Laurel Carvell, founder of Queer Speed Dating, joined Studio 512 to talk about their company’s first-ever event, which will be held Friday, October 28th at 6:30 p.m. at Smokin Beauty on North Lamar.

Laurel says, “I’ve noticed myself and have heard from friends that it can be difficult to meet someone genuine online or even organically in real life. I have participated in speed dating myself in the past and when I searched, I didn’t find any queer-operated speed dating in Austin so decided to create it myself. Sometimes it can feel like the lesbian community is quite small in Austin and I wanted to bring people together who paths might not naturally cross.

“We are excited to have our first event at Smokin’ Beauty, a North Austin Vietnamese BBQ restaurant, locally owned and operated by Matt and Thao Roth. I have known them for years and am flattered to have their support with my new business. There will also be live music right after the event.

“If you have never done speed dating yourself, it can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Queer Speed Dating is for romantic and platonic connections and the process itself is pretty painless. You get 5 minutes of conversation with each person and will mark on your card whether you are interested in contacting them afterwards or not. If both people say “Yes,” then I will exchange contact information to both people after the event via email. If one or both say “No,” that’s it. Nothing else happens. Each participant gets drink ticket and the chance to make a new friend.

“All our events will be posted on our Meetup.com page, Queer Speed Dating ATX, and you can follow our Instagram for updates, @QueerSpeedDating. I am also open to collaborating and working with other local artist and establishments in fun ways. Anyone that is interested, please DM on Instagram.

“We are currently looking into House Wine for our November event and Wanderlust Eastside for December. I have already booked J. Marie, a local Queer Psychic Medium, to read our cards for the December event. Follow us learn more!”