This all came about because of a can of Garage Project ‘Beer’ and a permanent marker. But lets start at the beginning.
2014 saw some really great discussions start up about minorities and representation in the New Zealand beer scene. Most notably the Craft Beer Calandar, and a bit more talk about women in the beer scene, both as consumers and professionals. ‘Craft’ beer has been pretty much the exclusive property of middle class white men for a long time, but I hope we’re seeing the first signs of change (types the middle class white male). But it is wonderful to see some conversations and change happening, so lets keep it going.
Today I want to talk about queers in the beer scene. And you know what? I’m going to start by being fairly positive. Because right now, our particular little pool (that is the breweries, beer bars and beer events of Wellington) is a fairly open, welcoming and overall liberal place to be.
How do I know this? Well, because there are queer people representing every letter of the LGBT at every level of the industry. Queers make beer, distribute it, sell it, and of course, drink it. And it is as customers that queers are highly represented. I think it’s a credit to the industry that this is the case. However things are definitely not all rosy.
There’s still plenty of queerphobia, both in the beer scene and and New Zealand society in general. I’ve heard far too much of it over the bar in my time. We stamp on it at Golding’s and Hashigo when we hear it. But we know it’s out there and that means there’s room for improvement in our industry.
Which brings me to the can of ‘Beer’ and the permanent marker. You see I had to procure a Secret Santa gift for my co-worker Gen.
We had a limit of $10, so I thought crafting something might be the way to go. I’m fairly handy with a stencil and needle and thread, so I thought I’d make her an awesome patch or shirt or something. I had all the fabric paints, label paper and even an old black shirt to print it on. The only difficult thing was coming up with an idea for what to paint.
Gen’s a fairly Tough Bitch, so something about fucking up the patriarchy would be apt. Then I remembered this photo:
Combine it with the famous GFD ‘Beer is Love’ mural:
Gen was pretty thrilled, but it didn’t stop there. I’ve had dozens of requests for custom shirts from those who want to destroy the patriarchy whilst enjoying a good beer. The simple fact of the matter was it was too many for me to ever hope to make them all by hand. And that’s when inspiration struck: why not print them digitally?
So I drew:
But this time I didn’t cut; I scanned and Photoshopped:
So I designed a shirt to be made available online for all my friends. Now I had the option to profit greatly from this enterprise, but it didn’t feel right. Besides, I’ve been really inspired by the good work done by the New Zealand Beer Calendar. So proceeds from shirt sales will be going to Rainbow Youth.
Rainbow Youth is an organisation that offers support, information and advocacy for LGBT youth in New Zealand. Because we all know that being young is difficult, and being queer and young is extra tough. We’ve all heard the statistics: higher suicide rates and drug and alcohol use amongst queer youth in New Zealand. And it’s organisations like Rainbow Youth that can help change that.
It’s time to get our Queer-Beer-Pride on and stick it to queerphobia in style. Not queer, but want to destroy the patriarchy in style anyway? Not a problem. I designed a special ‘Beer’ version, so you can rock it no matter how you identify. The Craft ‘Queer’ Project shirts are available in both Men’s and Women’s cuts (and in a rainbow of colours) from this link on Print Mighty:
If there is a product offered on Print Mighty that you would like with the Craft Queer Project design on it (a hoodie, tote bag, etc.), feel free to tweet requests to me.
So let’s crack a good beer and toast to the end of misogyny and queerphobia!