Little billboards

A freshly-arrived Craft Queer t-shirt (My house, 10 April 2015)
My freshly-arrived Craft Queer t-shirt

As is probably also true of many or indeed most other long-standing / high-level1 beer enthusiasts, I have unfeasibly-many branded t-shirts. But there always seems to be room for one more, and I’d been meaning for ages to get one from the Craft Queer Project. Born from a particularly-rad present my comrade2 Dylan made for a fellow bartender, it evolved into a generally-purchasable thing and a worthy little fundraiser to boot. I’ve also seen way too much of the homophobic nonsense that he mentions in his post; from trolls fouling up the online beer community to boorish lunkheads in bars acting like they’d tumbled in from a prior decade — and see Melissa Cole’s latest piece if you need and/or can stomach examples from the Antipodes. But still, I share his optimism that things are (as they say) getting better.

It was really heartening, two weekends ago, to spy a few of these t-shirts in the crowd at the Great Kiwi Beer Festival, worn on the persons of total strangers. That was enough to at last jolt me into ordering mine. But as a habitual Overthinker, who coincidentally exists very much to the left of the Kinsey Scale, I vacillated for a while between getting the original ‘QuB version and the slightly-bowdlerised, ahem, straight-Beer one. But an analogy to all that brewery merch in my drawers eventually occurred to me: I’ll happily wear, for instance, a ParrotDog t-shirt, a Stone & Wood hoodie, and a Dogfish Head hat — perhaps even all at once — despite working at precisely none of those companies.3 I may not be of them, but I like them, and I wish them well in their many endeavours, supporting their good works and deeds where I can. Likewise this, really.4 Simple.

1: I mean this in the Dungeons & Dragons sense — lots of experience and a few perks. 
2: Disclaimers ahoy: then, in his day job, he was a customer of my day job (which, in turn, made the beer the artwork references); now, he’s officially my boss, since I’ve reshuffled my working life rather dramatically. 
3: So far, at least. I’d let you know
4: If I seem to be harping on these down-with-grossness and show-of-solidarity angles, I make no apology. I’ve seen two of my other beloved Domains Of Nerdness — namely videogames and speculative fiction — develop disgusting little cancers of reactionary bullshit and I’ll kick against that where I can.  Calling out whatever nonsense comes within reach is the least any of us can do, and now we can do it while wearing a snazzy t-shirt. Win-win! 

Have at it: