Human Rights Campaign and SHOWTIME® Announce The 2023 QUEER TO STAY Small-Business Funding Recipients

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, and SHOWTIME recently announced this year’s 25 recipients of “Queer to Stay: An LGBTQ+ Business Preservation Initiative.” Supporting and uplifting small businesses that focus on LGBTQ+ people of color, women and the transgender community, “Queer to Stay” ensures that LGBTQ+ businesses can keep their doors open and serve their communities.

In June 2020, the “Queer to Stay” initiative launched its inaugural awards to 10 LGBTQ+ small businesses across the country and addressed the financial hardships faced during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Three years later, LGBTQ+ small businesses still are navigating the pandemic’s aftermath while also combatting a rise in anti-LGBTQ+ extremism, hateful rhetoric and targeted attacks that threaten the livelihood of business owners and the existence of safe spaces for LGBTQ+ people. HRC and SHOWTIME are supporting 25 businesses this year reaching 19 states.

“Welcoming, safe spaces are at the heart of local communities—for LGBTQ+ people, these spaces are often havens for connection. As LGBTQ+ Americans navigate a national state of emergency, LGBTQ+ owned businesses are confronting extremists who are trying to threaten our lives and livelihoods, push us out of our communities and force us back into the closet,” said Human Rights Campaign President Kelley Robinson. “Through this program, we’re investing in the futures of local LGBTQ+ business owners, employees and their customers. We’re fighting back against anti-LGBTQ+ radicals and solidifying our place in cities across the country. We’re so excited to partner with SHOWTIME once again to support LGBTQ+ employees and business owners as they continue to create inclusive spaces and brighten their communities.”

“We care deeply about empowering all voices within the LGBTQ+ community and are proud to continue investing in LGBTQ+ businesses in partnership with HRC for the fourth year,” said Puja Vohra EVP, Consumer Marketing, Paramount+ and Showtime. “In addition to financially supporting a diverse mix of LGBTQ+ establishments across the nation – including a clinic, restaurants, bars and shops – we’re expanding access to resources to help sustain their necessary footprints and broaden their impact.”

This year’s awardees of “Queer to Stay: An LGBTQ+ Business Preservation Initiative” include the following:

Alabama Extra Mile (Tuscaloosa, AL), Amaryllis Counseling (Greenville, SC), Anchor Health (Stamford, CT), Blaque/OUT Magazine (St. Petersburg, FL), dom+bomb (Spokane, WA), The Gender Doula (Los Angeles, CA), Jonathan Carver Moore (San Francisco, CA), Kweens Klub (San Juan, PR), The Lipstick Lounge (Nashville, TN), Manny’s (San Francisco, CA), The Space Salon (Fort Wayne, IN), Outbox (Brooklyn, NY), Pride Health Clinic (Omaha, NE), Prismatic Speech Services (Greensboro, NC), Queers Remodel PDX (Portland, OR), South Press (Knoxville, TN), Southern Utah Drag Stars (Hurricane, UT), Spill the Tea Cafe (Honolulu, HI), Stories Like Me (Pittsburgh, PA), Sugarwitch (St. Louis, MO), Sum of Us Festival (San Francisco, CA), Sway (Little Rock, AR), TenOrChops Entertainment (Ferris, TX), Water Bear Bar (Boise, ID) and Wunderbar (Syracuse, NY).

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