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?
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 TampaBayGay.com, 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.
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.