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

by Aneesha Pappy

WASHINGTON—Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, and SHOWTIME 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).

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

Paramount+, a direct-to-consumer digital subscription video on-demand and live streaming service, combines live sports, breaking news and A Mountain of Entertainment™. The streaming service features an expansive library of original series, hit shows and popular movies across every genre from world-renowned brands and production studios, including BET, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures and the Smithsonian Channel. Paramount+ with SHOWTIME®, the service's cornerstone plan, is also home to SHOWTIME® content including scripted hits, critically acclaimed nonfiction projects, SHOWTIME SPORTS® (including industry-leading SHOWTIME Boxing®) and films. This premium plan includes unmatched events and sports programming through the local live CBS stream, including golf to basketball and more. All Paramount+ subscribers have streaming access to CBS News Network for 24/7 news and CBS Sports HQ for sports news and analysis.

For more information about Paramount+, please visit and follow @ParamountPlus on social platform.

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