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There is a support group meetings in Edinburgh on the last Thursday of each month, except December, held in the LGBT Centre/Café Nom de Plume, 58-60 Broughton Street, Edinburgh. Although this is a gay venue, it looks like an ordinary cafe from the street.We have people coming to the meetings from all over Scotland and Broughton Street is only a short walk from Waverley Station and the bus station. Many gay dads say that coming through the door to their first meeting was hard to do, but that having once done it, they regret not having done it sooner.

So what happens?

Meetings start at 8pm and people assemble in Café Nom de Plume for refreshment, before adjourning to a private room about 8.30 for discussion.

The staff at Café Nom de Plume are very friendly and will direct you towards us in the café, if we have not spotted you first. There is a GDS sign on the cafe table where we are chatting.

The usual size of the turnout is around 6 to 10 with a different mix of people every month. There is often a new person at each meeting. Everyone there is a gay dad, though there are lot of different routes to how they become one.

The format is informal and there is no obligation to give your full, or any, life history. Usually, we start by going round in a circle and introducing ourselves in one or two sentences.

Men who have been before will often have issues they want to discuss or want to say how they have got on with an issue they have discussed before. Some dads who are there for the first time have issues that they want to say, or ask, or discuss. That can be as long or as short as you like. There will be feedback if you want as many of us have been in similar situations. It can be good to find out that your situation is not unique!

Commonly, there is wide ranging discussion about coming out to wives, partners and children, about positive and/or negative reactions and about living going forward. It is different each month, driven by the situations of those there.

There will likely be a few minutes of administrative announcements towards the end and the meeting will break-up around 10.30pm. Some, or all, will go on to a gay café or bar for a social drink.

IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING, BUT WE'LL SAY IT ANYWAY, FOR THE AVOIDANCE OF ANY DOUBT, THAT ALL DISCUSSION AT THE MEETINGS, AND THE IDENTITIES OF THOSE ATTENDING, IS CONFIDENTIAL


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