As we all get ready to welcome the summer months, I can’t help but feel that this Pride in particular will stand out from years prior. This is the year where we need to be even louder and even prouder of who we are. Drag Queens and Trans Folx were at the frontlines of the Stonewall Riots in 1969 and continue to be at the forefront of our revolution. These are the heroes being affected the most by the over 400 Anti-LGBTQ+ bills currently being passed in this country. The LGBTQ+ community is having to navigate not only our daily lives, but we live in near constant anxiety of having to look over our shoulder for fear of being harassed, or worse, being harmed or even killed for just being who we are. But if there is one thing, I know to be true about my community, it is that we are not only resilient, but we are courageous fighters, and alongside our allies we will continue to make our voices heard, and we will continue to take up space. To quote an LGBTQ+ icon, Jennifer Coolidge, “The Gays just know how to do stuff.”
So, I want to kick-off Pride month with a rally call to our industry, allies, and Alphabet Mafia alike. Our industry is composed of folx from across all cultures and genders, and while progress is slow, there is a movement happening where mentors and leaders are starting to reflect the diversity of our population, instead of one homogenous aesthetic. With this progress, the LGBTQ+ community needs to know, now more than ever, that the industry sees us and more importantly, that they will fight with us and for us. The time for standing on the sidelines and supporting from afar isn’t enough anymore. If your Queer friends, family, and colleagues can have the courage every day to live as their authentic selves and face enemies who want to A) quiet us, B) force us back into the closet, or C) to eradicate us completely, we must know who our true allies are; they will be as vocal as necessary to sustain our safety and safe spaces.
To my community, to all the handsome and beautiful he’s, she’s and they’s. To those Queer fam, especially to my Trans siblings living in states where your humanity and safety is being taken away, piece by piece, please hear me when I say, “WE SEE YOU.” Only we know this particular brand of fear we all carry when all we want to do is live our lives in peace, maybe even prosper; wondering why we can’t just go about our days, spend time with our families, chosen or related, fall in love, have a family, own our own bar, become an ambassador, and follow our dreams. Please stay strong, and know there is a whole industry, Bacardi, and myself who will always have your back.
With that, I am excited to announce that this summer we’ll be hosting a party to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community: Born This Gay Extravaganza Ball presented by Tequila Cazadores, Tales of the Cocktail Foundation and Another Round Another Rally. Born This Gay: Free Your Spirit Extravaganza Ball will be a celebration of everything that makes our community authentic, beautiful, and extraordinary. We will be raising funds to assist in the rehabilitation and reopening of Club Q, a safe space that was tragically taken from the community in an act of gun violence and where we lost five souls on November 19th, 2022. Join Tales of the Cocktail Foundation and Another Round, Another Rally in fundraising for Club Q with the purchase of pre-sale shirts. Click here to pre-order a shirt.
I hope that with your support, we can help the LGBTQ+ community in Colorado Springs have a safe space once again. Together, let’s make Pride 2023 a time that we can all reflect on as a special moment in our industry where we came together to protect some of the most vulnerable in our communities. Please join us this month and beyond to kiki, dance, laugh, and to celebrate being UNAPOLOGETICALLY YOU.
What better way to leave you all than with a quote from one of my heroes, James Baldwin:
“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
ABOUT CHRIS CABRERA
Chris Cabrera is the National LGBTQ+ Ambassador for Bacardi. They work tirelessly within the cocktail industry at large to promote a message of inclusivity, specifically for the POC and Queer community. As a recipient of Bar World’s Top 100 & Imbibe 75, they continue to work more exclusively now to further a much overdue conversation and in doing so, they continue to be driven by one of their most inspired James Baldwin quotes, “The place in which I fit will not exist until I make it.”