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Five funky things we’ve learned about LGBTQ+ Allyship

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Our summer espresso, Funka, has been on the scene for 10 years and has always been a showcase of funky, diverse natural coffees.

This year, we wanted diversity to go beyond the beans. To celebrate individuality and encourage every person to stay funky and be true to themselves.

Several of us at Extract Coffee Roasters identify as LGBT 🏳️‍🌈. We’re proud to have a workplace where everyone is free to be themselves, to speak openly about their home lives and partners. But this isn’t the case everywhere. Inclusion and representation are often lacking for LGBT people.

Proceeds from the sales of Funka 2021 will aim to train 100 cafes, restaurants, and bars in LGBTQ+ Allyship. This training, run by Stonewall, one of the UK’s leading LGBTQ+ charities, will help make UK hospitality aware of the need for allies and how to become safer, more inclusive spaces for their teams and customers.

This summer, the Extract team put coffee aside for our own Allyship training with Stonewall. Here are our key takeaways. We hope it encourages you to get involved and we can become an army of allies for the LGBTQ+ community.

Allies are active
Many of us feel we are inclusive, but true allyship involves being actively inclusive, rather than passive. The workshop helped us identify areas where we could be more active in supporting others in the LGBTQ+ community.

Keep language inclusive
Chatting about our home lives at work is a great way to get to know your teammates and build the relationships that make work a happier, more supportive place to be. Choosing inclusive language makes a huge difference in how accepted we feel in these conversations and is an easy change to make.

Asking questions like ‘what are your preferred pronouns’ or, asking about someone’s ‘partner’ are way more inclusive than making gender assumptions.

Learn your vocab
Learn to understand what different terms in LGBTQ+ language can mean and how they can be perceived. What one person finds inclusive, another could find offensive. Do your research; stonewall.com is a great place to start.

Consider your own ‘identity bubbles’
Everyone has different factors which make up their identity. The gender you identify with, class, race, sexual orientation, religion, language are just some of the things that make you, you.

Some of these bubbles may be universally accepted and understood. But what if some of them aren’t?

It’s important to understand that the ‘bubbles’ you hold most important to your identity might not be the same as someone else’s, and may not be accepted in the same way either. So handle these with curiosity, but sensitivity.

Calling People In
As part of learning how to be a better ally we might get things wrong! Our trainer, Leah, talked to us about ‘calling people in’ rather than ‘calling people out’ and viewing misplaced comments through ‘kind eyes’. Incorrect language or comments should totally be corrected, but assuming these come from a place of kindness, rather than malice helps keep the conversation (and education) flowing.

If you’re an Extract customer interested in booking on to one of our Allyship training workshops with Stonewall, get in touch with marketing@extractcoffee.co.uk

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