This Saturday, the young queers in Baltimore are taking one big step forward toward finding and loving one another.
Dapper Jill, an A-Camp donor and alum and extremely well-dressed human, has taken a step toward a smarter, better, faster queer community in Baltimore by organizing the very first meeting of an all-new gay organization in her city: the Queer Baltimore Young Adult Coalition.
The coalition, which will meet for the first time on March 2 at 4 PM, is pure in purpose: a monthly discussion and social action group dedicated to forging queer spaces in the city of Baltimore. Jill’s hope is that social engagement and the fraternization of young queers will birth a new world with fun and exciting opportunities to meet friends, more resources for LGBTQ people and their allies, and a new and unique group of youngsters running shit. The inaugural meeting will be the time and place for queers to come on out and be heard, as well as help craft a mission statement, action plan, and list of issues addressing the community at the current time.
I was able to steal Jill’s attention away from her city’s bright future for a couple minutes to ask her some questions about the QBYC and where she hopes it’s going, as well as where it came from. Her answers were real sweet.
I love you. Tell me about your background in queer activism. And what’s your relationship with Baltimore about?
I’ve usually been the ‘leading by being a follower’ kind of thing. But now I’ve been an art director at a small-scale queer zine, I’ve interned at LGBT non-profits, and now I’m on the Board at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Baltimore. My current narrative is one of being that wrench in the good-ol’-gay cogs and being like, ‘dude, what about the queer folks?’
I also do some LGBT work at my employer (a well known art school in the Baltimore community) as a facilitator for our Safe Zone Trainings. This past summer I did a presentation on western LGBT intersections with Japanese media consumption, and y’all did a lovely article on that too.
My relationship with Baltimore is one of… well… It’s like I had a silly fling with Baltimore when I was in elementary school, and I just thought it was cute for us to hold hands and do butterfly kisses. Then we grew apart. Then I met them in a bar like, 15 years later, and we’ve been fucking like crazy and learning so many new things about each other.
A rekindled puppy-love turned fuck-buddy flame, if you will.
What brought you to create the QBYC?
I wanted to start creating a new legacy for the LGBTQAI/SGM/Queer scene here in Baltimore.
You look at the history of segregation and division in the Baltimore community at large – and it has a very large impact on so many of the intersecting communities here. Identifying the nitty-gritty of the problems is going to be QBYC’s initial action, but this roadblock is the major problem I’ve come across in doing any sort of action here in this ol’ town on the Mason Dixon. I feel that queer youth can start making a path towards more collaboration and teamwork. Plus, the staple scenes here in Baltimore are so white and cis-male – that needs to be dismantled and questioned in a constructive way on a regular basis.
It’s also important to note that I’m not creating this thing, I’m facilitating the birth. If anything I’m this thing’s midwife. It’s gonna be messy.
What sort of goals do you have for the coalition once it’s sort of off the ground?
I want it to be a place where people can go for social support, to make a difference, to change and ignite Baltimore – I want it to forge queer spaces so people don’t feel so isolated in the small selections of accessible options they have for social engagement.
I want to facilitate community leadership in this queer community – and my passion is in my gut and illustrated in my droopy eyes!
You can attend the first-ever meeting of the Queer Baltimore Young Adult Coalition this Saturday, March 2, at 4 PM. The meeting is being held at the GLCCB HQ at 241 West Chase St, 201201.
YES I wish I could go! I miss everybody in DC so much I hope you all have a great time. Jill this is wonderful and amazing. Definitely a a needed and so appreciated resource. And absolutely both Baltimore and DC have such interesting histories and esp in regards to their dual natures.
I hope everyone has a super time!
(okay what is happening with this comment, won’t show up but won’t post one grumpy comment yo)
This sounds great! I’d love to hear how things are chugging along after the meeting, in a few months’ time, etc.
Oh my god, it’s driving my little obsessive-compulsive designer brain crazy that the pink triangle in the logo is at totally different angles on both sides. I assume that’s intentional??
But really, this is super cool. Go Dapper Jill.
Haha, I knew this was gonna happen!
K, thanks for the input! I come from an illustration background and not so much as a designer. So I hate to say it was unintentional. Rest assured it will be fixed!
Also, thinking in positive spins: I’m looking for all of the little unaligned triangles to stop on by. When we look to the source of that triangle – it mostly was for gay and msm Holocaust internees. But many lesbian and queer individuals had different triangles too: black triangles , Triangle combos, badly cut out little patches.
Go Dapper Jill!! Best fuck-buddy-midwife person ever. Seriously, I love your description of your relationship with Baltimore.
And now I’m going to have the Hairspray soundtrack on loop IB my head for the rest of the day.
“Plus, the staple scenes here in Baltimore are so white and cis-male – that needs to be dismantled and questioned in a constructive way on a regular basis.”
THIS. I’m looking at you, intersection of Charles and Eager Streets. -.-
Horrah! I will be there with bells on! I can’t believe I saw this on here and didn’t make the connection that my fiance/fiancegay works with dapper Jill. I LOVE IT.
Oh man, so sad I don’t live in Bmore anymore!! The queer community is in such a great place right now; it’s really exciting (if also challenging at times…how many times do you have to explain “autonomous organizing” before cisdudes get it?). Awesome that there is so much queerness happening in that city.
As someone newish to Baltimore and newish to being queer, this sounds like good stuff. One question, Dapper Jill: what age range is QBYC aiming for?
Hey! So I feel like its a bit open ended and I don’t want to give parameters, but it’s acronym has ‘young adult’ in it, which personally I define as a range between 18/19 – mid twenties. But language is different for everyone! If you are younger than that it older than that – there are other places to chill around the area :).
WHY DO WE HAVE TO HAVE A YOU SHOULD GO FOR BALTIMORE AFTER I LEAVE???