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queer and lonely? join this facebook group to make friends

Find your tribe.

by André-Naquian Wheeler
|
01 June 2018, 12:02am

via Twitter

As a queer person, becoming friends with other queer people can be hard. Straight people can go just about anywhere and make friends, but, for us, we’re regulated to certain spaces and times. There are LGBT centres, yes, but what about that 19-year-old who lives in the middle of Iowa and has none to go to? Or the wallflowers who are too shy to strike up conversations with strangers IRL? Well, the podcast Nancy is actively working to foster queer friendships around the world. Hosts Kathy Lu and Tobian Low recently launched Friends of Nancy, a Facebook group specifically for listeners to connect and interact with each other. It already has over 1,500 members.

The Facebook group is a remarkably accepting and supportive LGBT space, largely free of the callout culture and trolling most online spaces fall victim to. Users post announcements for events happening across the country (a “Queer Shabbat” is happening in Chicago on June 16, BTW) and hold nuanced conversations about everything from sex toy recommendations to queer-friendly barber shops. Including members from Tucson to Sydney, the group helps erase the feeling that queers are only concentrated in a few areas.

The Nancy team even made a Google Map for users to pin their locations, helping others find and link up with each other and hangout. “Would anyone be interested in hanging out Sunday,” one user posted in the group. “Casa Video has beers and video, which could be fun.” The posts are an immediate mood-booster for anyone who has felt like it’s near-impossible to develop queer friendships.

“Inclusiveness is something we talked about at the very beginning,” Kathy Tu and Tobian Low told i-D last year, right after they launched the second season of their podcast. “We didn’t want to just make a queer show, we wanted to make a queer show for people of color. We’re both East Asian, and it made sense to us to try to include as many different voices into the show as possible. We’re always thinking about gender, orientation, race, class, location, etc. when we look at a story.”

Users have to be approved to join the Friends of Nancy Facebook group, helping to keep it free of spam, trolling, and hate speech. You can join the group here.

This article originally appeared on i-D US.