In a world that often expects and perpetuates whiteness and hetero-normativity, Black and Brown people in LGBTQ communities have a unique need for safe spaces. Given this need, an organization called Families of Chicago (FOC) will host a holiday celebration for queer and trans people of color—especially young Black people—on Sunday, December 10, 2017 in the Ida Noyes Hall at the University of Chicago from 5 pm until 9 pm. The event, per custom, is invite only.

“The program will be organized to address the past, present and future of the Chicago Family Scene,” Lance Keene, a University of Chicago Ph.D. candidate and organizer of the event, told BYP last year. “With that in mind, the planning committee… anticipates the invited families will walk away with an increased appreciation of the rich, diverse histories of Chicago’s gay and/or queer families.”

As an organization, FOC’s mission is “to provide support, guidance and development for members of FOC as they navigate and persevere through the obstacles of life that come along with being a member of the young LGBTQ community of Chicago.”

Insiders say the Families’ scene tracks with the House and Ball scene, a sub-culture for LGBTQ people, which provide safe spaces along with entertainment, music and drag performances. This year’s event is expected to draw 150 people and will include a keynote address, guest speakers and a catered dinner.

FOC maintains an affiliated status with the University of Chicago and has thus far provided a one-year internship for an individual involved in the scene.