Qmmunity: Embrace Austin Seeks to Build Bridges Between Queer People and Queer Initiatives
Qmmunity members organize to launch new LGBTQIA coalition
By Beth Sullivan, Fri., Jan. 22, 2021
It's time to welcome a new org into Austin's qmmunity: Embrace Austin, which officially launches this Friday, Jan. 22. As a coalition of LGBTQIA community members, businesses, and organizations, Embrace Austin was founded with the mission to build bridges between queer people and queer initiatives, and boost Austin's queer economy, co-founders KB Brookins and AJ Majd told me. Specifically, the coalition aims to create more opportunities for collaboration and networking that help fulfill the needs of members of Austin's queer and trans family living at the intersection of multiple marginalized identities. Through collaborative events, networking meetups, and inclusive membership, Embrace Austin hopes to create a space for cross-community collaboration, said Brookins, who's also the founder of Interfaces, a local arts initiative amplifying marginalized artists. (Organizers, performers, and panelists that participate in Embrace events will be financially compensated.) Annual membership is free for LGBTQIA orgs and businesses (non-LGBTQIA entities will have to pay a yearly membership based on the org's annual operating budget), and individuals may join at an annual membership cost. Membership gets you access to monthly meetups, although Embrace Austin's first virtual meetup on Sun., Feb. 21, at 6:30pm, will be open to everyone. The coalition's first virtual community event, "Trans Crowd Fund, Live!" on Fri., Feb. 26, at 7pm, is a collaboration between Thee Gay Agenda and Black Trans Leadership of Austin amplifying trans and nonbinary musicians, comedians, and drag artists; 75% of the event's proceeds will go to BTLA's pending gender affirming care fund. Joining Majd and Brookins on Embrace's team are Tabitha Hamilton, Jessica Soukup, Nathan Nguyên Pham, Briona Jenkins, and Alicia Roth Weigel, among other qmmunity members. "Embrace Austin isn't the final destination for partnerships; instead, we hope for Embrace Austin to be the birthplace of new queer alliances," said Majd. "Queerness was always more powerful with a collaborative mindset, and so it shall be." Find more at www.embraceaustin.com.
2 To Do
Snow Ball: Project Transitions Runway Project Transitions' annual fashion fundraiser goes virtual for 2021, but you can still expect fancy lewks from Project Runway designers and local entertainment. Funds raised will help people living with HIV receive lifesaving support via housing, medications, and hospice care. Thu., Jan. 21, 6-8pm. Online. Donations suggested. www.projecttransitions.org/snowball.
Girls Like Us Premiere Thanks to the interstellar directorial vision of p1nkstar and futuristic sets and light installations created by Y2K, this is a live music video experience unlike any other you've seen before. Girls Like Us celebrates the work of trans artists in Texas, featuring performances by Lorelei K, Belladonna, and Quentin Arispe, plus a special appearance by LDC Soundsystem's Rayna Russom. See "Faster Than Sound." Thu., Jan. 28, 8pm. Online. Free. www.hotelfreetv.com/girlslikeus.
Class Transitions Build yer strength training skills – and qmmunity bonds – with co-trainers Erica Nix and Rocky Lane. Thursdays, 6pm. Online. Price varies. www.patreon.com/workoutwithericanix.
Rhinestone Our Ladies of the OutHause celebrate Our Lady Dolly Parton's birthday month with a watch party and drag tribute show. Hosted by Bulimianne Rhapsody, with performances by Summer Clearance, Basura, Chastity St. Cage, Luna Knight, and Pam Dulce. Fri., Jan. 22, 9pm. Online. $10 suggested donation. www.twitch.tv/poopooatx.
Workout! With Erica Nix Make exercise fun again. Dance, cardio, and strength training workouts inspired by Richard Simmons, Jane Fonda, Big Freedia, and voguing. Sundays, 11am; Wednesdays, 6:30pm. Online. Price varies. www.patreon.com/workoutwithericanix.
Realiteen If you're an LGBTQIA high school or middle school student living in Central Texas, then these virtual groups are for you. Tuesdays. Middle school: 3-4pm; high school: 6-7pm. Online. Free. www.outyouth.org.
Transgender Wellness Peer Support Groups For adults (18+) who identify under the transgender and nonbinary umbrella or are questioning. Tuesdays, 5:30-6:20pm & 7-7:50pm. Online. Free. www.outyouth.org/govirtual.
Trans Wellness Mindfulness Session For adults (18+) who identify under the transgender and nonbinary umbrella or are questioning. Wednesdays, 5:30-6pm. Online. Free. www.outyouth.org/govirtual.
Editor's note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated Frida Friday was a partner on Embrace Austin's "Trans Crowd Fund, Live!" event. The article has been updated to reflect this correction.