With mentions of stolen glances, innocent smiles and offers of free coffee, these classifieds represent more than just missed connections.
The Facebook group “Twin Cities Missed Queernections,” inspired by Craigslist’s missed connections page, is a space filled with words of affirmation and acknowledgement.
Created in September 2016, the group has since amassed over 2,000 members. While the posts are typically written in the style of a classified ad, the members of the group are allowed to comment and like each other’s posts.
“[The Craigslist Missed Connections page] was definitely a source of entertainment for me for some time a while back and then I just kind of gave up on it,” said Shane Thorson, a member of the Facebook group. “But then with this [it’s like], ‘Hey you’re cute, this is what I’m into, are you into this? Hit me up.’ It’s just a really cool little corner of affirmation.”
The postings vary in purpose — some group members are looking for a stranger that caught their eye, some offer quick shout-outs after an event for the community, others give updates.
“Missed Queernections” has built a unique space for the Twin Cities online queer community to feel recognized and appreciated, which is something that other spaces for classified ads simply don’t do.
“For us as queer people to be seeing each other out and about, [we can say], ‘Hey you might feel invisible or alone, or you might encounter discrimination or prejudice, but here are other queer folks out here that are seeing each other and holding each other up,’” Thorson said.
The hyper-local aspect, as well as the ability to match faces to names via people’s profiles, makes the community feel closer, too.
“It’s nice having that space where you’re like, ‘I can go into this group and know exactly what I’m going to find,’” said Jo Herrera, who joined the group shortly after moving to the Twin Cities three years ago. “People are … really complimentary of each other. … It’s nice knowing that a lot of the people you’re interacting with are all in the physical community around you, too.”
Local businesses, coffee shops and concerts are mentioned in the group in hopes of finding the specific person a poster exchanged nods with.
“You disappeared in the wisp of the crowd and I lost you,” reads one post by Michael Lee, looking for a stranger with the same name from the Noname concert at First Avenue. “I’m not sure if you’re into what I’m bringing, but I swear I could sway in those eyes forever.”
While many of the members could go to the Craigslist page or use similar Facebook groups, they choose “Missed Queernections” for the atmosphere.
“It’s still impossible for me to waltz up to someone who strikes an eye and assume that person identifies as queer in some way,” Lee said. “I think this group is a place for all scopes of queer to freely express that sense of that swooning, dizzying attraction.”
Herrera’s recent post in the group detailed an encounter they had at Urban Bean Coffee. A simple nod prompted them to turn to “Missed Queernections” for help in the search.
“I definitely sat on it for a day or two,” Herrera said. “I have not found said other person, but it is kind of like a fun little thrill. … Maybe someone will recognize it someday.”
Naturally, the group is not solely about finding the person you exchanged glances with at the grocery store. Each post helps build a stronger LGBTQ community on the local level.
“I don’t really get outside of my house as much as I would like to … so it’s nice to have this space that’s very low stakes and very affirming to just go and interact with … other queer people out doing the stuff and meeting each other and being nice to each other,” Thorson said.