The idea of a men's group was first discussed in September 1997, when it was noted that there was little or no support for gay and bisexual men in the area, outside of the general gay scene.
GEMS was established on 5th December 1997, when it was agreed that socials would be held fortnightly on Fridays at members' homes, and that there would be a regular newsletter to let members know about forthcoming events.
GEMS is an established men's social group in its own right and not attached to any voluntary organisation.
The aim of GEMS is to provide an opportunity to meet other men in an informal and friendly atmosphere for the purpose of forming friendships and providing mutual support at times of need.
All interested men are welcome to attend an event, however, if preferred, an informal chat over a coffee can be arranged before attending a GEMS social.
On 23rd January 1998, at the fourth GEMS meeting, a set of ground rules was agreed by those present.
GEMS is an open forum and all members' views, feelings and decisions are to be respected by all in attendance.
The contents of all GEMS socials are to be kept confidential.
If at any time any member of GEMS feels that the group is not being run as it should, then a meeting may be called to discuss how to resolve the problem.