Bay Area nightlife begins a slow reopen, but some queer nightlife workers are still struggling

The San Francisco Bay Area and its queer nightlife industry are slowly beginning to emerge from the worst of the pandemic. There is light at the end of the tunnel. The Bay Area and our country overall are rolling out vaccines at a brisk pace.

As of the writing of this post, 42% of San Franciscans over the age of 16 are fully vaccinated. 65% have received at least their first shot. Other Bay Area counties are reporting similar optimistic statistics.

Entering this new phase of the pandemic means that queer nightlife venues, bars, producers, entertainers, and workers are slowly returning the Bay Area to its world-renonwed queer nightlife glory. While many of those efforts remain outdoors for now, QNF is hopeful that as vaccination levels continue to rise, full nightlife reopening will be possible sooner than later.

In the meantime, QNF strongly encourages everyone to get vaccinated. Visit the California Department of Public Health site for information about the vaccines and how you can book an appointment.

However, we’re not out of the pandemic woods yet. We all need to keep following the recommended state and city guidelines. We need to remain vigilant. We need to take care of each other. Even on this tail end of the pandemic, many of our local workers in queer nightlife still need help. Many are still not working, or are underemployed until their places of employment fully reopen.

In QNF’s latest round of grants—our seventh—we awarded 34 nightlife workers support of $15,950. This brings the total dollar amount of the 420 grants we have awarded throughout the pandemic to $316,151.

In addition to these direct support grants, QNF has also paid $9,349 to additional event staff and provided community engagement by hosting 32 streaming events and booking 87 DJs along with numerous hosts, ASL interpreters, and group facilitators, resulting in 112 streaming hours of content on Twitch (52,000 live views).

We would like to thank everyone who has donated or otherwise worked to make QNF’s support for queer nightlife workers possible.

QNF believes the dawn of a new era for Bay Area queer nightlife is on the horizon, but we’re not quite there yet. So, we plan to do another grant award round and could use donations since our coffers have been dwindling in recent months amid a challenging time for fundraising.

Please donate if you can by visiting our website’s donation page or donating through Venmo to @sfqnf.

QNF is looking forward to everyone being out in the clubs dancing, socializing, entertaining, and communing with our fellow queer nightlifers. We’re almost there.

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