Crafts, socializing create queer safe spaces during Pride Week 2022 -

Crafts, socializing create queer safe spaces during Pride Week 2022

Tables were spaced in a circle inside a conference room in Baker University Center until participants pushed the tables closer together to form one large dining-room table of sorts. “Born this Way” by Lady Gaga played quietly in the background as attendants of the Queer Craft Social sat around the table.

On March 26, Ohio University Student Senate’s LGBTQIA + Affairs Commission hosted its last event of Pride Week 2022. Queer Craft Social was put together by the commission to do exactly what its name implies: make crafts and socialize to appreciate members of the LGBTQ + community.

Faith Laughlin, vice commissioner of LGBTQIA + Affairs, said the commission started planning for Pride Week months ago and was brainstorming event ideas. Then, Laughlin thought of crafts and how making them could be a relaxing event.

“I enjoy crafts, but I never make time to do them,” Laughlin said. Just hanging out in a very relaxed (way), you can literally just sit here and do nothing if you want. But there’s also coloring pages and everything. ”

While people could color, they could also paint on small canvases or make beaded bracelets. Emily McCarty, a junior studying chemical engineering, said she came to Queer Craft Social to relax after having a stressful week.

McCarty enjoys crafting on a regular basis and wants to try making rugs.

“In my major, since it’s engineering, I feel like I get to design a lot of things,” McCarty said. “And even though it’s not the traditional type of crafting, it’s a different way to have my creativity come through.”

Crafting can provide a sense of comfort and relief from everyday stresses of school and connect people with others who share similar interests and backgrounds. McCarty said there is usually a lack of women in her engineering classes and events. There is another layer to this stress as a queer women. In conversations where McCarty mentions her girlfriend, some people get shocked, which makes her uncomfortable. But talking to her friends outside of school and going home to an environment with friends makes a difference in her stress levels, she said.

“Coming home and having a stress relief after that… it’s really nice to just kind of forget,” McCarty said.

Queer Craft Social provided stress relief through the enjoyment of others’ company and connecting with activities enjoyed in childhood.

Laughlin said she always had fun making crafts out of polymer clay when she was younger. Laughlin also said that although she enjoys clay, it has been a while since she has worked with it.

“I feel like (people) make (crafting) to feel kind of juvenile to do these types of things for your mental health once you get to a certain age,” McCarty said. “But I do not think that it is; I think it’s really helpful. ”

There is another benefit to having relaxing events to celebrate the LGBTQ + community. Andie Lindemann, a freshman studying language arts education, said that some Pride events can be too overwhelming for him, especially when there are loud sounds.

“And the sort of traditional, loud Pride Parade and going out to bars isn’t something that I can do,” Lindemann said. “So, this kind of thing where it’s just chill, but it’s still queer, (is) very important for me.”

@ McKennaChristy1

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