2007, Jerry Strayve Jr., a financial planner by day, took over ownership of GMN.
Strayve said he came out late in his life. After a marriage of 30 years and raising three children, Strayve was in his early 50s when he discovered the gay scene. He said he was shocked at how difficult it was to find a place to go where the socializing was about you as a person and not your sexuality.
“I was looking to socialize and meet people where I could be me and not have it all be about being gay,” Strayve recalled.
GMN has transformed as an organization and event facilitator. Beyond the socializing, they promote equality, support philanthropic organizations, enhance efforts to protect the environment, and function as a positive force for change.
“So often the news media portrays a bunch of people behaving badly without giving credit to the huge contributions people in the gay community are making by living their normal lives … they go unappreciated because they don’t make a lot of noise, they’re just good outstanding citizens,” Strayve said.
GMN supports LGBT organizations like GSDBA, Pride, Mama’s Kitchen and Equality California; but also organizations without a “gay agenda” like St. Madeleine Sophie's Center, which assists adults with developmental disabilities.
They help these organizations in their fundraising goals and introduce GMN event attendees to worthwhile causes in both the gay community and the community at large.
“GMN is very interested in promoting all that is missed about the gay community amongst the gay community and to the straight world. The whole idea is to have the synergy of both communities work together to make our community a better place to be” Strayve said
They also “love women” attendees and welcome all professionals interested in socializing with like-minded professionals.
The events in San Diego take place twice a month in trendy spots throughout the city. Depending on the venue, the average attendance at GMN events varies between 75 and125 people; some events have had as many 350.
GMN organizers choose the venue destination from a list of over 35 stylish locations, which have included the US Grant, Hard Rock, Omni and W hotels as well as Madison Gallery and Balboa and Old Globe Theatres.
GMN produced a monthly event in Palm Springs during the “season” as well.
The image of GMN and its attendees is important and attendees are required to adhere to the following:
Proper behavior policy: The events are held at higher end venues and to remain true to GMN’s mission, attendees are expected to act like adults. “It’s not a snob factor … this is not a White Party but it’s not a church meeting either,” Strayve said.
Dress code:Attendees are encouraged to dress fashionably in a business casual or casual dressy manner. While jeans are acceptable, club wear, T-shirts, shorts, open-toed shoes and tennis shoes are prohibited unless otherwise noted on promotional material.
GMN will soon introduce Club CUVEE. Named after the methodology for mixing fine wines and champagnes, the exclusive club will provide members with VIP treatment.
For the annual membership fee of $195, Club CUVEE members will enjoy many benefits including complimentary access to all “Tuesday” events, three exclusive and privately hosted soirees per year, complimentary theater tickets and VIP passes to club openings throughout San Diego (event attendance alone will pay for cost of membership).
Their Web site has also gone through some extensive upgrades with which GMN hopes to become a “homepage” for gay professional men and their friends. Think of it as an online resource that facilitates similar social and economic interests.
Event for Tuesday March, 23
Anthology is a swanky and modern destination in Little Italy. It is the place to catch an intimate musical performance.
Anthology features sophistication in its coastal California architectural designs that encompass two levels plus a mezzanine. For more information, visit our Events Calendar.
The Nuera Network is a matchmaking service for same-sex relationships and joins SDPix and SDGLN as tonight’s GMN sponsor. Their mission is to allow like-minded people to meet in an environment free of the uncomfortable pressures, stigmas and stereotypes that gay dating typically tends to offer.
Like GMN events, the Nuera Network focuses on eliminating the misconception that believes the majority of the gay population is contained within a small area, location or community. They boast that their client base proves that is far from the truth.