Hospitality is an incredible industry that provides careers for so many.
To join the gang and become a bartender all you need is a great smile, a can-do attitude and the readiness to polish a glass. Your new career will gift you a bonus family, and can help you to travel the world and make friends in every city there is, with no ceiling on success, and yet despite the opportunity and limited barriers to entry, our industry is nowhere near as diverse as it could be, even today. We are lacking gender, sexuality, and racial diversity.
To enable better accessibility to the industry it’s important that we welcome and support minorities where we can, and to that end I’ve begun Cocktail QTs, an online network for LGBTQIA, and QTPOC persons within the cocktail and spirits industry.
For myself I joined hospitality at 17, and soon moved to London from Cornwall, a place which in the 90s was definitely not a place to admit to queerness. It took me a long journey to come to terms with my sexuality, and definitely the freeing nature of living in the capital with all of its possibility was an essential part of that journey, and yet though the cocktail community has always been a progressive place, queerness is not often celebrated as part of that. For many young people their home towns are not welcoming places to explore their sexuality. Moving to cities and finding work within our sector can be a life-saving decision. The idea behind Cocktail QTs is to help make LGBTQIA persons known to one another and to provide support, collaboration, community, and family to those who navigate the relatively heteronormative world of cocktail & spirits, and to help those who are questioning their sexuality or gender find the answers or support they are searching for.
If you work within the cocktail and spirits industry and would like to join Cocktail QTs please find us here on FB. There will be regular meet ups, and the whole thing hopefully will be a lot of fun because, as we know, the gays always have the best parties. Allies welcome too!