‘Friendsgiving’ brings Rock Co. LGBTQ+ community together ahead of holidays

'Friendsgiving' brings Rock Co. LGBTQ+ community together ahead of holidays

JANESVILLE, Wis. — Multiple Rock County organizations came together Friday to hold a “Friendsgiving” event for LGBTQ+ community members and allies ahead of the holiday season.

The event Friday evening at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Rock County was much more than just a meal, organizer Stephanie Hormig said. The goal is to give LGBTQ+ people a safe place to gather and celebrate.

“It’s really important because a lot of people don’t have somewhere else to go because their family maybe doesn’t want to talk to them anymore because they’ve come out or they are a part of the LGBTQ+ community,” said Hormig, an LGBTQ+ survivor advocate with domestic violence awareness group DEFY and the chair of the Rock County LGBTQ+ Committee.

Attendees also talked about ways to address domestic violence or other tense family situations that may arise during the holidays.

“We’re talking about LGBTQ+ situations and scenarios, talking about what the holidays might look like to people and how we can help them get through that, whether that be safety planning or creating a code word with a family (member) or a friend or whatever to be able to be like, ‘I’m uncomfortable, I feel unsafe, I want to leave or I want to leave the room or leave the entire building that they’re in,'” Hormig said.

The event this year combined a number of similar events from around the county last year.

To see a list of events happening in your area or to submit an event, visit the Channel 3000/Madison Magazine Community Calendar here.