Finding Queer-Friendly Third Space in a Cup of Coffee | Ridman’s Coffee
It Always Comes Back to Coffee, Ridman’s Coffee
There’s a new coffee shop on the North Side. Head West down Lawrence to Clark and you’ll stumble on new signage there on the Southwest side of the intersection. Ridman’s Coffee may be the new kids on the block but they certainly know what they’re doing. Beautifully yet simply designed space, Dark Matter coffee, vegan-friendly, and a whole mess of inclusivity. From the restrooms specifically designated for any and all genders to the well stocked changing table inside, this locally- and queer-owned coffee shop has every detail down pat to make sure everyone can enjoy their space.
A Third What?
With the goal of giving everyone a space to enjoy and feel at home, Ridman’s has created a much needed queer-friendly Third Space. The concept of the Third Space is having a spot where you feel comfortable and included outside of your first two social spaces, home and work. There are any number of studies on the importance of the third space, and these spaces include a vast number of establishments including public libraries, cafes, clubs, and more. Having a relaxing and inclusive third space can be so beneficial to not only the individual but to the community. It’s a space to meet others in your area, to relax, to meet, and to gather.
Depending on our life situations, work and/or home might not be safe spaces. Whether it’s coworkers, policies, problematic family members or roommates, or any other number of circumstances, not everyone is able to have a safe space in their First and Second spaces. By having a safe and truly inclusive queer-friendly Third Space, we give all members of our community a chance to be themselves. We can cultivate conversations, help each other, and accomplish amazing things when we offer these spaces.
The Magic of a Queer-Friendly Third Space
So when I discovered Ridman’s, my excitement couldn’t be contained! Yes, it comes off as “just a coffee shop” but having that space, I feel I have a space where I can go work without any worry of judgement. I can have conversations about my blog and the work surrounding it, and I won’t have eavesdropping glares from tables nearby. And so can everybody else! Ridman’s has created a community space that, even in only a few visits and in a few months open, already feels like a fixture in the community, one I can reasonably call a home away from home.
Why’s This Important?!
Wondering why inclusivity is so important to me? Watch my video from the 2017 Project for Awesome on GLSEN and why it’s important to have safe and affirming educational spaces for all. Then make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel for videos in the New Year!
Do you have any favorite Third spaces? Where are they? What is your favorite part?
Photos by Ihnasarima