I’ll name it – I’m crafty. In fact, I may have self-identified as a crafty m*ther f*cker a time or two.
One of the things I love most about my job is that I get to work out my crafting skills on a pretty regular basis. Sometimes this is to design stickers or buttons with various pride flags or pronouns:
Other times it’s to create some collaborative project with the youth, such as a quilt or a woven rag rug:
The thing about making crafts is that it’s not really about the crafts – it’s about being seen and knowing you’re part of a community. For many youth, Side by Side is the one place they come where they see a flag representing their identity on the wall, or on a sticker. It’s the only place they can tell people which pronouns to use when addressing them (whether by stating it during check-in/check-out or by wearing a button). A quilt square not only allows a youth to create something that represents their identity, but also gives them the chance to see that identity as part of a whole community.
So, craft on, my friends! Craft on!!