Queer Coffee Events seeks to create a supportive community for LGBTI coffee fans

Two coffee professionals from the San Francisco Bay Area have teamed up to launch an independent events organization called Queen Coffee Events.

‘We support and amplify queer coffee workers in all sectors from all backgrounds, including but not limited to people who are transgender, nonbinary, gender-nonconforming, gay/lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, intersex, two-spirit, and asexual, especially folx from those groups who are also people of color, indigenous people, immigrants, and/or people with disabilities,’ their mission statement reads.

‘We also provide space and support for other groups of non-queer marginalized coffee people to build community; events will always be queer-centered rather than queer-only in order to make the space safe for those who are not yet out and those who otherwise share our mission.’

Who’s behind this and why was it created?

Queer Coffee Events was co-founded by RJ Joseph of Counter Culture Coffee and Ellan Kline of San Francisco’s Ritual Coffee Roasters.

‘For a long time we’ve been talking about intentional community organizing, specifically for those whose interests aren’t always represented by the broader coffee and labor communities,’ Joseph told Daily Coffee News.

‘This idea crystallized watching our queer friends go through the fallout from [the Specialty Coffee Association]’s Dubai decision and Deferred Candidacy Policy. It was hurtful for so many of our friends, but we feel supported in so many ways by our various social networks that it wasn’t as hard a blow. We wanted others, not just in the Bay but all over the country and world, to be able to have that, and that’s why we decided to start QC and make it an organization that wouldn’t only focus on the Bay Area.’

Joseph is referring to the controversy surrounding the Speciality Coffee Association [SCA]’s decision to host the 2018 Coffee World Championships, an international event, in Dubai where being LGBTI is still illegal.

‘[Queer Coffee] is meant to be a space where we can be unapologetic about our queerness and our love of coffee and show that coffee organizations like the SCA need us way more than we need them,’ Kline added.

First event

Queer Coffee’s debut event is scheduled for 2 December at Counter Culture Coffee in Emeryville, California. The event is titled ‘The Future of Coffee: Where We’re Going and What it Will Take to Get Us There.’

‘I wanted to leave room for panelists to talk about social issues if they wanted, or not,’ Joseph told Daily Coffee News of the event. ‘At prior panels that specifically centered marginalized voices, panelists were always asked to focus on their otherness, so I wanted to leave room for panelists to steer in that direction if they want, but also leave room for a political, economic, or environmental approach.’

‘I’m excited for our first event, but I’m really excited to see how the organization grows,” Kline stated. ‘I think both our hopes is to see this grow into an event supported by the grassroots efforts of queer folks across the country.’

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