The Friendlier City Project Presents: A Queer Thanksgiving!

The Friendlier City Project is hosting its first Queer Thanksgiving celebration on Tuesday, November 22, 2022 at 5:30 p.m. at the Wheeling Yacht Club, 2 – 5th Street in North Wheeling.

The event is open to local LGBTQ+ people who would otherwise be alone on Thanksgiving or who are simply looking for a fun, like-minded community with whom to share some holiday cheer. Allies are also welcome to attend. There is no charge for the event. Food will be provided and guests are welcome to BYOB.

Guests can expect to enjoy some delicious fare, as local restaurants such as Midge’s Kitchen and Emma Jean’s Baked Goods are donating food for the event. Traditional Thanksgiving favorites as well as other delectable treats will be served. Other local businesses such as Moonlight Apparel and East Wheeling Clayworks are also donating to make the dinner possible. FCP is still in need of donations for this evening of food and camaraderie. If your restaurant or business would like to make a donation to FCP’s Queer Thanksgiving feast, please contact event organizers via Facebook or Instagram or by email at

“This event is important because many members of the community don’t have family locally, or may be estranged from their families,” said FCP founding member Mikaya Green. “FCP is hoping to fill that void with fun, food and friendship. We hope to see a great holiday crowd!”

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  • Friendlier City Project members Sierra Schmidli, Mikaya Green and Rosemary Ketchum enjoying FCP's Taylor Swift album drop party.

Founded in early 2021, the Friendlier City Project is a group of LGBTQ+ citizens and allies who are working to create a safe and welcoming space for the local queer community to connect, share resources, and advocate for issues that impact their lives. This year alone, the group has supported the recent City of Wheeling conversion therapy ban, held several social events, hosted a trivia night and a Taylor Swift album drop party. FCP shares that they are especially proud of their sticker campaign in which local businesses can request a specially designed rainbow sticker to display on their door, indicating that they welcome and affirm their queer customers. To date, over 60 stickers have been circulated and can be seen at businesses all over the area, such as the Bridge Tavern & Grill, Amanda’s Gifts & More, Orrick, Ohio County Public Library, the Public Market, ReStyle Consignment, and Card and Soul Tarot, just to name a few.

FCP meets monthly and is planning several projects in the coming months. Additional information about the group can be found in this Weelunk story from earlier this summer. If you’d like to get involved, please message the group on their social media pages or email them at

• Ellen Brafford McCroskey is a lifelong resident of Wheeling and a proud graduate of Wheeling Park High School, where she discovered her love of writing as a member of the yearbook staff. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Human Resources Management at the former Wheeling Jesuit College. By day, she utilizes that degree at the international law firm where she is employed. After work, you can find her relaxing with family, friends, and her clowder of cats.