• Why we brewed

    Biere de Queer

    Hi, I'm Kelly, and I've been a Brewer at New Belgium for 7 years. I wanted to brew Biere de Queer because I felt that I could use my talent as a Pilot Brewer to make something that could empower the queer community that I’m a part of. I chose National Coming Out Day because coming out can be one of the hardest things for a queer person to do. I’m proud to be a part of New Belgium who has been supporting the queer community for 30 years through advocacy efforts, donations and by treating ALL coworkers equally. Please join us as we share our stories around what National Coming Out Day means to us and why we believe the Equality Act should be passed.

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the Equality Act

While our 2021 Biere de Queer release celebrates progress made toward equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community, there’s more to be done. An equal and inclusive working environment is still not guaranteed for LGBTQ+ people in the United States -- and that needs to change.

 

Passing the Equality Act would provide consistent and explicit non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people everywhere. To amplify voices from within the LGBTQ+ community, we’re delivering Biere de Queer to Members of Congress to advocate for the passage of this important legislation through personal stories from our coworkers, friends, and allies.

Read more below.

 

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Tell us why you support the Equality Act. We’ll put your story in front of lawmakers with the power to pass this critical bill.

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COMING OUT STORIES

  • Stories from

    our Coworkers

    New Belgium has been an advocate for LGBTQ+ communities for over 30 years, and we’re proud to be the first craft brewery recognized as one of the Best Places to Work for LGBTQ+ Equality. To honor National Coming Out Day, members of our Pride@NBB affinity group shared their experiences in coming out, why having an employer that supports all facets of their identities is important, and why they support the passing of the Equality Act.

Kelly (she/her)
Kelly (she/her)

It wasn’t until late college that I realized I was attracted to women, I dated boys all through high school and most of college. As soon as I figured that out, I was terrified to come out as gay. It took a lot of courage to tell my best friends, but when I did, they all replied, “Duh!” It felt good to have them not even skip a beat and tell me they knew before I did. Next up was the daunting task of telling my parents. I love my family, we were a tight knit group and would spend a ton of time cooking, traveling, and going to movies. I didn’t want to screw that up and was worried that they would have an extremely hard time with hearing that I was gay. One night an e-mail from a friend of mine inviting me to a queer night in Boston was accidentally forwarded to a lot of people in my family. I was mortified, and worried. It hadn’t gone to my parents, so I called everybody who it had been sent to and asked them not to tell. I flew out to visit and took my dad to the most distracting place in town. I told him, and he said he was blindsided but didn’t care. I had explained to him that I had seen a few of my friends with similar family dynamics get abandoned by their family for coming out and that I was scared. He said he was fine but that I would have to tell my mother before I left. I kept avoiding it until the last few minutes I was in town. Finally, we were driving together right before I had to leave for the airport, and I told her. She seemed a little stunned but in the end was fine. Both of my parents said that they didn’t want life to be harder for me, and that they didn’t want people being mean to me. I assured them I was fine, as I had been living as an out lesbian for years at that point.

Nowadays I am lucky enough to work at New Belgium where I absolutely don’t feel discriminated against and know that our company is a safe space for everybody. I also feel that the brewing industry has always welcomed queer culture and been a place where we can be our authentic selves. The Equality Act is an important piece of legislation because it will help assure that queer people are protected against discrimination and can live in a world where it isn’t terrifying to come out as the person you are. I experience what it’s like to live in a world where I am accepted for who I am at my place of employment and every LGBTQ+ should be able to experience the same.

Patrice (they/them)
Patrice (they/them)

I came into myself at work. The first person I ever uttered the words ‘I’m Gay’ to was to a friend and colleague. We were discussing something totally different and I blurted out, I’M GAY! My heart sank as we both paused for only a second, which felt like an eternity. She smiled at me and said, COOL and continued the conversation. I remember saying, “is that it?’ I was amazed that there was no probe into my life or a need to ask me a billion questions that I couldn’t even answer myself. My friend calmly and lovingly said COOL. That’s all that was needed.

I came out formally to my colleagues 10 years ago. As an OUT and PROUD person, I’m only 10 years open. Coming in to myself was hard, I knew who I was but I didn’t trust my colleagues with the capacity to hold my truth. I’m so happy I took a chance on myself and told someone who I truly was. My workplace knew my truth even before I told my immediate family. My workplace is an extension of my family, and without caring individuals that celebrated and supported me I wouldn’t be married to the love of my life and THRIVING. My story is only one, but there are many that have lost everything to being out at work. The Equality Act would provide more support so that the fear of being fired or discriminated against in the workplace would become obsolete. You have the power to ensure that reality. Sign the Equality Act, today!

Lucas (he/him)
Lucas (he/him)

As of National Coming Out Day 2021 I have been living my life as my true self for 8 years 5 months and 23 days… My husband and I came out to our families on the same day. We had been dating in secret for over a year and we were ready to stop living our lives in the shadows and be true to ourselves. The deal was that my husband would go first, then I would tell my family. We woke up that morning and decided it was a beautiful day to leave the closet. My husband came out to his folks and then I knew it was my time. With butterflies in my stomach, I drove in silence to my folks’ home. I parked and sat there for a good five minutes with my hand on the door handle just trying to work up the nerve get out and walk into the house.

I stepped out of my truck and walked towards my childhood home. In my head I was thinking that this could be the last time I was welcomed in my parent’s home. This could be the last time my parents would ever want to speak to me… I walked into the house to find my mom and dad at the kitchen table. Standing there in the doorway I talked with them for a few minutes and then I decided to take the plunge. “Mom Dad I have to tell you something. You know my friend Jon? He’s more than a friend, he’s my boyfriend and we’ve been together for over a year.” My parents’ faces dropped and went pale. They stared at me for what felt like an eternity. My Mom then broke the silence and said, “Are you happy?” and I said, “Yes I’m happier than ever, and feel even better now that I told you.” After some more discussion I walked out of my childhood home and stepped out into the light of day. Walking more upright as I felt the proverbial weight lifted off my shoulders that I had been carrying around for decades. Coming out of the closet wasn’t easy, but it was the best decision I ever made.

Stephanie (she/her)
Stephanie (she/her)

“Oh no…That is not good.” That was what went through my head the moment I realized that my feelings for a fellow female classmate were beyond friendship. I realized I was attracted to her, and my first feeling was fear...fear of what this meant. Could someone like boys and girls? I knew there were lesbians and gay men, but the term “bisexual” was nowhere in my vocabulary yet. From the local culture to national politics, being queer was not something the world embraced. So, I shoved that feeling down and pretended it wasn’t there. I hid who I really was and only allowed the parts of me that society expected to shine throughout high school and college. After graduating from college, I started a job in the beer industry as a front-line manager. I managed men, was mostly managed by men, and felt I had to fit into male expectations. At the same time, I was lucky enough to work for one of the first female brewmasters in company history. What an achievement for her and for all the women working for the company! But as the announcement of her promotion spread around the company, I heard whispers of “Well, you know she is a lesbian right?” among others. Hearing comments like this made my heart sink. She wasn’t queer, but because of her achievements she was assumed to be. Seeing this confirmed the same thought I had about being a female athlete most of my life…we are lesser women if we are not straight women, and if we are not straight women then we blemish the achievements of all women. As a woman who wanted to see women shine, I continued suppressing who I was, so that others could see my achievements in a male dominated workforce as achievements for all women. Achieve I did. I became an assistant brewmaster; then switched companies to run the whole brewing department! I continued to pretend that there was not a part of me that was different. I knew that once I acknowledged that part of myself, I wouldn’t be able to shove it away anymore, and I wasn’t ready.

I came out as bisexual less than 2 years ago. I came out after a year of working with a therapist to release the power of other’s expectations on my life and I realized that there was a huge part of myself that I was missing by hiding it away. Once I came out, I realized all the weight I had been carrying for 20 years. I felt free, I felt whole, and I felt like I was unstoppable. Since coming out, I have also come to realized that my achievements in life are not lesser because I am bisexual, if anything they are bigger and empowering for others. I look forward to a day when there is no “coming out” because everyone is accepted and there is not just one version of love. A day where someone’s rights aren’t restricted because of how they identify, who they love, or how they show up in the world. Currently there are 164 bills that are restricting transgender people with about half centered on the segregation of transgender youth. There are another 50-80 that segregate gay, lesbian, and queer people in employment, spousal benefits, housing, and a host of other discriminatory ways. The Equality Act is a start to stopping the discrimination and allowing people equality because of who they are.

Doug (he/him)
Doug (he/him)

Being asexual (ace), rather than gay, made for a unique life experience. Back in the 90's when I was finishing high school and going to college, nobody knew what asexuality was, so I spent so much of my life feeling like I don't fit in. Let's just say that the sex-ed of the day was lacking. A few years later, I met a friend who turned out to be asexual, and I looked things up online. Only then did my experiences start making sense. I was ace. Then came a few meetups with fellow aces, then going to Denver Pride and meeting the larger LGBTQIA community. For the first time, I felt I could just be me.

I'm so fortunate to work for New Belgium. They walk the walk when it comes to being inclusive, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or sexuality. I'm so thankful for the support and love I receive every day from all my wonderful coworkers. Congress needs to pass the Equality Act, so everyone who's gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual, trans, etc. can safely be their authentic selves. We in the LGBTQIA community need to be able to live our lives and discover ourselves without having to worry about discrimination and harassment. Figuring out sexuality is hard enough without having to live in fear.

Beer soon, but first

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