Ferocity Coffee to host event celebrating trans, queer voices

Ferocity Coffee founder Violet Maldonado. (Photo from Maldonado’s Facebook)

ORLANDO | Ferocity Coffee will be hosting its second installment of “Gala of Ghouls,” an LGBTQ+ event at The Veranda in Thornton Park on Feb. 23, starting at 7 p.m.

The event is intended to foster a sense of community and help build a safe space for trans people and other LGBTQ+ folks in Orlando, says Ferocity founder Violet Maldonado.

There will be a variety of entertainment, featuring a mixer, drag, burlesque and fire performances, along with other surprises.

Outside of performances, there will also be plenty of food, drinks and music, says Maldonado, as well as a handful of photo ops and vendors offering merch, including exclusives from local designers.

Tickets to the event are available on the Gala of Ghouls website at $14 for a single-entry pass, $24 for entry with one guest and $44 for entry with three guests. Each pass includes access to two shows, vendors, optional participation in the mixer and a free photo op.

A sequel to the last Gala of Ghouls event that took place during the Halloween season, this event is Ferocity’s take on Valentines Day, says Maldonado, who got the idea to start organizing LGBTQ+ parties when she lost her job about a year ago. Like many trans people, Maldonado did not have a traditional support system to help her through this time. As a result, she started sharing her story online with the community of people she met at her former job working for a large coffee company in downtown Orlando. Doing so opened her up to support from a large online community that she was not aware of.

“Community morale and sense of empowerment was so low and with everything that has been going on it created a lot of difficulty for everybody,” Maldonado says. “My mission is to address that sense of loneliness, so they have a place to belong.”

Putting on these events has helped Maldonado to build her own growing queer community as well as one for everyone to be a part of.

“I saw a very big impact to my visibility when I worked in a very public space as a queer person,” Maldonado says.

Building this community is what Maldonado hopes will help others experience that same visibility and courage to be who they are.

Ferocity, which was launched last year by Maldonado, offers services such as program development, training and marketing/branding when it comes to creating “your dream coffee shop.” You can also sign up at Ferocity’s website for exclusive coffee recipes, event information, doorstep delivery and more.

“Our goal is to build the most diverse community of coffee lovers around the world and use coffee to empower them to create positive change and #befierce!,” the Ferocity website states.

Maldonado says that the overarching goal of Ferocity and the events it organizes is to continue growing the community and highlight queer and trans performers.

“The energy of Ferocity itself is kind of fighting against all the things that try to push you down and trying to embrace who you are.”

Gala of Ghouls will be at The Veranda in Thornton Park Feb. 23. For more information on the event and to learn more about Ferocity Coffee, visit FerocityCoffee.com.

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