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Queer Behavior is About “Empowering People and Unifying in Columbus”

Grace Fleisher Grace Fleisher Queer Behavior is About “Empowering People and Unifying in Columbus”
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As we enter the new year, ‘Queer Behavior,’ Columbus’ organization for queers of all ages is working towards further establishing itself as a citywide staple.

The group first began organizing in 2009 and works to unite Columbus’ queer community through interaction and organization while being open to absolutely anyone. Whether you identify as queer or an ally, young or old, the organization welcomes all those that like to have fun and build community.

“We’ll dance, bike, cook, stretch, watch, read, talk, sip and do whatever else sounds fun while keeping an eye out for those special moments that inspire conversation, create connections and cultivate friendships across cultures, ages, genders and any other lines that are used to separate us,” reads Queer Behavior’s Facebook page, which is exactly where advisory board member Elizabeth Chinn first found the organization.

A recent graduate from Ohio University, Chinn had moved to Columbus and was soon in search for a sense of community, much like what pours out in college campus environments.

Queer Behavior was just the grassroots organization Chinn had been looking for. One year ago she had attended an open house “pot-love,” or pot-luck, where she drank coffee, made new friends and discussed newsworthy events with the organization’s goal of formal organization in mind.

“Immediately I was really drawn to the idea that people take ownership of events,” said Chinn.

Queer Behavior’s wide range of events are largely decided by the advisory board but are open to anyone looking to get involved in the organization’s planning.

“The idea is that we create events that we want to go to,” said Chinn. “It’s beautifully disorganized in an organized way.”

The events are created and details are dialed in by work groups who meet around planning and attending particular events.

While the organization holds regular events such as Queer yoga every Tuesday, or movie showings in different venues around the city, of which 50-120 people will sometimes show up, the organization also focuses on different opportunities.

“Queer Behavior seeks to move its events geographically in Columbus,” said Chinn. “We want to be accessible and feel access is important for all different types of people to come out so it’s important we move around.”

Alongside simply creating a safe space to meet and hangout, Queer Behavior has worked over the years with allies of Columbus’ queer community. The organization works closely now with Southwest Ohio’s Black and Pink chapter, an organization supporting LGBTQ people impacted by the prison industrial complex. Queer Behavior’s Queer craft work group has worked closely with the group to write letters to ‘pen-pals’ in prison.

“Queer Behavior is more than just a cult-like personality, one of our leading organizers from the very beginning, Zach Reau, who is leaving for a great opportunity in Washington D.C.,  worked really hard to make this as such before he left,” said Chinn. “Queer Behavior is about so much more than one person or one issue, it’s about empowering people and unifying in Columbus across gender lines, across cis or trans lines, across economic lines, race lines and aims to build us up together.”

On Sunday, January 8, Queer Behavior will be hosting its quarterly Pot-Love (pot-luck) at 11 a.m. through 1 p.m. open to all at It Looks Like It’s Open art studio, which will include brunch and discussion about the upcoming year’s agenda.

For more information visit www.facebook.com/QueerBehavior/.

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