The purpose of the QueerSafer/Space project was to create a queer space in Riga with as much LGBTQIA+ community input and participation as possible. We found a place in Lastadija’s local community, and, as part of our agreement with FREE RIGA, the room in Puskina 11a barracks needed renovations.
Starting at the end of July, we gathered on Saturdays in an event series called “Lend a Hand” to prepare and clean the space, scraping old paint, priming and treating the walls etc. During these events, we saw, that, besides the standard crew, we usually got at least 1-2 new people involved that we hadn’t met before. The team saw growth in numbers (our telegram channel has 42 people now) and held 3 large & 2 small events in collaboration with other organisations, volunteers and youth initiatives, always reaching more people than we initially expected, thus year 1 of Queer Safer/Space being successful.
As the renovations are done, we are looking forward to year 2 of QS/S by attempting to start our own NGO, have community-led events & workshops, as well as hosting queers from other countries (there has already been some interest, meet-ups etc), and building capacity. The goals for year one were to establish the community space, get the word out, reach as many people as possible, and fill the team with people who can be counted on – and, I’d say – we achieved them all. And it would have not been possible if not for the funding provided by Solidarity Network Y?! and the Guerilla Foundation.