We spent a crisp spring morning with Myles and Lily from Queer Move. A local Naarm moving company started with a plan to create a safe service for queer people. What began as two people and an Iced Vovo pink van is quickly becoming a community sensation.
So, what is Queer Move?
We are a small moving company located in Melbourne. We came about as a way to create a safe space for queer workers in what is quite a hetero field. Essentially the world is implicitly hetero so we have created an explicitly queer space that we can invite people into.
When and why did you start Queer Move?
We started Queer Move around March 2019. Myself (Myles) and Camel worked together at the same moving company and decided to post in Queer Housing Melbourne (a Facebook group) and do some extra weekend work. It kinda snowballed and turned into a business. Wow we have two trucks and about eight employees.
Tell us about some of your team members, what’s the vibe like at work?
We're very serious and have never made a joke. Nah. We love to have fun and make each other laugh. We're all our own kind of strange. The other day when I was pulling around from a laneway to Sydney Road, one of the new hires, Lachlan, was waiting on saving the spot. I came round the corner and they were standing on Sydney Road, completely in their own world. No music playing, just dancing. Vibing.
Tell us about some of your clients, what kind of jobs are your favourite jobs?
We do a lot of little sharehouse moves just moving a bedroom to another bedroom. It's really fun and you get to meet really interesting people. Occasionally though we get to move someone out to a dream home in the country. A few really stand out, and I just want to show every young lil baby queer that hey, you can have big dreams and totally make it and find your own version of perfect. I'm not personally trans but the majority of our staff are and there have been a few moments where I have seen trans customers' stress levels just instantly drop when they see another trans person working for them. Oh and big tippers.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Honestly, I never had a consistent thing that I stuck with for when I grew up. That being said, I did really like being the strong one so in a way I guess I wanted to be strong when I grew up. Mission accomplished. I can pick up a fridge by myself.
What’s something that you and your team are learning/struggling with?nailing right now in your work?
We're always learning how to run a business. When I started, I wanted it to operate as a co-op. I’m not really smart enough to know how to do that. So right now everyone just gets paid for the hours they work and any money the business makes just goes back into it. it's always a bit of a struggle to divide responsibility and offer opportunities without feeling like you're letting go of too much control. Right now we are nailing it. We've just bought a new truck and brought on a few new staff that are now trained and running their own jobs. I have got to see a really great natural progression of some older staff taking on more. It really feels like we're setting up the framework for mutual support among our community.
What has been hard about doing what you do?
Lifting heavy things up and down stairs. The best and worst part of our job is that it's just hard work.
What do you want to see more of in the spaces you work?
My instinct is to say better loading zones at apartments in hope street, but there is alot i would like to see change. The simple fact is it's much easier to carve out your own space than try to change the existing space. As of right now the spaces we work in are spaces we've made. you cant look at me weird for being visibly queer, im driving a big pink truck that says queer on the side what did you expect? You cant be queerphobic you hired queer move. we have our own little filter on the world that says hey if this is an issue, do not contact us.
If little-you could see you now, what would they think?
Damn dude those tatties are sick and you're strong as hell, we really made it. Little me is very superficial.
Who or what inspired you growing up? And who inspires you now?
I got into Russian existential literature as my edgy teenager phase, specifically Dostoyevsky, which kinda led me to Kropotkin and anarchist mutual aid philosophies and that's essentially why I'm very boring at parties and love run on sentences. That really I guess inspires my approach to business and how I think the world should be run. Right now I'm inspired by mostly the people I meet when I'm working. you get quite an intimate glimpse into someone's life at what are usually quite big points of change.
What would be your advice to someone wanting to launch their own business?
Go for it! If you can do it, do it. There's never a good time. There's always a reason not to and a reason to wait but you should just go for it.
Queer Move works on the unceded land of the Wadawurrung and the Dja Dja Wurrung Peoples of the Kulin Nation.