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Queer Things to Do: See 'Bottoms,' Attend the Funky Ferndale Art Fair, Reflect on Suicide Awareness Month

Sarah Bricker Hunt

You totally deserve a break from the absolute shit-shows competing for your attention in the worlds of entertainment news and politics. We all do, which is why it’s a good thing there are so many good things happening in the latter half of September. See a new queer movie or the premiere of a live, queer-forward theater performance, grab a new book by an LGBTQ+ author or head out for one of the last outdoor festivals of the season, the Funky Ferndale Art Fair. It’s also Suicide Awareness Month, an opportune time to reflect on what we can do to drive down the numbers. 

1. Watch a Fun New Queer-Forward Movie

You’ve seen the same raunchy, coming-of-age plot that unfolds in MGM’s “Bottoms” countless times, but it hits differently when two adorable high school lesbians share the lead. Rachel Sennott and Ayo Edebiri play queer besties who start a girls-only fight club while plotting to lose their virginities to their cheerleader crushes. Silliness ensues in this critically acclaimed film, now in theaters, but it also offers a rare opportunity to see queer people portrayed on the big screen in a big way. 



If you’d rather get your fill of queer rambunctiousness in your pajamas, Hulu’s got you covered with “Theater Camp,” a sweet send-up of summer drama camps. This 90-minute escape from reality stars Ben Platt, the out star of “Dear Evan Hansen,” and Molly Gordon, who played Annabelle in the queer-led “Booksmart.” 

2. Get Tickets for ‘Strange Attachments’ at Planet Ant

Planet Ant’s latest stage debut, “Strange Attachments,” set for Sept. 29, explores a queer love story focused on “otherworldly connection, acceptance and the transformative power of understanding,” according to press materials. Featuring a diverse cast of queer characters played by several queer actors, the performances also offer audiences a way to give back to the community through a raffle supporting Stand with Trans. 

Sept. 29-30 and Oct. 6-7, 9 p.m. Planet Ant’s Ant Hall (2320 Caniff St., Hamtramck). Tickets are available now at planetant.com

3. Curl Up with a New Queer Book

Meryl Wilsner, a queer Michigan author who writes “happily ever after” fiction with a queer audience in mind — specifically queer readers who love women — is set to release her latest novel Sept. 19. The soccer romance “Cleat Cute” will appeal to fans of “Ted Lasso” and “A League of Their Own” and anyone who loves a good “rival-to-lover” romantic comedy. It’s the perfect cozy, early fall read with lots of important representation, including neurodivergence, lesbian main characters and bi, nonbinary and trans supporting characters.

For a non-fiction new queer read, check out Melissa Etheridge’s memoir, “Talking to My Angels,” out now. In the two decades since penning her 2002 book, “The Truth Is…,” Etheridge became a mother again, recorded 11 albums, won an Oscar, fell in love, overcame breast cancer and faced the death of her son Beckett, who died from an opioid overdose in 2020, all of which she explores in devastating depth in the new book. 

4. Attend the Funky Ferndale Art Fair

"Encompassed" by Amanda Irene. Photo: AmandaIrene.com
"Encompassed" by Amanda Irene. Photo: AmandaIrene.com

Head over to downtown Ferndale Sept. 22-24 for the Funky Ferndale Art Fair, an event focused on the wonderfully weird world of art in a vibrant street fair setting filled with music, food and a wide array of art available for purchase. The event features multiple LGBTQ+ artists, including Amanda Irene of Auburn Hills, whose work features oil paintings and provocative ink drawings, which she sometimes transforms into permanent ink through the art of tattoo design. 

Sept. 22-24, downtown Ferndale. Details at funkyferndaleartfair.com.

5. Recognize Suicide Awareness Month

September marks Suicide Awareness Month, a time to reflect on the devastating impact of a topic many of us shy away from discussing. In fact, experts assert, being more open about suicide could go a long way toward improving the stats. The LGBTQ+ community is especially vulnerable. Mental health experts have long warned that this demographic is more prone to suicide than cisgender, heterosexual folks, especially younger generations. The Trevor Project reports nearly half of LGBTQ+ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in 2022, a figure even more pronounced among trans youth and LGBTQ+ youth of color.

The National Institute of Mental Health recommends five steps for helping someone experiencing emotional pain or suicidal thoughts:


1. Ask your loved one about whether they’ve thought about suicide.
2. Keep them safe by reducing access to highly lethal items.
3. Be there — acknowledge what they are going through.
4. Help them connect to the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline number and the Crisis Text Line (741741).
5. Stay connected after the crisis has passed. 



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