Welcome to The Rise Times' latest feature, where we sit down with Jennie and Nora, the founders of Queer Friends ATX. This dynamic duo is on a mission to bring LGBTQIA2+ adults together to make friends and build community in Austin, TX. From organizing events to promoting local queer artists and businesses, Jennie and Nora are working hard to create a welcoming and inclusive space for the LGBTQIA2+ community. In this Q&A, they share the story of how Queer Friends ATX came to be, the importance of creating sober-curious spaces, and their vision for the future of the LGBTQIA2+ community in Austin.
As members of the LGBTQIA2+ community in Austin, we know firsthand the challenges and struggles that can come with substance abuse and addiction. In a city known for its high rates of binge drinking and drug use, it can be difficult to find alternative ways to socialize and build connections with others. That's where Queer Friends ATX comes in. Founded by Jennie and Nora, this group is dedicated to creating a supportive and inclusive community for LGBTQIA2+ adults who are interested in sober living and building meaningful connections with others. From social events and activities to support groups and resources, Queer Friends ATX is working to create a space where all members of the community can thrive.
Whether you're new to the area or looking to expand your social circle, Queer Friends ATX is a fantastic resource for connecting with like-minded individuals and building a supportive community. So read on and get to know Jennie and Nora, the driving forces behind Queer Friends ATX.
CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELVES?
Jennie is the organizational force behind this group. She has a talent for event curation, and makes incredible fried chicken to share with her friends.
Nora is a talented local glass artist (Bluebrows Handmade). She loves connecting with people and spending time dancing, crafting, and on the water.
HOW DID QUEER FRIENDS ATX BEGIN?
Jennie, Nora, & 2 other friends were once the only 4 strangers to show up for a queer meet up posted by a group that no longer exists. The 4 of us were each in a transitional time in our lives and were looking for others to connect with. That day we spent a couple hours together and quickly bonded. We became a part of each others lives, met each others friends, partners, and families. We showed up for each other and a community started to form. That's how the idea for Queer Friends ATX was born. We know the apprehension of showing up to an event alone. But we also know that taking that brave step, even just once can lead to deep friendships and support systems that many of us were lacking before. We want our group to be an inclusive space where adults of all genders and sexualities feel safe and can connect with each other. Queers need community, and all people on the LGBTQIA2+ spectrum are welcome and wanted here.
HOW DO Y’ALL BUILD COMMUNITY AND CREATE SPACE FOR LGBTQIA2+ AUSTINITES?
We host events of our own (bowling, picnics, field days, kayaking, etc) and we also promote and attend events hosted by other local queer social groups. We do instagram engagements like #thirstythursday for people looking to date, #friendlyfriday for people looking to connect platonically, and #featurefriday where we promote local LGBTQIA2+ artists, businesses, and freelancers. We promote posts created by other queer orgs and individuals that celebrate queer identities and provide educational information. We regularly accept anonymous comments and questions and offer advice (and crown source advice) when we can.
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SEE MORE OF FOR AUSTIN’S LGBTQIA2+ COMMUNITY?
We would love to see more LGBTQIA2+ centered spaces. More free events, and events where people aren't expected to drink alcohol. More queer political representation. And protection for LGBTQIA2+ children & comprehensive LGBTQIA2+ sex education. We've done collaborative events with other queer groups in the community like @localqueer_atx and @sapphicatx, and are always open to doing more! Any events we do will be open to the entire LGBTQIA2+ community.
HOW CAN FOLKS GET INVOLVED?
Follow our Instagram account! Sign up for event subscription emails. Show up!