Queer Wave Coffee, a new support community for LGBTI people in the coffee industry, seeks to provide resources and a safe space to marginalized groups.
GSN spoke to Queer Wave Coffee (QWC) founder Dani Goot about what led her to create this community.
Goot has been in the coffee industry since 1993. ‘It’s really the only career I’ve ever had,’ she says.
Back then, Goot identified as cis male and recalls that her only options were to get a job or join the military. She chose the former and started to work at a roastery. About six months in, she really got into the job, especially the production side of it.
When Goot was presenting male, she still always promoted female coffee roasters.
‘I’ve always known I was different from other dudes,’ Goot, who started to medically transition about a year ago, recalls. Growing up, Goot related to women more than she did to other guys.
However, it wasn’t until Goot became a step parent, and then a biological parent, that she truly realized her gender identity.
One of Goot’s children identified as gender-nonconforming at the age of 2 and a half. The other was assigned male at birth, but identifies on the femme side of the spectrum.
‘I pretty much learned from them,’ Goot says. ‘Both of them were the ones that showed me the way to understanding myself better.’
She started slowly transition without meds by presenting more feminine in her day-to-day. When she started HRT last year, she describes things becoming ‘more stable and clear.’
‘I’ve always considered myself an anarchist and always questioned this gender stuff,’ she says, adding that advocating for others kept her busy and led to putting her own transition on the back-burner.
Issues in the industry
She volunteered at the Specialty Coffee Association, which she held off doing for years because it felt too much like a ‘boy’s club.’ However, during her time there, she was told to keep quiet about the organization hosting three of its tournaments in anti-LGBTI Dubai. Being asked not to ‘air dirty laundry’ about these problematic issues led her to leave the organization.
‘I’m not the kind of person that keeps their mouth shut when there’s injustice,’ she says. ‘Patriarchy, antiquated business practices, and politics are what keep us from moving forward as an industry.’
Now, Goot is on the leadership team of #CoffeeToo, a movement to end sexual harassment in the coffee industry, founded by industry veteran Molly Flynn.
‘We’re helping women and marginalized people to have resources,’ Goot says of #CoffeeToo.
Supporting Queer Wave Coffee
The name Queer Wave Coffee wasn’t Goot’s originally. She saw someone else write it down once, and with their permission, began to use the name as well.
Goot started to use the name as a hashtag on Instagram, and it soon expanded to create a support community.
As part of this community, Goot, in collaboration with other LGBTI people in the industry, designed t-shirts and sweatshirts. All profits from them go to help Queer Coffee, another LGBTI community for those in the industry, host their events.
Goot stresses that the QWC name and logo is open for anyone to use, as long as they’re not profiting off it.
‘The name doesn’t belong to me, it belongs to everyone,’ she says.
‘Our community really comes together to support each other,’ she says. ‘People fall in love with coffee and that passion is a catalyst for change.’
Goot hopes that the message of QWC sticks on a broader level than just within the coffee industry.
‘People always think of my thinking as super radical, but like, how is helping people radical?’ Goot says.