Human Rights Campaign launches small business initiative to support LGBTQ+ community


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  • The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and SHOWTIME have launched a $250,000 fund to support LGBTQ+ eligible small businesses, called “Queer to Stay”.

Small businesses serving the LGBTQ+ community are getting a financial boost as the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) launched its ‘Queer to Stay’ initiative for the third year in a row, just in time for Pride Month.

HRC on Friday announced the launch of “Queer to Stay,” an initiative for LGBTQ+ small businesses in partnership with SHOWTIME. The effort aims to uplift and preserve small businesses that not only serve the LGBTQ+ community, but are owned or empowered by LGBTQ+ people of color, women, and the transgender community.

This year, the initiative has expanded its funding pool to $250,000 which will be distributed among at least 25 small businesses.

“Creating and cultivating spaces for the LGBTQ+ community demands of us all and this ongoing partnership with SHOWTIME is a three-time example of a company putting rubber on the road to uplift the LGBTQ+ community during these trying times,” said Joni Madison. , HRC. interim president.

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The HRC will select companies based on the communities they serve and the impact of COVID-19 on them, with applications being accepted until August 31.

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, many LGBTQ+ businesses have faced severe financial hardship, and many are at risk of closing permanently. In a 2021 report, the HRC found that 22% of LGBTQ adults and 24% of LGBTQ adults of color were unemployed, a seven point increase since the November 2020 election.

Analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) also found that LGBT adults faced higher job loss rates than non-LGBT adults during the COVID-era job loss.

Other initiatives are taking place across the country in honor of Pride Month, including a movement of over 100 LGBTQ+ influencers, content creators and artists who have partnered with Invisible Narratives to celebrate the first-ever national event.” Pride Eve”.

Using a live broadcast, creators from across the country shared their stories about what Pride means to them. It premiered on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube on May 30 on Tuesday to count down in unison until midnight on June 1 to commemorate the official start of Pride Month.

President Joe Biden also recognized June as Pride Month and specifically addressed recent attacks on the LGBTQI+ community.

“Members of the LGBTQI+ community — particularly people of color and trans people — continue to face discrimination and cruel and persistent efforts to undermine their human rights,” Biden said.

This refers to the onslaught of legislation targeting LGBTQ+ people in state legislatures across the country. In 2022 alone, 17 bills that discriminate against LGBTQ+ people were signed into law in 10 states.

However, some are trying to protect LGBTQ+ people in the United States, such as the Hawaii legislature which passed a bill prohibiting health insurance companies from discriminating against transgender and non-binary people seeking treatment or procedures. of gender affirmation.

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