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The Ball State Daily

Muncie Queer Alliance: a new hub for the LGBTQ+ community

LGBTQ+ individuals in Muncie have found support and community at the Mark III Tap Room and through organizations like Muncie OUTreach, Muncie Pride Network and Spectrum. Each location or organization serves a distinct purpose, but advocates are working toward collaboration among them.

Emily Johnson, an associate professor of history at Ball State University, is among those community leaders working to establish one central hub for all LGBTQ+ organizations — the Muncie Queer Alliance (MQA).

“There hasn’t been an organization based on needs and community-building among queer adults,” said Johnson, who teaches about gender, sexuality, religion and politics. “The group started by identifying a fracture in the community. It began as a place for people to express their hurt and frustration, and then we quickly realized we need to be more proactive. If these frustrations exist, how can we build community and support to help?”

Gathering the community 

Starting in summer 2023, the alliance held picnics, bowling events and a friendsgiving meal to gather people from various organizations and businesses to talk about ways to better connect and serve the LGBTQ+ community. According to a 2019 Movement Advancement Project survey, about 4.5% of adults in Indiana identify as LGBTQ+.

Johnson said some participants initially expressed concerns with the idea of partnership, but they were able to resolve them.

“Having our social events was important because part of the issue was the community was divided,” Johnson said. “One of the things we needed was to come together and start healing. That’s been our first focus so far. Now we’re working on providing more concrete resources as well.” 

MQA board member Kathy Feeney said she is excited for the alliance to address concerns from the community. Getting together to talk must be a first step, she added.

“Once the leadership team starts going, our goal is to address more needs of the community such as legal name and gender changes or providing a queer-friendly business list,” said Feeney, who is a nurse practitioner in Muncie.

Comprehensive resources and support

Feeney said the alliance has plans to provide book clubs, workshops, basic skills training, support groups for different identities and more. Fellow board member, Chelsea McDonnel, added that resources and outlets like these save lives.

According to a 2022 survey by The Trevor Project, 45% of LGBTQ+ youth surveyed “seriously considered” attempting suicide and 14% of respondents attempted suicide.

“I always say to any queer group I work with that if we had these resources and support groups when I was in high school, I would have friends who are still here,” said McDonnel, who cofounded MADVotersIndiana. “That’s what our work boils down to.”

Feeney’s son, River Feeney, also serves on the board. The Muncie Central High School graduate focused on providing information about the alliance and other resources to help transgender people in Muncie.

“It’s important as a young person to have genuinely diverse voices involved in your life. That’s something the Muncie Queer Alliance is working on,” River said. “We’re doing a lot of information gathering by talking to community members and seeing what deficits they see and how we can help them.”

Don’t wait to get involved

The Feeneys and others involved said they urge LGBTQ+ individuals and allies to get involved with the alliance to provide input, resources and support. Johnson hopes people don’t wait. It’s important, she said, for people to add their energy and perspective during the organization’s formation.

“Join us now and help us from the beginning to build the best thing we can build,” Johnson added.

Email to Muncie Queer Alliance at and keep up with the organization on Facebook.

Inform Muncie articles are written by students in the School of Journalism and Strategic Communication in a classroom environment with a faculty adviser.

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