20 October 2012

GLAAD Spirit Day & [Space]craft Studios: A Post in Two Parts

Part 1:
Yesterday was GLAAD's Spirit Day- the day where we all wear purple to show support against bullying in the LGBT community. I decided that since I've had such luck meeting people and being social this week (see part 2), I should go out and show my support to the LGBT community here in Charleston- let's be real, the south isn't really known for being overwhelmingly accepting of differences, and I plan to do my darnedest to keep my bleeding heart liberal leanings.

So around 5:00 I drove down to the beautiful Brittlebank Park, which is another one of those places that makes me almost think I could live here forever, and just sort of awkwardly stood there alone for a few minutes until another shy voice ask, "are you alone too?" My new friend Kayla and I spent the rest of the evening together, listening to the amazing performers and speakers at the rally.
This guy called himself "one of the few openly gay black preachers. He was amazing, and wants to open a safe space/hotline/open walk-in in Charleston for anyone who might need it, not just LGBT.
This woman spoke about trans* issues, and about transitioning on the job, and how a few of her coworkers reacted. Very moving. 
There were other speakers, and some really great musical performances, but that purpleish light? Yeah, that made photography almost impossible. Trust me though, there are some talented kids in Charleston. And then, the keynote speaker of the event was this guy- Tyler freaking Oakley. I'm not going to fangirl here- although in full disclosure, I will say that he is one of the main reasons I went, and that I brought him a handmade bow tie which he loved (oh my god he pulled out his own phone to take a picture of it/me and holy moly did I freak a bit)- so I'm leaving it there.
Tyler spoke about his experiences with coming out to his accepting mom and his not-so-accepting dad, and the experiences he faces being openly gay while also being an public person on the internet. I honestly just loved listening to him speak, because he's so freaking positive. 
After Tyler spoke, there was a beautiful candle light vigil for the many people in Charleston and everywhere else who have committed suicide due to bullying.
Just a beautiful sight- to see the candles glowing all across the park.
It wasn't a Philly Pride by any stretch of the imagination- everyone had pants on, and there were no painted poodles, but it was great to see that the sense of community still exists here.

There's this place down here called SpaceCraft Studios. Holy moly, it is the most wonderful place I've ever been. It's one part store (selling the work of handmade crafters around the country), one part craft class, and one part open craft space. I dropped by once this week just to hang out and sew somewhere that isn't my living room, and it's just amazing.

Photo from spacecraftstudios.com
The walls are lined with shelves of buttons and findings and string and everything you could ever need or want, and the owner, Allison, is definitely one of the flat out coolest people I've met in Charleston. There are a ton of cool classes there- Ductagami, anyone?- and I'll even be teaching one there in mid-December, so stay tuned for that ;)

And, I gotta be honest- here's the coolest part of Spacecraft:
Yup, those are mine. For sale at SpaceCraft Studios, only $14!

Anyway- if you're from the area, or are visiting, you should definitely stop by and check this place out. The class schedule is on the website linked above, and there's 100% something for everyone. I have a new favorite place in Charleston. Really, just go to this place. I can't say enough great stuff about it.

Oh- and if you aren't doing anything Tuesday night, there's a supply swap taking place, and I'll totally see you there :)

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