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Relationships Remixed: A primer on non-traditional relationships

Linda Lee Baird

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Illustration by Sarah Moore

It’s an understatement to say that assumptions and experiences in dating, love, and relationships have changed over the past few years. Between the proliferation of apps designed to find you anything from a quick hookup to a life partner, to expanding definitions of what relationships can look like and more acceptance around non-traditional approaches to love and dating, the way we find and experience love today is unique to this moment in history.

No matter how we choose to define ourselves and our own relationships, even if they are traditional, it’s helpful to understand ways that others are approaching things. As attitudes and types of relationships continue to evolve, one thing has become clear: “love” looks a little bit different for everybody. And however you define it for yourself—or choose not to—there’s a community in Columbus ready to support you.

To learn more about relationships outside of the traditional model, (614) reached out to experts at The Columbus Space for Alternative Self- Expression, designed as “a safe gathering place where adults can find education and support in exploring their authentic self,” and Mozaic, a resource center for transgender and gender non-conforming people of color. Staff from both organizations spoke about some of the many different ways people in Columbus are practicing relationships.

“It’s just part of being human that you are going to have an experience as a sexual being. We wanted to provide a space that allowed for that, and that educated people and gave them resources to find out about themselves,” said Trina “Brat_Sheba” Gardinier, Co-Director of The Columbus Space. In that vein, The Columbus Space provides a venue for people to learn, discuss, and explore types of relationships and intimacy that don’t t into the typical monogamous mold. Giving people room to explore their sexuality within an accepting community is important to the founders.

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“A lot of people’s view of sexuality is somewhat unhealthy, because as a society we don’t promote very healthy sexuality,” said Andrew “Barak” Gardiner, Trina’s husband and Columbus Space co-director. The Gardiners are seeking to change that through their classes and work at The Space, which is open to adults over the age of 19.

The big takeaway from these interviews is that in all relationships— traditional or otherwise—communication is key. “[This] is about a shift in the way we understand, in the way that we do relationships,” said LuSter Singleton, Community Outreach Coordinator at Mozaic. That means asking questions while respecting boundaries. (Pro tip: asking someone their preferred pronouns is considered respectful; asking a transgender person whether they’ve had surgery is not.) It also means that the terms of any relationship are decided by the people involved—and only the people involved.

“Nobody can determine what your relationship is except for you. You get to make that decision. No one else gets to tell you what your relationship is called, or how you need to run that relationship,” Trina explained.

The Gardiners said they’ve seen a lot change in the past five years, noting that people are much more open today about being in open or polyamorous relationships. “I think that the openness that we’re experiencing from the younger generation is amazing, and it’s really blazing a path through what it means to be in a relationship,” Trina said.

Mikalya Robinson, Prevention Assistance Program Intervention Navigator at Mozaic, summed it up well: “We want to get people to understand that love is love.”

The Columbus Space for Alternative Self Expression is located at 180 Outerbelt St. Learn more at columbusspace.com. Mozaic is located at 2228 Summit St. Learn more at www.mozaicohio.org.

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Lifestyle

Missing Huntington Park this summer? Come on down this weekend for some fun

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While it may not be in the form of homers and hotdogs, there is still fun to be had at Huntington Park this summer. This Friday, Huntington Park opens its Movie Nights program with a ROAR. 

To kick off the series, the Huntington Park video board will feature Jurassic Park on Friday and Frozen II on Saturday night.

Both movies will begin at 8 p.m., with doors opening at 7 p.m. Limited tickets will be available at the gate, so buy your tickets in advance to Friday’s showing here or Saturday’s showing here

All tickets for Friday’s show are $5. Ticket prices on Saturday are adults for $5, children ages 3 through 14 for $4, and children 2 and under get in free. All adult guests are required to sign a waiver, which you can download and print in advance to make your movie night even easier. 

Make sure to bring a blanket for a spot in the outfield to enjoy the films with safe social distancing from other guests. Also, on a first-come, first-served basis, guests will be allowed to sit in the grandstand on the third-base side.

For more information on Huntington Park Movie Nights, click here.

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Health & Fitness

Meditation Monday

Julian Foglietti

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Meditation is continually lauded by doctors, mental health experts, and self help gurus for the benefits it has on both our physical and mental health. In an effort to offer something restorative, as we navigate these difficult times, (614) is teaming up with meditation experts to bring you moments of rest through all the stress. This week's meditation is led by Marcia Miller of Yoga on High. An instructor for over 40 years, Marcia is also a Certified Reiki Master Teacher, and sits on the community advisory board for The Ohio State University's Center for Integrated Health and Wellness.

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Lifestyle

Michael B. Jordan’s curated drive-in comes to Columbus this summer

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Michael B. Jordan is curating your next two months at the drive-in.

Starting tomorrow, Amazon Studios and Jordan’s Summer Screening Series will take over 20 drive-in theaters across the U.S. Lucky for Columbus residents, the South Drive-In, 3050 S. High St., is one of them.

Every two weeks, Jordan’s curated series will come to the South Drive-In. Each night will consist of a double feature that correlates to a very specific theme to celebrate multicultural voices in film.

It’s free to attend the screenings, but it’s first come first serve for downloading and securing your spot for the shows. Below is the list of films that are playing each week as well as links to download passes. 

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