DC Brau Brewing Company and The Washington Blade are excited to announce the Top 3 designs for a special can of Brau Pils to be released during this summer’s Pride celebration. This year’s release is extra special as the LGBT community celebrates 50 years since Stonewall, as well as the golden anniversary of The Washington Blade, the nation’s oldest LGBT newspaper.
Voting on the Top 3 designs will be open to the public through March 7, 2019. Approximately 1,200 cases of Brau Pils will be re-packaged as PRIDE PILS for distribution during PRIDE 2019 this June in Washington, D.C.
Finalist #1: Maggie Dougherty
This design is about celebrating 50 years of incredible progress, while acknowledging the inequality that still exists and recognizing the need to address it. When I was reading about Stonewall to get inspiration for this project, I learned about Marsha P. Johnson. Not only was Marsha beautiful and striking, but she was a badass. When people asked her gender, she would reply flippantly, “Pay it no mind.” She was a leader during Stonewall and worked with the Gay Liberation Front to improve conditions for LGBTQ citizens by ending homophobic legislation. She started Street Transvestite (now Transgender) Action Revolutionaries (STAR) which is still active today and helps homeless LGBTQ youth. She was active during the early 1980s when AIDS was ravishing the gay community, protesting to increase accessibility to new HIV/AIDS medication for all. She did it all.
As an African American transwoman, sex worker and drag queen in the 60s, 70s, 80s and early 90s, Marsha faced incredible discrimination, marginalization, sexism, violence and barriers to employment and mental health. Marsha, unfortunately, died mysteriously in 1992. Originally ruled a suicide, Marsha case has recently been re-open. The actual cause of death is still unknown.
What struck me deeply as I thought about Marsha, was how transgender people still face many of the same challenges and barriers today. And – horrifically – the same violence. In 2018, 26 transgender people were killed by violence. In 2019, there’s already been one reported death. According to HRC, “…fatal violence disproportionately affects transgender women of color, and that the intersections of racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia conspire to deprive them of employment, housing, healthcare and other necessities, barriers that make them vulnerable.”
This same sentence could have been written in Marsha’s time. It’s important to celebrate all that’s changed in the 50 years since Stonewall, but it’s also important to recognize what hasn’t and reprioritize that as we go into the next 50 years.
Finalist #2: Sarah Muse
The design for this Pride Pils 50th Anniversary celebration can is inspired by images of bouquets of various flowers, flags and tokens left at the Stonewall Inn in NYC and the beautiful flowers that adorn the archway and gardens at Stonewall National Monument across the street. Visitors from all over the world travel to these special places to remember and to honor those that started the modern fight for LGBTQ rights. The neon letters of the name are representative of the neon sign that glows brightly in the window of the Stonewall Inn. I imagine anyone who holds this celebration can to be remembering and honoring what happened at Stonewall in the summer of 69, and also taking and active part in the pride celebrations that continue, 50 years later.
Finalist #3: Wenny Dong
The jewel-encrusted PRIDE beer can pays tribute to resilience and strength under pressure, irreverent glamor, and the power of crafting one’s identity. Inspired by drag queens, club kids, and artists, the DIY design plays on shapes, colors, and volume—transforming a muted 2-dimentional background with bedazzled movement and vibrancy. Each gem is unique. The forms flow into, envelop, and even run up against another; they celebrate the LGBTQ community’s diversity, complexity, and ongoing dialogue. An eye-catching display and conversation piece, it embraces big personalities and hearts, as well as creative possibilities in the everyday.