I wanted to write a little list of some trans significant history in coffee. Quick disclaimer: I ended up finding some great examples of solidarity, so parts of this list are extended to include our LGB+ brothers, sisters and everyone. I just wanted to put this disclaimer in to say I am not trying to detract from the trans experience!! The most important thing cis people can do is listen to trans voices! They are the only voices that matter when it comes to trans issues, rights and history!
Yesterday was Trans Day Of Visibility and I wrote on my story that it’s important to research the trans history of your field. As a result I realised I knew a bit about causes and efforts supporting the community, but not so much about history! What I have found is a few shops, organisations and historical facts of trans inclusive or trans significant moments. If anyone has anything else they want to share go for it!! I would love to share anything and everything!!!
Comptons Cafeteria Riot
Known as one of the first LGBT riots against authority, it was led by trans women and gay men! The first thing done at this historic riot was a cup of coffee being thrown at a police officer! Go coffee! Go trans people!
"If the famous Stonewall riots in New York City were the origin of this nation's gay rights movement, the Tenderloin upheaval three years before was "the transgender community's debut on the stage of American political history," ... "It was the first known instance of collective militant queer resistance to police harassment in United States history"
"they were still regularly subject to police harassment and arrested for the crime of "female impersonation"".
And when a policeman in Compton's grabbed a drag queen, she threw a cup of coffee in his face. The cafeteria erupted"".
For many trans people, safety is a massive issue. For Indigenous trans women in Colombia, a notoriously conservative country, this is especially true. This Nat Geo article explains that the coffee growing industry provides a safe space for these women who are marginalised by their communities and face issues of safety every day. Coffee growing farms provide these women with a space to work, and a space to be themselves without fear. The article is a good reminder that we should be working to be as inclusive as we can in every sector of the coffee industry, and to create safe spaces for our trans community!
We in Australia are blessed to have the wonderful @Samecup repping women, our LGBT+ community, our rural pals and non-white people all across the coffee industry with massive plans for events, safe spaces, competitions and everything else under the sun! Demelza is an absolute diamond who really sees the gaps needing to be filled in coffee! I have and will support Same Cup in every way I can until the end of time. If you can, donate! If you want to help out, message @samecup! It’s going to be a beautiful, exciting step forward in the world of Australian coffee.
Melbourne youth centric LGBT+ group Minus18 run initiatives to make your business more friendly to all folx!! Last year they ran a pride coffee cup initiative to encourage smaller businesses that couldn’t get a float or the like during Melbourne Pride! They also distribute inclusive posters for businesses big and small to hang up! How great!!
Acaia and @thejennchen do heaps to support LGBT+ competitors in coffee! These are crucial voices to be shared, and competitions provide one of the most interesting, dynamic and useful spaces to do so. If you’re a queer competitor looking to compete, fill out the form online!! Acaia also sponsor lots of local events including ones that are LGBT+ friendly spaces! Read more here!!
Cuties is a truly LGBT+ inclusive space that is fully owned and run by members of the LGBT+ community. Cuties use their cafe Instagram to promote trans and queer friendly events!! Plus they also host their own! So many trans and queer friendly spaces come in the form of clubs and bars, rather than actual daytime conversation friendly places. These are often mostly for gay cisgendered men too, so proper inclusive places can be few and far between. It’s great to see Cuties leading the way to more diverse, welcoming spaces!
It’s always important to support LGBT+ owned businesses! The best way to support people is with money, and it’s also the best way to keep businesses open :~) You can support Cuties by heading to their Patreon account!!!
"Cuties is a queer social space that isn’t a bar or nightclub, making it accessible to young people and anyone uncomfortable in alcohol-oriented environments, which is rare and important."
"the pair wanted to create a casual hangout that’s welcoming to all members of the LGBTQ community, regardless of age or gender identity.
Such spaces are scarce.
In most cities, the lion’s share of LGBTQ-centered establishments are bars and clubs that primarily cater to gay men who are cisgender, meaning their gender identity matches the sex they were assigned at birth. Greater L.A. is no exception. Although West Hollywood is nationally renowned as a mecca for gay men, that’s not necessarily the case for lesbians or transgender people."
via LA Times
I found this as well and it seems so nice! Mostly LGBT+ staff, restaurant policies for gender neutral and inclusive language and also not questioning names or gender identity!! (which is so important!! I feel like way more establishments need to do this!!!) It’s a brunch space in New York that will also offer industry nights for LGBT staff!! This Daily Beast article covers more information about some extra spaces that exist!!
What coffee list would be complete without this wonderful human being! Their shop celebrates ‘women, femmes, nonbinary and trans folks, BIPoC (Black, Indigenous, and people of colour)’!! The shop aims to promote a bit of monetary inclusivity too with sliding scales for purchases, as well as solidarity items where profits go to supporting certain organisations, causes or events! The whole experience is to help promote self love and celebrate ourselves. I for one carry my badges with me every day to work to remind me of the spaces I want to support in coffee land and take my rainbow cupping spoons to all cupping events.
Queer Coffee Spaces in General!!
One thing I noticed a lot about writing this was the demand for queer coffee spaces exists to provide not only a conversational and a social space for queer people, but also a place for people who feel less comfortable around alcohol! Plus going out to dance and have a drink is only one of many activities, it’s not a cover more social activity!! What about people who work early mornings, nights and more? What more can we do to cater to our trans and queer community, and make sure this demand is met? Coffee spaces today need to be more trans (and queer) friendly and we as the people who work in them can help! Even by having meetings to discuss language use, providing spaces for events and recognising that we are out here to look after everyone in our community!
A Place To Brew Revolution
Coffeehouses have always been incubators of revolutionary ideas! They were also an early space for queer men back in Turkey! This Sprudge Article was one of the most inspiring things I read last year. So I don’t just copy bits from it, have a read! (Sprudge also does heaps to support the LGBT+ community! It’s just so great!!) We should feel inspired by the coffee industry’s place in the history of trans and queer inclusivity, and be using this to spur us on! Coffee shops are places to gather, talk, share, brew, plot, plan, confide, eat, drink, meet - they can also be spaces to help change minds and promote the voices that need to be heard.
Anything I missed?? Reach out at email@example.com or @jamesperrycoffee on Instagram! Stay groovy ✨