Espresso Yourself Pride Party Queers Up Portland

Baristas from all over Portland come together to host Espresso Yourself, an all-ages Pride party for the queer community.


Photos courtesy of Junior’s Roasted Coffee

This article is the first in a series highlighting coffee shops across the country celebrating Pride Month. If you have any stories or coffee shops you’d like to highlight, drop us a line

As many (including myself) have highlighted, being queer in coffee takes a lot of work. This Pride, Portland coffee powerhouse Caryn Nelson of Junior’s Roasted Coffee, Guilder, and WINCC (Women Investing in Northwest Coffee Champs) is teaming up with Emalee Wilson (also of Junior’s and Guilder) and Sara Reynolds of Good Coffee and Coffee Beer to give queer coffee folx and friends a chance to blow off steam and have some fun.

The party will take place on June 16 from 8 to 11 p.m. at Guilder. Featuring music by DJ hell books, the event is for folx of all ages. “We hope it’ll be a laid-back night to let loose a bit and just have fun together. Beyond that, we hope people make connections, celebrate each other, and build community,” says Caryn. The night will be sponsored by Oatly, Buckman Coffee Factory, and Junior’s, and will include a raffle to benefit Trans LifeLine with prizes from Project Object and Guilder.

Caryn Nelson, pictured above, along with Emalee Wilson and Sara Reynolds, will host Espresso Yourself, a party for the queer community. The event will include a raffle, with the proceeds benefitting Trans LifeLine.

Inspiration-wise, the event has been in the works for a while. “Around the time we were seeking a location for the café, I remember reading an article about how nightlife spaces for the queer community were shrinking in Portland,” says Caryn. “When we first saw where we’d open the cafe, I immediately said once we’re up and running, I want to host a queer dance party here. Fast forward a year, and the idea came up again when speaking with one of our staff members who was excited about the idea of hosting the community in our space.” She’s excited to be working with friends to finally make it happen.

The idea for Espresso Yourself has been in the works since before Caryn and Mike Nelson opened the doors to Guilder—its a response to the dwindling queer spaces in Portland.

Although Pride started in protest and struggle, it’s come to be both an act of protest and celebration at the same time. While many queer-centered events in the coffee industry have focused on work that still needs to be done, Espresso Yourself promises an opportunity for the queer and allied communities to celebrate their accomplishments and existence with no strings attached. It‘s shaping up to be a night to remember. If you’re in Portland, head over and get ready to espresso yourself.

RJ Joseph roasts coffee and writes a blog called Queer Cup in addition to her other adventures in coffee journalism. Her writing focuses primarily on equity, workers’ rights, and alternatives to the status quo. In her free time she loves cooking, reading, and being in Oakland, Calif. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

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