Announcing our 2023 Queer to Stay awardees!
The Human Rights Campaign and SHOWTIME® are excited to present the fourth year of "Queer to Stay: An LGBTQ+ Business Preservation Initiative", an effort that supports, uplifts and preserves small businesses that serve the LGBTQ+ community, particularly multiply-marginalized queer people.
The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, and SHOWTIME® are proud to announce the 25 recipients of the 2023 “Queer to Stay” initiative, which supports and uplifts small businesses that focus on LGBTQ+ people of color, women and the transgender community. Since its inception in 2020 during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, "Queer to Stay" has provided $750,000 in funding to 75 multiply-marginalized queer businesses from coast to coast.
While the COVID-19 National Emergency has ended, LGBTQ+-serving businesses are still facing financial challenges and are at risk of closures. LGBTQ+ bars, centers and businesses often serve as safe and affirming places for large portion of the community, especially for young queer and trans people and communities of color. At a time when LGBTQ+ businesses are working hard to stay open, they're also faced with fighting against a wave of hate like we've never seen before. Opponents of progress seek to challenge the very existence of LGBTQ+ people and the spaces that they occupy. That is why LGBTQ+-serving businesses are so important; they provide a space for queer folks to be their authentic selves and live their best lives— and they're not going anywhere. The Queer to Stay program aims to uplift these small businesses and provide them with the resources they need to continue making an impact in their communities— despite the aims of those who seek to silence us, we're here to stay.