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by Kerry McBroome, PsyD

Jun 23, 2024

How to Build Up Your Queer Squad

Find belonging and connection by building up your circle of queer friends.

It’s critical to have a support system, especially for us in the LGBTQ+ community. But how do you build that?

In this guide, we'll explore the benefits of forming a queer community where everyone feels seen and valued. Let’s get into some practical tips to build meaningful connections, and get you one step closer to the queer squad of your dreams. 

Queer Squad Tip 1: Start with Yourself

Ironically, if you want to attract more queer friends into your life, you start with just you! List out some of the things that bring you joy and make you feel more like yourself. Maybe that’s solitary things, like sewing or making playlists on Spotify. Explore your options for doing that activity you’re already interested in with other queer people. Maybe there’s somebody on Lex looking to go to your favorite artist’s concert, or a MeetUp group in your area for queer people who go to the sauna.

Queer Squad Tip 2: Engage in Activism

Interested in making the world a better, gayer place? Get involved with queer activism or volunteer work for a cause that’s meaningful. You will be fighting the good fight, alongside other people who share that interest. Try your hand at a variety of different volunteer spots, or pick the one that’s closest to you and go on a regular basis. 

Queer Squad Tip 3: Try a Little Tenderness

Let your queer friends know how precious they are to you, with words, presents, or dedicated time. Getting free from society’s rigid little boxes is my favorite part about being queer. We don’t have to follow the rules that limit the amount of affection and tenderness we can share with platonic friends. Connect to the soft parts of you, and show your queer friends that they deserve to be treasured. 

Queer Squad Tip 4: Get Online 

The internet is bursting at the seams with queer communities. Use the mindless-social-media-scroll for some good! You can connect with community groups, networking apps, or servers that are tailored to forming queer community. To avoid the feeling of online connections being superficial, I recommend starting with groups that are closer to your geographic area. That way if the chance to meet up in person presents itself, you can have that option.

Queer Squad Tip 5: Find Queer-Friendly Spaces

Take advantage of pride parades, drag shows, lesbian bars, and cultural festivals so that you can immerse yourself in queer community. Don’t procrastinate! Get out the door and into an LGBTQ+ friendly spot. Community gatherings abound, particularly if you live closer to large cities. In more rural locations, you may have to do more of the legwork to get this started. Ask around with the people you know that are safe and accepting, and put the word out that you are interested in making more connections.


Queer Squad Tip 6: Be Up-Front About Disagreements

Conflict is going to happen at some point, even in the most close-knit and queer-friendly places. I come from a more passive-aggressive culture; that means I’ve learned the hard way that the urge to avoid awkward conversations can only be indulged in for so long, before you lose a friend. When someone in your community crosses a line, communicating clearly with them is actually the kinder thing to do, even when it feels uncomfortable in the moment.


Queer Squad Tip 7: Have Self-Compassion

In my experience, putting myself out there has not gotten much easier as an adult. Though if you want a queer squad supporting you, it has to be done. How can we make this easier? The first step for me was not beating myself up when I felt embarrassed or lonely in this process. Keep hold of the perspective that it takes time to build up a community. You can show yourself compassion by celebrating your wins along the way, and by releasing some of the shame or fears of rejection that might come up.


The point of forming queer community is to find belonging, and to give and receive support, in a world that pushes us to the margins. You get to decide what that looks like for you.

Maybe you get involved in queer activism, and you become part of a community that grows into a catalyst for social change. Or maybe you find someone just as passionate as you about your niche little hobby, and you two can info-dump about whales to each other to your hearts’ content. Maybe you start even smaller, and join a social media group you are excited to check in with each morning.

No matter what this looks like for you, my hope is that you hold onto self-compassion along the way. It does take work to build a queer squad. And I’m so excited for you to get there. 

-- Kerry McBroome, PsyD (she/her/hers)


by Kerry McBroome, PsyD

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