Coffee folks will be making their way to San Francisco to celebrate all things queer in coffee and the businesses that support the community.
BY KATRINA YENTCH
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Photos courtesy of Fluid Coop
In recent years, the coffee community has provided safe and welcoming spaces for the LGBTQ+ community, and the first-ever Queer Coffee Conference this month is a strong example of that. Taking place March 25-27 in San Francisco, the weekend-long event will consist of a variety of industry-focused classes, coffee tastings, and even tours of historic LGBT-focused museums.
Celebrating LGBTQ+ Coffee People and Supporters
Fluid Cooperative is a queer-friendly café and event space that opened in SF’s Tenderloin district this past fall in the La Cocina Municipal Marketplace. As hosts of this groundbreaking conference, Fluid can confirm that the coffee industry is committed to supporting trans, nonbinary, gender nonconforming, and queer communities. “The coffee industry at large has made enormous strides over the last few decades in ensuring fair labor standards and ethical sourcing practices,“ Fluid writes in its announcement of the event. Hosting the Queer Coffee Conference is an opportunity to showcase the work of the members and groups in coffee who are honoring and celebrating this.
Queer Coffee Conference Is a Zero-Cost Event for Attendees
The team is also thrilled to be making this conference as accessible as possible. They’re working to find housing for interested attendees, as well as child care options during seminars. According to Santana Tapia at Fluid, “We are beyond excited to welcome as many queer and trans individuals to this one-of-a-kind experience. This event is unlike any other because we are sharing resources, information, and education that many institutions gate keep, and at no cost to our attendees. To be able to create the first event like this one will be the beginning of a revolution in the coffee industry, and result in more events that are welcoming to all peoples, not just those who are white, cisgender, and/or straight.“
What to Expect
As an industry-focused event, the Queer Coffee Conference will host a mix of panels and workshops that cover coffee learning and entrepreneurship. Classes like Coffee 101 (taught by Doris Garrido of The Crown Oak) and Coffee 201 (led by Izi Aspera of Mother Tongue) will cover essential parts of coffee tasting and seed-to-cup basics. Legal Café (a Q&A session with the Sustainable Economies Law Center) and Grassroots Fundraising (by Natalia Vigil from The Queer Cultural Center and Araceli Núñez Lee) will offer insight and advice for attendees who aspire to start their own coffee businesses. Fluid Co-op emphasizes the impact that the Sustainable Economies Law Center had in particular with helping them launch their vision as well.
More details on the extensive set of panels will be available on Fluid’s website soon.
San Francisco is also a historic city for the American LGBTQ+ community, with its Castro District a home to countless queer-friendly bars, eateries, and businesses. During the Queer Coffee Conference, the Fluid team will be taking members on a tour of the GLBT museum in the Castro, which is the first standalone museum that showcases the history of LGBTQ+ history and culture in the States. They’ll also check out the Tenderloin Museum, an inspiring space dedicated to the stories of immigrants, artists, and activists.
“My personal favorite part of being in the San Francisco coffee community is witnessing the new wave of coffee shops working towards creating more culturally relevant and community-driven spaces,“ shares Santana of the city.
The first Queer Coffee Conference is surely not one to miss. Although the event is free, pre-registration is required. To register, fill out the form here.