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Friday event aims to bring together LGBTQ+ and supporters

Friday night, a group of LGBTQ+ supporters is starting a conversation. 

The group is hosting a potluck event from 6:30 p.m. at Temple Studios on Fifth Avenue. It is open to everyone and will be a safe space to talk about LGBTQ+ in Seward (an acronym representing the spectrum of the queer community, including allies). 

“This isn’t just for the queer community,” said Juliana Kim, one of the events organizers. “The first meeting is to see who are we, and when we see who we are, we can hone in on a focus.”

Kim said she wants the event to help identify ways the larger community can support the LGBTQ+ community, but the first step is finding the LGBTQ+ community.

“We don’t know who is going to show up, we don’t know the age ranges and out of the community that we do have, we don’t know if people need resources,” Kim said. “Do the youth need resources here? There is no sexual health education, let alone inclusive to LGBTQ+ as well.”

By creating a safe place for those who identify with or are allies of LGBTQ+, the group wants to create a larger support system.

“It will help show the diversity in our community,” said event organizer Roz Kirkelie. “There are people from all walks, of all different places in the spectrum of LGBTQ and youth, especially, can see that there are people who are like them. You can identify somebody in this group.”

The group also hopes the event will springboard LGBTQ+ into the larger Seward community.

“Through this and other programs, being visible in programs would only make us more approachable,” said event organizer Tony Baclaan. “People don’t feel safe sometimes, because they don’t feel comfortable being known as a gay person, but if we are more involved as the queer people in the community in other things, that opens us to be more approachable in different settings and situations. This is one situation, this pot luck is to get everyone together that is even just supportive of the community. It’s not exclusive of anyone.”

The Bringing LGBTQ+ & Supporters Together event is Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Temple Studios, 419 5th Ave. It is a potluck event, free and open to the public.

“There’s a lot of people who have asked me, what is this thing going on?,’” Baclaan said. “It’s a pot luck. Do you have gay friends? Do you like gay people? Why don’t you come?”