Bar Behemoths Combine to Support LGBTQIA+ Community

Bar Behemoths Combine to Support LGBTQIA+ Community

Are we the only ones who remember the beef?

Woof! have teamed up with Emerson’s Brewery to create a t-shirt encouraging people to “be proud of the rainbow thirst trap that you are!” Not only will the t-shirts be drippy as fuck, but they’re also helping fund an initiative to provides stores with printed materials in order to “let the LGBTQIA+ community know they are safe and welcome.” The collaboration takes place even after Woof! triumphed over Emerson’s in Critic Te Ārohi’s 2023 Bar Review, proving that some things really are more important than the judgement of a handful of students.

Woof! said in their advertising of the campaign that “it’s small but significant actions like this that make life slightly easier for marginalised communities.” The campaign comes after several claimants have suggested that Dunedin has a relatively limited queer nightlife scene. In 2022, Critic culture editor Lotto suggested in an opinion piece that, “We need to change our image and gay it the fuck up.” 

Woof! have been at the forefront of this movement, with their website stating that they aim to provide “a safe, fun, welcoming place for our people, and to advance the visibility of the rainbow people of Dunedin.” In line with Woof!’s rise has been a gradually growing Dunedin Pride scene, mostly targeted at University students through events such as 2023’s ‘Pride Night at the Museum’ and other such events which have been initiated to reduce stigma. 

The initiative sparked between Woof! and Emerson’s follows this trend, with owner Josh Thomas telling Critic Te Ārohi that, “Emerson’s did a print run and said, ‘Here you go.’” Speaking to the initiative which the shirts will raise funds for, Josh stated that “retailers can have signage that welcomes those in the community [...] it’s something that will be long lasting and specific to Dunedin. As someone who is queer, when you see a flag or any other form of positive messaging, it is quite meaningful.”

Woof! bartender, Jamiema, said, “It is truly an iconic crossover! [...] Emerson’s is such a local powerhouse in Dunedin’s beer scene so it is awesome to have their support on an important cause. It’s like getting approached by your favourite celebrity or something, but the celebrity is your favourite brewery.”

Josh commented that, “Inclusivity is something we are very staunch about […] this will be a positive chance for other retailers to get involved."

This article first appeared in Issue 6, 2024.
Posted 9:47pm Friday 5th April 2024 by Hugh Askerud.