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February 2020

This month's SUPPORT OUR LOCAL COMMUNITY, HERE IS WHY. Ask yourself: When the last time you went out of your way to find a local LGBTQ+/Ally business?
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Ask yourself: When the last time you went out of your way to find a local LGBTQ+/Ally business?
(February 2020)

Ask yourself: When the last time you went out of your way to find a local LGBTQ+/Ally business? Do you just venture out to a local LGBTQ+/Ally business you have NOT been to? We all have our favorites, but maybe we should try something new. We need to support OUR Community now more than ever. The internet and online media has helped our community grow to monumental proportions, but I fear we are sort of losing at this game too.

I remember over 18 years ago when I created Tampa Bay Gay, there were a few state wide LGBT print publications at select gay clubs and bars. People took some when leaving but mostly to browse the pictures; some locations even had copies of the Alternative YP. At that time those publication were the only way to find out about LGBTQ+ business, events, and our Community Allies. If you were a small business the costs for these ads were unsustainably high (still to this day). I stated Tampa Bay Gay so all sizes of businesses could afford to market to our community.

Small business is the back bone of the United States and within that is a smaller group dedicated to LGBTQ+ consumers. Those businesses show inclusiveness 100% of the time. Many of these LGBTQ+ Owners and Allies have been supporting our local community for years.

Times are changing and if you have not noticed; it appears LGBTQ+ people and families are slightly more "Mainstream" now some might say. However, in the background a trend seems to be forming and it is getting louder; discrimination and hate voiced against our LGBTQ+ community, now in the name of "Religious Freedoms".

The question: How do we as a community combat that in a positive and forward movement? Often every problem has multiple solutions; here is my solution to this problem. Get back to the roots of our community, supporting "US" as an LGBTQ+ whole and the businesses that stand up for "US". Just be aware of Damage Control publicity stunts and companies that are all the sudden supportive of one LGBTQ+ event, just to say they are inclusive.

I have recently seen the closure of local LGBTQ+ restaurants, bars, resorts, and even a local radio/internet show. If these businesses close we may have to go "back in the closet" to get what we need. It is time to clear this fog that has us taking things for granted.

All of these local small businesses deserve a shot. I am not saying give a FREE Pass to these establishments just because they are LGBTQ+/Ally business. If something is SUB-PAR you should let them know. I am simply saying, be supporting and keep the money in the community. For example, why continue to support a bakery that discriminates when you can find one that is supportive no matter whom you are.

In closing, SUPPORT OUR LOCAL LGBTQ+ & ALLY businesses. Share your experiences (everyone loves and Instagram post), use Local LGBTQ+/Ally Directories (selfish plug) like, even go to events that are supported and sponsored by some of these businesses. Consider making it a point to support one new local business each month and share those experiences. If we do not support our local LGBTQ+ businesses, they will eventually close the doors and some of these have built our LGBTQ+ Community.

Starting March 2020, Tampa Bay Gay will be starting a BUSINESS HIGHLIGHT section; we will devote this to our Community Supporting Advertisers. We will include a Q&A so you can get to know them a little better and what they have to offer.

-Dave Borman
Editor, Tampa Bay Gay

I hope that you enjoyed this month's From the Editor. Please send your questions and comments on the website and any topic you may like. Please send me some feedback. Tell us what you think; it does not have to be anything to do with this topic. I might even reply to your email in the next From the Editor. Thanks for taking the time out to read what I have to say.

These are my opinions and do not reflect that of Tampa Bay Gay, anyone specific, or any business listed on Tampa Bay Gay


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