After securing $21K in its first-ever funding round, Deluxe Queer intends to expand its SF-focused dinner series and catering services to new heights.
Like how hyperlocal news and opinionated takes on San Francisco’s underbelly play organizing roles in our coverage, Underscore_SF also oscillates around the brand’s innate queerness. (The founder and editor-in-chief — me! — is a queer-identifying biped, after all.) And we’ve been immeasurably fortunate to watch Deluxe Queer — an SF-based dinner series founded on the idea of connecting members of the LGBQIA+ community in more intimate, less sensory-bombarding places (like, say, a nightclub) over multi-course measles — grow and thrive.
(I had the chance to attend the brand’s pilot dinner during Pride Month last year; I sat at the official launch of the gastronomic venture; I’ve been lucky enough to call the founders dear friends of mine, who I hold close to my heart.)
Alas, in the current capitalistic climate we all find ourselves occupying, money — well, capital, really — speaks volumes. It creates room for growth; room for mistakes; and both room and time to find their footing. Historically… that necessary capital has always been gatekept from BIPOC and LGTBQIA+ founders, whose business models are predicated on servicing their communities.
But for Deluxe Queer, an initial round of funding proved successful when it managed to raise $11K in individual contributions — donations that were then matched, dollar for dollar, by another supporter who wished to stay anonymous.
“We are beside ourselves, my lovely Queers,” reads part of an announcement authored by the collective. “Thanks to all of your love and support, especially as we made the last big push, we zoomed past our goals and raised $11K; and with a match, that puts us at $21K, going past BOTH of our stretch goals!”
Sean Ang, one of the three co-founders of Deluxe Queer, noted that this fundraising from the queer community — “and loved ones” — exists as a prominent reminder about how encouraging, supportive, and kind human beings can, in fact, be in this current day and age.
“The most heartwarming contributions came from teachers and family friends who we haven’t kept in touch with that believe in our dream and mission,” Ang tells Underscore. “As queer and especially trans identities are under more scrutiny and violence, having full-hearted support for us to build and enrich community gives the bravery to dream big.”
With this injection of funding, Deluxe Queer will expand its monthly dinner series and build up its catering presence in San Francisco. (These funds will go toward supporting everything from food costs to labor, rental fees for spaces to branding and marketing expenses, etc.; up until this point, the only revenue stream has come from ticket sales to cover the above.)
As for what’s in the pipeline, atm? Millay, the group’s sake and wine partner, will be hosting a Seafood and Sake in tandem with Deluxe Queer on May 21st; more details are coming, and there will be no need to secure a ticket, beforehand; the entire menu will be a la care — just bring your warm, human body to the yet-released address. A pre-Pride party is also in the works, which will fall on June 21st at Lobby Bar; tickets for that event will go on sale very soon.
In a time rife with anti-LGBTQIA+ legislation and narratives spilling into the cultural zeitgeist, it’s refreshing to see an unapologetically queer, San Francisco-based business catapult onto the scene.
To keep up to date with Deluxe Queer’s future event pop-up events, follow them on Instagram and TikTok; Deluxe Queer recently launched a dedicated website (deluxequeer.com), and they have a sign-up page that interested parties can subscribe to, here.