Queer Craft Club Provides Homey Atmosphere
At the second ever meeting of the Denton Queer Craft Club, the atmosphere was homey and welcoming. A smattering of people from Denton's LGBTQ community sat at Aura Coffee engaged in various kinds of crafting and do-it-yourself projects, from needlepoint to knitting as well as collage and embroidery. They traded jokes and stories with ease, familiarity, and spontaneity as they created beautiful, intricate pieces of art.
"I really don't know who is going to show up. But it's a great way for me to meet new people," said Erin Brown, one of the club’s founders. "Because I feel like it's really hard to make queer friends."
Brown founded the Denton Queer Craft Club along with Madeline Christensen, Naomi Kliewer, and Frank Bartos. The organization came about not only out of enthusiasm for crafts, but out of a need for a more nourishing environment for queer creatives. Erin and Madeline, both present for this meeting, agree that most LGBTQ-oriented meeting grounds tend to be "intense."
Events like musical performances and gay bars typically set the stage for LGBT community engagement in the DFW area. These spaces serve their purpose but are not always conducive to the kind of environment that the club members would like to see.
"I don't like alcohol. She doesn't really drink,” Brown said, gesturing towards Christensen. “There's so few places where queer folks can organize even around alcohol."
So instead of seeking out a space that would better suit their needs, the club founders decided to make one of their own. They realized that it would actually be a simple matter to organize a crafting club via social media and await the arrival of interested members. This just left the question of where to meet.
"We were already familiar with the management at Aura here," Brown said.
Christensen jokingly said, "we live here."
As the meeting progressed, more and more people popped up. Interest in the club looks strong, and the membership is still in a state of flux.
"Like, fifteen people showed up last time," Brown said. "And I think a hundred people were interested in the event."
The club is proving every space for the LGBTQ community doesn’t have to be so serious, and that self-care away from the seriousness is vital. So if you’re looking for a place to therapeutically craft and simultaneously make friends in the LGBTQ community, give this a shot.
The Denton Queer Craft Club meets on the first and third Saturday of every month at Aura Coffee on West Hickory Street.
Header image layout designed by Mateo Granados