Looking for a way to keep COMMUNITY going in this time of social distancing and shuttered community spaces?
The SF Bay Area Queer Nightlife Fund is RECRUITING for new steering committee members!
The QNF is a volunteer-led community organization providing resources and opportunities for queer nightlife workers displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Check out our mission,
To date we have raised nearly $300,000 and distributed almost 300 grants of direct aid for lifeline expenses for queer nightlife workers.
The QNF has established virtual community rituals such as the Quaran-Tea Dance, a platform for queer nightlife artists that also serves as a regular fundraiser.
The leadership team is expanding! We seek individuals passionate about queer nightlife in the SF Bay Area and those who want to help nightlife workers continue to thrive in this time of uncertainty. We especially seek those who have interest in social media marketing, grant writing, fundraising, and/or virtual event production.
Consistent with our mission, we especially encourage women, transgender, gender nonconforming, nonbinary, and all queer Black, Indigenous, and people of color to join our leadership team. We ask specific questions about gender identities, sexual identities, and race/ethnicity in an effort to fulfill our mission.
Apply here! We will consider applications on an ongoing basis.
Scensters, nightlife afficionados, El Rio patio-partiers- we want to hear from you. The Queer Nightlife Fund is kicking off a series of discussions by asking, “What makes it a party for you?”
Queer people usually find their community; we are typically not raised in it. Most of us probably remember our first time meeting other people like us at a community-based organization, a bar, a nightclub, or some other gathering. In a society that stigmatizes gender and sexual diversity, these opportunities for connection remind us that we are not alone, that we can make our own way, make friends and lovers, create our own culture.
How do we sustain this culture when we cannot convene in large groups? What is that you are seeking when you decide to attend a party? How can we replicate that within the confines that COVID-19 imposes?
The QNF is hosting a public forum to hear the diversity of perspectives from across queer communities. In keeping with our new mission, we aim to prioritize women, transgender, gender nonconforming, nonbinary, and all queer Black, Indigenous, and people of color. Everyone is welcome, and we strive for equity among the diverse voices within our community.
Facilitated by Honey Mahogany (The Stud) and Angel Garfold (SF Queer Nightlife Fund)
Our media sponsor is independent news + culture site 48Hills
The SF Bay Area Queer Nightlife Fund (QNF) was announced on March 17, just a few days after Phil Hammack gathered a group of community leaders to discuss how the recent closure of bars and clubs was going to impact queer nightlife, and how we could help workers in queer nightlife survive the shutdown financially. We’re so grateful for the generosity of our community for contributing more than a quarter million dollars since then. Individual contributions from community members have helped hundreds of workers in queer nightlife, including the 152 who just received grants as part of our second round of applicants.
So much has changed since then. What felt like a steady trajectory toward recovery and reopening has taken a turn, and the reopening has slowed way down. What we’ve learned about the disease tells us that traditional indoor nightclubs – dark, crowded, and sweaty – are not going to be coming back any time soon. At the same time, our country is going through a social justice reckoning, challenging people of privilege to acknowledge our position and take direct action toward equity for all. Black lives matter. Black trans lives matter.
The steering committee of the QNF recently gathered for a retreat. After months on Zoom, this was our first ever in-person meeting, held outdoors, with masks on. We reflected on ways we could continue to grow and be of service to our community, in light of the current climate. This led us to revise our purpose statement, which now reads:
“The purpose of this fund is to provide resources and opportunities that promote queer nightlife in the SF Bay Area during the COVID-19 pandemic. Recognizing the history of white supremacy and male cisgender privilege in queer communities, we aim to prioritize women, transgender, gender nonconforming, nonbinary, and all queer Black, Indigenous, and people of color.”
Our purpose is evolving on two fronts:
Who we are serving: the QNF will prioritize trans, GNC, enby folks as well as BIPOC. Black and brown artists and trans artists have made immense contributions to dance music and club culture, yet their white and cis counterparts often garner more fame and money. These groups face structural obstacles in our society every day, and we will strive to center them in the work that we do. As part of our commitment to prioritizing activism and education in solidarity with queer and trans people of color, we will continue to engage DJs, hosts, entertainers and collaborations that provide opportunities for all marginalized communities.
What we are providing: in working on the QNF project, we have not only managed to get money in the hands of people who need it, we have built a platform. Thousands of people have tuned in on Twitch or Zoom for our events. This has been an opportunity to showcase talented performers from across the nightlife community. While some artists have chosen to donate their services, paying artists a stipend for their participation in these events has been another way of getting money to workers in queer nightlife who are in need.
We are exploring ways to further develop this platform to serve the community, both to continue as an outlet for artists to perform as well as for our community members to connect with each other socially. We are brainstorming other types of events which can help keep us connected before the clubs open again. In the coming weeks, we plan to host a virtual forum on how we can continue to sustain community during the pandemic. We also plan to diversify our events by organizing educational and professional opportunities for queer nightlife workers displaced by the pandemic. For the moment, we are pausing on another round of grants so we can focus on these new offerings.
We remain firmly committed to the SF Bay Area queer nightlife community. We stand in solidarity with others who are fighting for justice for trans folk and BIPOC. We look forward to actively participating in the work that lies ahead. Let’s move forward together.
The SF Bay Area Queer Nightlife Fund (QNF) is proud to announce that we are now disbursing grants from our second round of applications.
Between May 8th and May 29, 2020, we received applications from 174 nightlife workers, of which 152 met our eligibility criteria, and were awarded nearly $116,000 in sum ($763.00, on average)
Applications were evaluated anonymously by an internal team of steering committee members and then underwent an auditing process to ensure integrity. Grant amounts were determined based on need, relative to available funds, and all recipients are currently being notified.
Disbursing our second round of grants marks another milestone for the QNF in our mission to provide emergency relief to the SF Bay Area’s queer nightlife workers to sustain them during this pandemic. However, it is clear that there will be an ongoing need for support for workers who are out of work as a result of this crisis.
With this week’s announcement that bars and restaurants in San Francisco will be unable to re-open to the public, it remains uncertain when queer nightlife will resume in the Bay and when workers will be able to safely return to employment.
Meeting the ongoing needs of our community will require strategic action in order to support our vital SF Bay Area queer nightlife institutions and workers. The QNF Steering Committee is currently reviewing options for our next steps to provide needed resources and relief to keep Bay Area queer nightlife alive through this crisis and into the future.
At this point, the QNF has raised over $270,000, and we have established new community rituals to sustain our community during this crisis, including our online Quaran-Tea Dance. Our commitment to organizing events and serving our community remains strong, and we look forward to seeing you at future QNF events.
We wish you health and safety during this time.
The SF Bay Area Queer Nightlife Fund Steering Committee
Grant applications are currently under review by the SF QNF Grant Committee, who anticipate contacting applicants regarding their application status soon.
Because of prolonged un(der)employment, applicants are requesting more assistance in this round of applications. Individual applicants have requested $1,163, on average—higher than the average request in our first round of applications.
Among the current grant applicants:
97.7% rent their home
43.7% do not have health insurance
21.3% receive food assistance
75.9% have applied for unemployment pay
The second SF Queer Nightlife Fund grant application period opened on May 8th, 2020. Applications were accepted until May 29th, 2020.
In our new fundraising cycle for our second round of grants, the QNF has raised over $61,000 from 803 grassroots donations, an average donation of $76.91.
This is less than one-third of the need of our applicant pool.
The need for relief for Bay Area queer nightlife workers is great: The SF Queer Nightlife Fund needs sustained community support to raise enough to provide relief for shelter, food, utilities, and medical necessities for those who work in queer nightlife.
Those with the ability to do so can make a one-time donation or sign up to make a weekly contribution to the QNF to help sustain those who make the magic of queer nightlife happen here in the Bay.
For our twelfth installment, the SF Bay Area Queer Nightlife Fund joins forces with Reunion SF, a throwback hip hop day party for Black Queer and Trans people based out of Jolene’s Bar.
Each week at Quaran-Tea, we feature great music selected by talented DJ’s, talk about the Fund, and encourage donations. In light of the nationwide protests against police violence in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, this week we will also leverage our platform to encourage our community to take direct action, and also share information about how to do so.
We aim to provide an afternoon of entertainment and community, while remaining connected to the racial justice work that is happening today.
The SF Bay Area Leather Alliance is a 100% volunteer 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The Leather Alliance was formed in 2008. The Leather Alliance’s membership and board includes numerous clubs, groups and individuals within the leather, fetish, kink, gear and motorcycling communities located in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Leather Alliance also manages the Bay Area Leather Lifeline (https://ball.leatheralliance.org/), another COVID-19 mutual-aid relief grant available to Bay Area residents.
The Leather Alliance has offered to sponsor the San Francisco Bay Area Queer Nightlife Fund’s mutual-aid work as a nonprofit fiscally sponsored project of its organization. To avail this fiscal sponsorship to the SF QNF, the Leather Alliance will receive a seven percent (7%) fee from all funds donated to the project to cover costs and fees related to administering the project.
The San Francisco Bay Area Queer Nightlife Fund is grateful for the support it has received from many local and state leaders, particularly the incredible assistance provided by the SF QNF’s prior fiscal sponsor, the Q Foundation and its Executive Director Brian Basinger. The Q Foundation’s operational and logistical support has catalyzed the SF QNF’s mission, facilitating major strides in its emergency relief work for struggling LGBTQ nightlife workers in the Bay
The new fiscal sponsorship and partnership between the Leather Alliance will allow the SF Queer Nightlife Fund will allow the SF QNF to continue operations seamlessly, create synergy with similar mutual-aid efforts, and effectively continue fundraising for its second round of QNF grants, which were due May 29, at 11:59:59 PM PT.
QNF has been producing Quaran-Tea dance on Sunday afternoons since shelter in place began in late march. A chance to feature a broad range of local DJ talent, raise money for the Queer Nightlife Fund, and build community. We are thrilled to present a taste of our Quaran-Tea event as part of this Pride Kickoff series.
$20.00 suggested donation, no one turned away for lack of funds.
Today, May 22nd is Harvey Milk Day. Today we celebrate what would have been Harvey’s 90th birthday. More importantly, we celebrate what Harvey stood for. We celebrate our out, proud, and inclusive queer community. We celebrate our achievements to be recognized in society. We celebrate our unity and the strength and inspiration we continue to have, even as we cannot gather as a collective.
Many know Harvey for becoming the first openly gay person elected to office in California at a time when queer people were demonized. As a community leader, Harvey pushed for us all to come out—to be visible to the world. He reasoned that as more and more of us were authentic about our gender and sexual identities to our families, cultural attitudes would have to change. History has proven him right.
Harvey was committed to inclusivity within the broader queer community. He was committed to social justice for all marginalized groups. He inspired us to see ourselves as connected in the larger quest for justice and to acknowledge diversity within our own community.
The success of the movement in which Harvey was a leader was made possible through our community’s ability to come together—to gather in queer spaces, to create neighborhoods where we could all feel safe as we express our gender and sexualities authentically.
The San Francisco Bay Area is home to a thriving queer nightlife scene, which was enabled in no small part by Harvey’s leadership and that of others of his generation who brought queer nightlife out of the shadows. The SF Bay Area Queer Nightlife Fund is working to ensure that this nightlife culture can resume as restrictions are lifted so that queer people are able to live authentically and socialize in safe spaces.
This event comes at a time in which our ability to gather physically is limited. But this time, like Harvey’s time, is a passing one. And today we honor Harvey’s legacy by coming together in a way he never would have dreamt possible. Today we gather as one community, united in our commitment to living our queer lives fully, to being recognized and represented in our society, and acknowledging the diversity within our community that shapes our unique experiences.
Tonight, we join together online as a Bay Area, and worldwide, queer family to celebrate our lost brother and the incredible contributions he made to our City and to LGBTQ+ liberation around the world. We hope you can join us:
Most importantly, we join together to remember the hope he gave us. The LGBTQ+ community will not be driven out of San Franciso by discrimination, gentrification, or (a second) disease. We will adapt, we will fight back, and we will survive. Together.
Even while we shelter in place in our homes, unable to range widely, the LGBTQ+ community knows whose streets these are: our streets. This is the town that Harvey built: our town.