Warmth: that’s what the Queersgiving Potluck (and Coming Out Social!) was like. You walked in and saw folks who wanted to be there, to be present for their community. There wasn’t a pressing need to impress, or declare a need for space, because it was given to you. Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre (KSAC) had a table set up for any support that folks could need, with temporary tattoos and coloring pages (just what I had in mind to keep occupied!).
There was “Take a Note, Leave a Note” from Out On Campus (a closed group at Trent for those questioning their sexual and/or gender identity) which worked to affirm those in need. There were resources for safe sex, different sex and specific queer issues. There was great food, cooked with love. Warm Lights. Good music from local queer folks. Coming out stories. Strength. Warmth. What else could we need?
A participant gleefully acknowledged, “Queersgiving was a wonderful event. I’m glad so many people were there and also shared their coming out stories. I felt like it helped get to know the community more. The host was really welcoming and funny! The music was SO good!!” And I agree: I think the idea that the Trent Queer Collective (TQC) is putting forward is that you are welcome, wherever you’re from, whatever your queer looks like: we want and care about you.
The whole premise of the potluck was to foster a community for those that have been simply banished from the promise of comfort, of love. And in that, I believe, the TQC has taken a strong stand.
What was important was how easy it was to simply enjoy good music and engage with the community: it wasn’t forced, or implied that a need to speak, or talk or even introduce yourself. A humbling experience, listening to folks share their coming out stories, and realizing how important it is for spaces that the event offered to exist, so these voices are heard, these stories inspire and the love for love persists.
Everyone present had a fed stomach, and a gay time with notes of humbleness in every facet; be it the music, or the stories that were shared, or the jokes that were told. What brought people together was not just the comfort, but the music from queer folks you see around town – Peachykine, AMORT, people you meet outside of bars, and Little
Rapids – setting a sombre, queer tone for the evening and made the event truly inviting.
We were also invited to each shared a point for the “Gay Agenda” or the “Queer Agenda,” if you will. It showcased how as a community, we wanted to create something: penning it down in words our wants and needs, just for the sake of sharing it. And this made all the difference. We created a collective agenda of acceptance and love, coupled with humour and warmth. It seemed like the beginning of another chapter in the Peterborough queer community, and I am all for it!
I look forward to what TQC has in store for us, and am keen about the collective care that it seems to promise.