Each June, we celebrate the queer community, and honor the June 27, 1969 Stonewall Inn rebellion in New York City that, while certainly not the first or last demonstration of fighting oppression, catalyzed the following decades’ determined march toward LGBTQIA+ rights. Pride Month is a joyful 30 days of parades, parties, and events that herald the “love is love” message. It is also a vital reminder of the work that needs to be done to support the queer community in terms of not only visibility, representation, and equity, but in fighting for more rights and protecting those rights.
We talk about this with every heritage month and it applies here: these periods on the calendar are just that, great reminders and times to celebrate. But it’s imperative to take that energy into every single month of the year. Love, joy, and pride don’t fade away when June ends; the urgent need for all identities to be embraced doesn’t fade; and the fight for equity, equality, safety, inclusivity, access, and rights doesn’t fade. Don’t let rainbow-washing brands fool you with rainbow-splashed Twitter avatars and tone-deaf Pride Month products like…sandwiches? The queer community is here every single month; we celebrate every single month and we fight every single month. Let’s let Pride Month be the re-energizing launch into the next year.
With all the radiant happiness of love and pride comes the necessity to confront the current reality. Nothing should mitigate the joy and love of Pride Month 2022, but this year’s observance does come at a difficult, scary time. It helps to make sure you’re up to date on legislations affecting the LGBTQIA+ community in the United States, so you can be a part of change--we all can be a part of change. Have conversations with people in your life. Spread the word and help raise awareness about urgent issues and causes. Volunteer. Call, email, and write your representatives--make some noise. Demonstrate. Be a good listener for those who need you. Donate. Support. Dance in the streets in June but don’t lose momentum come July.
On that note, we wanted to round up A, some brands we’re so proud to have on TapRm that you’ll love supporting all year round because frankly, they’re just fantastic; and B, some organizations and initiatives you can start working with and donating to today in order to start making an impact right away. What are you waiting for? Today’s the perfect day to get to work, and beers from brands like Dyke Beer and Gay Beer are just what to toast your dedication with.
Loretta Andro Chung and Sarah Hallonquist met working with an activism group called Dyke Bar Takeover. This group works to raise awareness about the fact that precious LGBTQIA+ spaces--places to gather, celebrate, be safe, be free, be together--are disappearing in the United States. Loretta and Sarah are dedicated to the mission of saving these spaces and protecting them, and creating new ones, too. They saw the potential of craft beer to act as a conduit, getting their message out there to a big audience and bringing people together. Dyke Beer is built on both creative, delicious beers and on exciting events that Loretta and Sarah dream up and make a reality all over New York City and beyond, essentially making those community spaces and even serving the perfect beer to go with it all. Dyke Beer collaborates with different breweries to bring their brilliant ideas into fruition. Try the Dyke Beer Saison, made with Brooklyn’s Wild East Brewing, and Tall Girl Gose, made with Greenpoint Beer & Ale Co. Keep an eye out for future brews and of course events, too, on Dyke Beer’s Instagram page.
Jon Moore and Jason Pazmino both come from creative backgrounds, and are both beer fans. In 2018, they decided to put their experience and expertise to work and create something that they saw was missing: a beer brand that recognizes, represents, speaks to, and welcomes the LGBTQIA+ community. Gay Beer was born, and right away, it felt like more than a brand, but a movement. Every aspect of Gay Beer, from the liquid in the can to the art on the can to the marketing materials to the causes Jon and Jason work with and donate to, it’s all thoughtfully crafted to not only be exciting and delicious, but inclusive and joyful. Gay Beer is community. This golden lager is light and yet full of flavor, crisp, easy-drinking, easy to pair with absolutely any dish, gluten-reduced, and 5% ABV. It’s an instant go-to for parties from totally chill to #fancy, it’s perfect for sharing with friends, it can dress up in a beer cocktail or down in a can when you’re just kicking back. And when you buy Gay Beer, you can know proceeds are benefiting important causes like the Center for Black Equity and the Ali Forney Center, among many others. Cheers to that.
Oslo Brewing Company’s Oslove
Oslo Brewing Company’s Oslove is a refreshing blonde ale invigorated with bright, tart, sweet passion fruit puree and fresh fruit. It’s one tasty beer, but it’s more than that, too. When we interviewed Oslo Brewing Company founding partner and CEO Dimitri Yogaratnam, he told us that Oslove was originally brewed Oslove for the city of Oslo’s Pride celebration. Dimitri explains how meaningful that indeed is: “It’s a very unique Pride celebration in the way that the entire city gets involved from--it’s a family event. People are just more excited about--basically, just excited to see all the unique people and get their face painted and just have a good night, and it’s a really beautiful celebration.” The word “Oslove” comes from a term the city came up with to unite and come together in love, support, and harmony after a tragic terrorist attack. Dimitri wanted to apply the welcoming nature, diversity, and inclusion of that message to the Oslove beer, which Oslo Brewing Company makes year round--because such a message is so important all year long.
The Trevor Project
You might notice beer collaborations and events raising money for The Trevor Project more than ever this year, perhaps because while its cause has always been so vital, the way states’ legislations are trending, it feels especially urgent and a lot more people are becoming aware of it. The Trevor Project is the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) young people. This organization provides counselors for young people who need help, support, someone to listen to them, resources, and more. The Trevor Project also advocates for LGBTQIA+ youth and fights for their rights through legislation, litigation, and education. They conduct research and collect data and turn that into programs, movements, and initiatives targeting specific ways to help. There are so many ways you can get involved with The Trevor Project. You can donate. You can fundraise. You can volunteer. And don’t forget, you can spread the word.
The Okra Project
The Okra Project brings home-cooked, healthy, culturally specific meals and provides resources to Black trans people. This collective works on different initiatives with these goals in mind, with the driving force of addressing the crisis, including food insecurity, Black trans people face. The name of the organization comes from how African people snuck okra onto ships during the Middle Passage to survive off of and plant when they arrived; Black Diasporic cooking traditions use okra and associate it with health, prosperity, and community, according to the organization’s website. The Okra Project also helps connect Black trans people with resources like mental health services with Better Help. To get involved, contact the organization for ways to help, spread the word, and donate.
Human Rights Campaign
The Human Rights Campaign is an organization that fights for rights and equality for LGBTQIA+ individuals, provides resources and support, and offers a community. This work takes different forms. The HRC mobilizes voters and organizes demonstrations. It educates, speaks out, and raises awareness. And it works to fight anti-LGBTQIA+ legislation and to push for legislation that instead promotes equality and facilitates rights and justice. The latter is accomplished through everything from helping to create different acts, like The Equality Act, and bringing lawsuits to the state governments behind dangerous and discriminatory laws. The HRC brings its education, resources, and community support to the workplace, to education, and to health issues. You can find HRC events, sign up to volunteer and/or work phone banks, subscribe to the newsletter, shop HRC merch to support the cause and/or donate, and so much more here.
The Ali Forney Center
The Ali Forney Center provides a home, support, community, and a future for LGBTQIA+ youths. It was founded in 2002 and named for Ali Forney, a gender-nonconforming young person forced to live on the streets and tragically murdered. A 24-7 operation, this organization is a source of shelter for youths. There’s food, resources, job training, education, help transitioning into housing, health services, and much more, with a welcoming environment at the heart of it all. You can volunteer for a variety of different, impactful roles; donate new items via the organization’s Amazon wish lists for its clients; and/or donate directly to the center.
The Marsha P. Johnson Institute
The Marsha P. Johnson Institute is named for Marsha P. Johnson, an activist and performer who was also a part of the 1969 Stonewall uprising. According to the institute’s website, the “P” stood for “pay it no mind,” which was Johnson’s answer to questions about her gender. She also went by BLACK Marsha, which inspired the institute’s founding and mission--to reach Black trans people, give them a community and support network, and protect and defend their rights. The institute’s website reads: “We were founded both as a response to the murders of BLACK trans women and women of color and how that is connected to our exclusion from social justice issues, namely racial, gender, and reproductive justice, as well as gun violence.” The Marsha P. Johnson Institute creates fellowships and also partners with other organizations empower Black trans people, and fight oppression and discrimination. They also offer crisis support and community and cultural resources. Donate here.