We're in the acceptance phase of fall — the phase where we've finally come to terms with the fact that summer is officially over and it's time to get ready for the holiday season. But the good news is, you don't have to go through it alone because here are five queer activities to turn to during this transitional time.
1. Update Your Gender on Your Passport
From 12 to 2 p.m. on Nov. 19, the University of Michigan will hold Trans Visibility Passport Day. Lorant Peeler, program specialist for events and partnerships at UM's Spectrum Center, says this event is open to "folks needing a gender marker or name change" and for people wanting a new or renewed passport. The Center and UM's School of Social Work Office of Global Activities will be assisting students and community members. The event, held at the School of Social Work in Room 3661, is free to attend. However, the passport and application must be paid the day of via check or money order.
To register and for more information, go to UM's Social Work Website.
2. Attend a Queer Crochet and Knitting Event
The weather outside is frightful, but the yarn inside is oh so delightful. So wool (we couldn't help ourselves) you like to know what we're talking about? It's a knitting and crochet group for the LGBTQ+ community. At 6 p.m. Nov. 15 and every second Friday of the month, you can attend this virtual recurring event to enjoy a night of shared LGBTQ+ company. "People who attend can bring whatever they're working on and have that time set aside to get something accomplished, to pick up a new skill, or just relax and enjoy the company," facilitator Leslie Boker told Pride Source.
Register in advance by emailing Grand Rapids Pride at [email protected].
3. Engage in Small Talk with UICA and Rachel Britton in Grand Rapids
This in-person event takes small talk to a new level. In this season of the ongoing series "Small Talk," created by the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (UICA), 13 artists will be interviewed about their work featured in UICA's exhibit "Other World."
From 5:30 to 6:20 p.m. on Nov. 18, Michele Bosak, UICA's director of curatorial, will host an in-person discussion highlighting Grand Rapids artist Rachel Britton. "The talk will start in the galleries, highlighting the artist's featured work, and then shift over to the Living Room space for casual seating, conversation and questions," explained Jackie McLane, UICA's marketing coordinator. The event is located at 17 Pearl St. in Grand Rapids.
Find ticket information at Eventbrite.
4. Honor Suicide Survivors and Trans Day of Remembrance
Being affected by suicide is tough, but support groups, ceremonies and events can help grieving people feel comforted. On Nov. 20, Michigan's American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and Ferndale's Affirmations will hold the Metro Detroit LGBTQ+ International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day event at Affirmations in Ferndale. In addition to offering support for LGBTQ+ survivors and their allies, this event will also honor Trans Day of Remembrance. Anne Perry, Michigan's AFSP area director, says this is their first time partnering with Affirmations and the LGBTQ+ community for this annual event. She says there will be various activities, including a showing of a suicide loss documentary followed by a panel of suicide loss survivors who "talk openly about their loss and how they traveled through their grief journey."
To register for the free event, visit the AFSP website.
5. Attend a Non-Binary Support Group for Young Adults
For a non-binary, gender non-conforming person, finding a support group is like finding a four-leaf clover — it just doesn't happen often. But when it does, you hold on for dear life. The Stand with Trans' non-binary support group could be that crucial lifeline for young adults navigating life from a non-binary perspective. "The current facilitator [Lu Evergreen] is non-binary," says Stand with Trans' Communications Manager Cameron Parkins. "They provide a safe space for young adults to talk about any issues or life." This free online monthly event, held from 7 to 8 p.m Nov. 17, is limited to young adults 18-24 years old.
More information can be found on Stand with Trans' website.