The LGBTQ+ Center Lake County presents its first Queer Happy Hour on Tuesday, August 24, at Anam Cara Café in Libertyville. The 2-hour event starts at 5:30 p.m. and is open to all 18 and over (21 to drink alcohol).
Light appetizers will be provided by gender therapists Kyle Parmelee and Megan Sayre-Gilmore.
Organizers want the event to “create a safe space for queer folks in Lake County to connect,” said Sayre-Gilmore, one of the center's board's members and chair of the community relations committee.
Sayre-Gilmore learned of the Anam Cara Café when she got engaged to her now-wife. Her neighbor gave the couple a gift basket featuring a popular cocktail from the cafe, their violet vodka lemonade.
Anam Cara Café is queer-friendly, with steam punk atmosphere, gender neutral bathrooms, willingness to reserve the entire restaurant for the event, and delicious food and drinks made the decision for a venue an easy one, she said.
“We expect lots of laughter, (the opportunity to) meet new friends, and a relaxed and safe atmosphere,” Sayre-Gilmore said.
The event will feature a few fundraising opportunities for the LGBTQ+ Center Lake County, she said. “Other than that, we plan for mingling and conversation. Perhaps in the future we may plan more specific get-to-know each other activities and icebreakers.”
She added that the Queer Happy Hours will “give queer folk the opportunity to make connections, express themselves authentically in a safe space, introduce community members to the center and our board members.”