Much like Queer Coffee Events, QWC’s mission is to be a supportive space for LGBTI people in the coffee industry. Yet, according to founder Dani Goot, it’s also meant to be a ‘safe place and support hub for not just those that work in the coffee industry. It’s a safe place for anyone that finds themselves with challenges in their workplace, on the street, in their family. It’s a place to be heard and a place to listen.’
Who is Dani Goot?
According to Barista Magazine, Goot is a ‘legend’ in the coffee industry. She’s been working in coffee for almost two decades. She currently works as head of strategy for Bellwether Coffee, a small start-up based out of Berkeley, California.
However, it wasn’t until Goot began transitioning last year that she noticed the issues LGBTI people in the coffee industry—particularly queer baristas—face.
‘I am 43 years old and started transitioning almost a year ago. I have been in the coffee industry over 20 years and have identified as male up ’til last year,’ Goot tells Barista Magazine.
‘It’s been very challenging to walk out into the world as I am professionally. There is a bit of a anxiety with cold-calling potential accounts along with seeing colleagues that don’t know I have started transitioning.’
‘I have always seen and heard the challenges queer folx, women, POC [people of color], and all marginalized folx have in our industry. Once I started my transition, I felt compelled to do something to not only help others, but myself as well,’ Goot says.
QWC vs. Queer Coffee Events
Unlike Queer Coffee Events, which as the name suggests holds events for LGBTI people in the industry, QWC is more of a signal for coffee professionals looking for support.
‘One of my many privileges is that I’m an extrovert. I can’t keep my mouth shut. This is a privilege that I have to use,’ Goot says. She has been vocal about discrimination issues and challenges LGBTI people face every day.
‘To be heard and to speak are two fundamental things we can do to break down the patriarchy,’ Goot states.
Goot has been thinking a lot about the concept of safe spaces recently.
‘Lately there has been a lot more than just “a bit of anxiety” that I have been facing going out into workplaces professionally,’ she explains. ‘It’s been extremely challenging to face the day, from being misgendered to not taken seriously. I realize that it isn’t me with the problem, but those that are scared of what they don’t know. Finding ways to show we are humans just like everyone else.’
You can support Queer Wave Coffee by purchasing a t-shirt, designed in collaboration with RJ from Queer Coffee Events and Denver-based artist and barista Breezy Sanchez.
‘These shirts were produced with the sole purpose to bring in money for future Queer in Coffee events. I would love to see other coffee communities use this logo to help raise money for queer-related events in their own communities. This is not only for queers obviously, but to support our existence in the community,’ Goot says.
‘I want QWC to exist for whatever reason it needs to. I’m not here to dictate that or give it any strict guidelines. Think of it like the Critical Mass movement (bicycles), which has no leaders. A anarchistic movement that anyone can be a part of and participate in. Their goal was to create awareness of cyclists on the road, the destruction that the oil industry creates, and anything else you wanted it to mean.’