Heart-Tea Talks

Type of work
Brand concept, creative direction, illustration,
print & digital application

*Developed during internship at Works of Heart studios 
Historically, conversations around sexual orientation, gender identity, and LGBTQ+ education have often been stigmatized. In today's socio-political climate, it is increasingly important to have these conversations, especially in the Philippines where the country's conservative and strong religious beliefs can create unsafe spaces for the queer community.
Working with 2 other Filipinx designers, Mar Leaño and Tina Valera, we designed Heart-Tea Talks, a kit containing an assortment of three tea flavors accompanied by a set of questions and prompts about queer-related topics. Through this project, we wanted to create more opportunities for people of different backgrounds to discuss the significance of sexuality and gender identity.
By integrating these types of conversations into the daily routine of having a cup of tea, we hope to encourage people to evaluate different queer-related topics in a more casual setting. As a result, this can lessen the pressure to initiate these types of conversations and create opportunities for people to find shared experiences and struggles across their differences.
This subject is equally relevant for non-queer allies because it has the potential to create more inclusive and equitable futures that break down heteronormative standards and practices across cultures. 
a guide to more flavorful conversations
The questions and prompts included in this kit are designed to encourage users to gradually deepen their conversations over time. While users begin steeping their tea in level 1, they can explore ice-breaker questions that allow them to get to know other players better. After their tea is steeped, they can begin enjoying level 2 by sipping and sharing their deeper thoughts and experiences. Finally, after a fruitful conversation and warm cup of tea, users can savor their conversation in level 3 by taking some time to reflect on their discussions.  
charming yet thought-provoking
Similar to the feeling you get when you drink a warm cup of tea, the language we used evokes a sense of warmth and invitation, making the topic of gender and sexual identity more approachable and intriguing. We were also very intentional in the choice of questions and prompts to engage our users in thought-provoking conversations in the safety and comfort of their own homes.
It is especially relevant to recognize the significance of language and labels when others may not realize that certain language can be used as micro-aggressions or be an act of erasure of queer identities and experiences.
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