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Friendsgiving dinner hosted for the LGBTQ Community

Thanksgiving is a day of gathering around the table to give thanks to your loved ones, but not everyone has someone to be with on this holiday.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The holidays can be really difficult for people who have been rejected by their families. Cocoon Collective hosted a holiday meal for the queer community and their allies. 

"We did not want anyone sitting at home alone on holiday. Friendsgiving is our flagship program; it was the first one we started and it's really important to us that we have something on the actual holiday," said Organizer Sadie Stratton.

Organizers of the event called it a "Queer Friendsgiving", and say it’s a safe place for them to feel included. 

"We want them to come out and build community, build relationships, build friendships, and feel supported in what can be a really difficult place to live as a queer person. We want them to primarily know that they are not alone," Stratton explained.

Stratton says Thanksgiving is difficult for her, after losing her brother. 

"I often cry and get sad on thanksgiving, I know what that's like and I want to make sure no one feels alone and that anything they show up with...their feelings, their experiences, their history is going to be accepted and affirmed," Stratton said.

The nonprofit provides resources for the LGBTQ+ community and treats them like their own.

“So, my family abandoned me when I came out as trans, and this is my chosen family. I know I can always come to them, and they’re going to be there when I need help, comfort, or anything like that,” explained attendees Jay Rodgers and Kaylee Ferrell   

For this thanksgiving, the couple is grateful for Sadie and the Cocoon Collective. 

“She has been a great help to our family in general. she helps pay our rent, she’s personally just come to give like time to our family…she’s just really been a great person in our lives,” said Jay Rodgers and Kaylee Ferrell. 

Cocoon collective's next event is a winter legal clinic in January, to help people change their names and genders. It also has plans to build a dozen tiny houses for the LGBTQ Community in Washington County in the next 18 months.

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