Don’t look now, but the holiday season is fast approaching, and that, for better or worse, means buying gifts for loved ones. It can be a complicated and somewhat onerous task, buying things. On one hand, consumerism is a bit out of control, especially during this time of year, and what if the person you are buying for doesn’t like what you got them? And yet, the immense joy of watching someone open the perfect gift, well, it’s better than actually receiving anything yourself (unless what you are receiving is also the perfect gift).
Nonetheless, here we are, and the expectation is to spend, spend, spend. So if we must take part in the time-honored tradition, might as well make it for a very good cause (or rather a few of them). That’s why Arielle Rebekah of Trans and Caffeinated is teaming up with Jackie Nguyen of Kansas City’s Cafe Cà Phê for a HoliGays Party and Vendor Fair, with all the proceeds going to benefit Umeshiso.
Taking place December 3rd between 10:00am and 5:00pm at Cafe Cà Phê, “Kansas City’s first Vietnamese coffee shop,” the event will feature pop-up shops from a variety of local, queer-owned businesses, including Massage Collective KC, MackBecks, and Raspberry Cloud Studio, with more to be announced later. And since this is a party, attendees can get into the HoliGay spirit by taking part in an open mic, entering a raffle with “multiple high-value prizes,” learning from local LGBTQ+ organizations, and interacting with “local queer and trans community members through a number of fun and engaging activities.”
And for one day only, Cafe Cà Phê will be serving a glittery signature beverage called The Gaysian.
Proceeds from the event and the sig bev will go to benefit Umeshiso, the queer, Asian-owned business making gay spoons, chopsticks, and with the help of a GoFundMe campaign, a new line of gay utensils including forks and knives.
For those who don’t live in the KCMO area but still want to purchase for a purpose, Umeshiso’s Umeko Motoyoshi has teamed up with disability advocate Alice Wong (interviewed here by Motoyoshi on A Better Table podcast) in celebration of Wong’s new memoir, Year of the Tiger: An Activist’s Life. For the collaboration, Motoyoshi and Wong have put together three different Tiger Packs, each including a copy of Year of the Tiger, a set of book merch “in a lucky gold envelope,” and either an Imperfect Rainbow Litter Dipper six pack, an Imperfect Gold Big Dipper, or two pair of Rainbow Chopsticks.
Proceeds from the Tiger Packs, which are available for purchase on Umeshiso’s website, will be split between Get Psyched, Umeshiso’s “fund that pays for coffee workers to access psychiatry,” and the Disability Visibility Project, Wong’s “online community that creates, shares, and amplifies disability media and culture.”
There’s so many ways to give good cheer while supporting good people. For more information visit the HoliGays Party and Vendor Fair’s Eventbrite page or Umeshiso’s official website.
Zac Cadwalader is the managing editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.