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‘Just very open and loving’ | Charlotte group hosts Thanksgiving meal for LGBTQ community excluded by family

Queen City Nerve says it hosted the event for the past three years to serve as a safe space for the holiday

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Home for the holidays isn’t always welcoming for everyone, especially those in the LGBTQ community who may feel excluded from their family. 

Queen City Nerve is looking to change for Thanksgiving with an invite of inclusiveness. 

Organizers were able to host a dinner with friends event as a way to come together during the holiday season on Thursday, Nov. 25.

Good food, good music and good company helped attendees celebrate Thanksgiving in a much more enjoyable way, according to organizers.

“This gives them the opportunity to be seen,” organizer and Queen City Nerve publisher Justin LaFrancois said. “We let everyone live their own truth here, just very open and loving.” 

Guests were given the chance to come get their Thanksgiving meals in person or drive-thru to-go, yet either way the goal was to make sure that the camaraderie is felt within the LGBTQ community.  

“If they haven’t found a family of their own to be a part of this gives them a place that is safe,” guest Onya Nerves said. 

Earlier this year the city of Charlotte expanded its non-discrimination ordinance to include sexual orientation, gender identity and more.

RELATED: Charlotte City Council votes unanimously to pass nondiscrimination ordinance

Advocates say these protection orders are important, but the action behind them can mean much more. 

“Until you actually get involved in the act of not discriminating against people and show other people how… you’re not really doing anything,” LaFrancois said. 

In addition to including the LGBTQ community this holiday, the goal is to also make sure our homelessness neighbors are not forgotten too. 

RELATED: Nonprofits team up to serve Charlotte-area children facing homelessness

With the help of Block Love CLT, leftover meals will be shared with those in encampments and shelters across the county. 

“We want everyone to be able to enjoy the day,” LaFrancois said. 

Contact Briana Harper at bharper@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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