Group plans regular LGBT+ events for Tunbridge Wells

Dan Rogers

A man from Tunbridge Wells has established the town’s first LGBT+ social group, bringing people together from across the Borough.

Dan Rogers, who grew up between Ticehurst and Tunbridge Wells, returned to the town from Birmingham in 2021 and was disappointed to find that there were no LGBT+ venues nearby.

With the help of a friend, he started a Facebook group and soon began organising social events for Tunbridge Wells’ LGBT+ residents.

“When I first moved here I didn’t know anyone, and although I’ve got friends in London I didn’t always want to go out to the London scene – I wanted somewhere local,” Dan explained.

The 49-year-old started by organising smaller events like picnics in the park and group dinners, gradually building a community and gaining new attendees.

On February 17, the group’s first big event was held with a night at The Royal Wells Hotel on Mount Ephraim.

“We had 30 people turn up, which I was quite happy with – everyone gave such amazing feedback.

“I never expected that I would be doing anything like this, I was a bit hesitant but knowing there was London just up the road I thought, I’ll go for it.

“It was the best night on the LGBT scene that I’ve had in a very long time,” Dan said.

The event, which had around 30 attendees from across Kent, is now scheduled to take place monthly, with The Royal Wells Hotel allowing Dan to use a room free of charge.

Dan acknowledged that club nights can be daunting, but explained that the venue has room for people to sit and chat if dancing isn’t for them.

“In the past few months, we’ve also had people who are shy and nervous who ask to meet before the event. We come and meet them, introduce them to some friends, and reassure them by doing that,” he added. 

“It really is a safe place and a haven as there’s nothing else like it around here,” Dan said. 

The group’s next club night is scheduled for March 22. For more information, visit: 

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