Fruits In Suits, the networking night for gay men who take their careers seriously, has had a bit of a shake-up in the last year including a move to Slide and a change in management.
Mark Haines recently stepped up as the new Fruits director, and said the event’s longevity and success needed little tampering.
“It’s one of the best networking nights for gay guys. You can meet new guys and help contribute to the community generally,” Haines said.
“I tend to subscribe to the theory if it’s not broken don’t fix it. But perhaps in the New Year we’ll see some changes around Mardi Gras.”
Because marching down Oxford Street in a suit is more “sweaty-hot” than hot-hot, Haines said, a parade float isn’t likely, but he does have big plans for the Christmas Fruits.
With Lemons With A Twist attracting more than 370 to its recent 10th anniversary function, Haines said the gauntlet had been thrown down for Fruits to do one better – being the older, more established of the two.
“For years I’d been thinking I needed to get out there and do something for the community, and this is a fantastic way to do it,” he said.
“I think it gives you a good advantage in business to be exposed to a broad variety of people, successes and challenges.
“It’s a very diverse membership. Anyone is welcome. I think it’s great for the broader community to come along, because then they see how we operate.”
With the regular networking night on the third Thursday of the month, a school night, suits dominate the room, but there is no mandatory dress code.
“I don’t always wear a suit for work, but I do wear a suit to Fruits,” Haines said. “The opportunity is there for people to dress up, but if you want to come in jeans and a tee-shirt that doesn’t really matter.”
The whole age spectrum turns up, from young guys in their early 20s, right up to people in their 50s and 60s.
“We do want more young guys to come along,” Haines said. “Through Fruits they have the opportunity to take advantage of more career-established professionals to mentor them and benefit from their experiences.”
Fruits in Suits is held on the third Thursday of the month, next on 15 November, 6pm at Slide. Free entry with SGLBA membership or $10 for non-members, with a free drink and canapés. Details: www.sglba.com.au or email [email protected]

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