A new project is on the way to open a LGBTIQ community center in Lane County. The original Q, the nonprofit Queer Resource for Social Change, closed its doors in December 2009.
Since the community center closed in 2009, Q has been hosting an online community resource that highlights cultural events focusing on building community for LGBTIQ people (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and questioning). Q has been using art as a way to create a safe space in the world for trans people since 1997.
The goal is to create “a space in the community that’s really owned by and used by the community, where queer people can come to and feel safe and have a connection to each other and their culture,” says Max Jensen, a new Q board member and co-president of the Gender Sexuality Alliance at LCC.
Jensen and Jesse Quinn, a recent UO women and gender studies graduate, are at the origin of the new project. After they realized that such a place did not exist in the area and after they promoted the idea through social networks, Q found them.
Listening to Jensen’s presentation for the center was inspiring and gave the Q members energy to jump back into the project, former President Amber Dennis says.
Jensen and Quinn give themselves two to three years to open the new LGBTIQ center. For now they are focusing on starting a solid foundation and building up services. Q operates with a few board members, voting members and volunteers. They hope to get interns ready to take part in the project.
“When we open the doors, we’ll be able to provide the resource to the community,” Quinn says, “whether that’s opportunities for disenfranchised youth, archiving our history, providing a cultural forum or just being able to develop and foster a sense of the LGBT culture.” Learn more at aqueerresource.org.