kudos to irish kayaker's words of wisdom. as a nearly old guy, when i came out (1980, lol) there was ONLY bars, no social opportunities other than bars (and bathhouses and cruising places if those count as "social"). the initial fascination with being around "other people like me" soon wore off with the smoky haze, the inane loud music, the over-priced lame beers, and all the basically sad and lonely people all looking to essentially numb out from their lives. by all means, it is a place of our "culture" that you may want to experience, but don't go there thinking this is some form of gay heaven and everyone there will be your friend. be there with eyes wide open, observe, interact, be friendly, stay sober...... i still have friends that i met in bars from waaaay back then. i've not been to a gay bar in years and years, hopefully they have become much better places than when they were part of my world. as irish kayaker sez, get involved in other forms of social interaction, as a way to meet other chaps, and let the bars fit into that mix. best to you as you make your life.