The Balance Sheet: May 21, 2023

The Balance Sheet: May 21, 2023

Exciting news: I just hired my first Queerency summer intern! Her name is Haley and she's awesome. You can read more about her in the "Assets" section below.

I'm also thrilled to announce a new partnership with ADP! They've launched a new program to support LGBTQ-owned small businesses and to provide them with Fortune 500-level payroll, HR, tax services, and more on a budget. I signed up for the program myself to streamline the hiring/onboarding/payroll process for Haley, and I already love it.

You can learn more by booking a call with Erica Schmadeke at ADP. She's a gay woman herself and has been so helpful! Read more about her below, and when you sign up, be sure to put "Queerency referral" in the Comments field so that you get a lifetime discount and some other perks.

And there's still time to vote for me for the Audience Choice Award in the Next Challenge for Journalism & Media! If I win, I'll use the $10K grant to grow the Queerency newsroom by hiring more LGBTQ+ business journalists and content creators. I'm an underdog in this competition, so every vote counts and is greatly appreciated!

Have a great week,


Top Line

Stories With Main Character Energy

Erica at ADP is Here to Help Fellow LGBTQ Folks Succeed in Business

I just hired my first hourly employee (shoutout to my intern Haley!), so there were a lot of things I didn't know that I'd need until I needed them. From onboarding and HR to labor law compliance, there are so many moving parts and so much paperwork!

Serendipitously, within days of me beginning the intern interview process, Erica Schmadeke at ADP reached out to me about a new program they've launched to support small LGBTQ-owned businesses and other minority-owned companies. A gay woman herself, she understands the unique challenges that LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs face when it comes to launching, running, and growing our businesses.

The initial idea was for me to partner with ADP to just help spread the word about this program, but since I was actually in need of their services, I decided to sign up for ADP myself. It's already been a game-changer for my business.

ADP services:

  • Automated my hiring and onboarding process for my new intern and contract employees
  • Enables employees to track hours and submit timesheets
  • Takes care of my tax paperwork
  • Provides consumer discounts for me and my employees at to all sorts of businesses
  • and much more!

It's like getting Fortune 500-level services on a small business budget. I was pleasantly surprised at how affordable it is. I pay less for ADP per month than I do for car insurance!

For Erica, the mission behind this program is personal. "My goal is to fill the very real gap that currently exists for LGBTQ+ and minority owned businesses in our country," she said.

"Being a gay woman, I have seen these gaps firsthand. I am striving to provide LGBTQ+ leaders with the resources, benefits, and education it takes to run a successful business in today’s ever-changing environment. ADP and I want to help put LGBTQ-owned businesses on an even playing field to achieve even greater heights."

BOOK A CALL with Erica to learn more and to receive a complementary HR screening. Be sure to mention "Queerency Referral" in the Comments field so that you get a lifetime discount and some other perks.

Disclaimer: Queerency may receive a commission if you sign up for ADP

Before Bud Light, Gays Boycotted Coors Beer

The 20th century witnessed numerous significant milestones in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights. One event that stands out is the Coors Strike, a series of boycotts and strike actions against the Coors Brewing Company that unfolded in the late 1970s and early 1980s. This boycott, led by LGBTQ+ activists like Harvey Milk, shed light on the discriminatory practices of the Coors Brewing Company and played a crucial role in galvanizing the gay community and its allies in the pursuit of equality.

Partnering with th Teamsters and other labor unions, LGBTQ activists helped lead one of the most successful boycotts in history.

Read more at Queerency

25 LGBTQ-owned products to shop from the 2023 Target Pride Collection

Every year when Target’s pride collection comes out, the internet explodes. Some people criticize it, some people love it. This year, there’s a little bit of both. It feels kind of icky to shop for LGBTQ+ merchandise from a major retailer when you could just go to a small queer-owned business. But this year, Target is featuring products made by members of the LGBTQ+ community.

So, if you want to shop the Target Pride collection and keep a clear conscience, we’ve rounded up a few select items made by members of the queer community. You’ll see items from designers like Anjellica Colliard and Humberto Cruz and businesses like TomboyX, FLAVNT, The PHLUID Project, Ash & Chess, and more.

Continue reading at Reviewed

Bud Light maker stripped of LGBTQ+ rating for caving to Dylan Mulvaney backlash

The nation's largest LGBTQ advocacy group is taking action against Anheuser-Busch over its handling of the conservative backlash to transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney, accusing the multinational beer company of caving to political pressure.

In a May 9 letter shared exclusively with USA TODAY, the Human Rights Campaign informed the Bud Light maker that it has suspended its Corporate Equality Index score – a tool that scores companies on their policies for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer employees.

Continue reading at USA Today

After their Pride Night reversal, the Dodgers face a new backlash

Several prominent LGBTQ+ groups will not participate in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ annual Pride Night after the organization announced Wednesday that it would no longer honor an advocacy group with a community service award.

The decision, which came after outcry from the Catholic League and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), inspired a more widespread backlash in defense of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, whose members often dress in brightly colored habits and call themselves “a leading edge Order of queer and trans nuns.”

Continue reading at The Washington Post


Queer-Owned and -Allied Businesses In the News

Wesley Smoot’s “Unleashed LGBTQ” – The First Festival of its Kind (September 22-24th, 2023) – Splash Magazines
Splash Magazines Worldwide is your destination for in-depth culture coverage including theatre, opera, classical music, jazz, dance and the arts; travel and leisure reviews; restaurant reviews; lifestyle subjects; celebrity interviews; fashion advice; environmentally conscious living; gift-giving…
51 Steamy Selfies from The Little Gay Pub, D.C.’s Hottest New LGBTQ+ Spot
Everyone is flocking to this new establishment to go to the bathroom for a selfie.
What Happened To LA’s Hot Donna’s Clubhouse? In LGBTQ+ Spaces, A Tale Of Dreams, Ghosting And Change
Its official ending shocked its supporters. What happened to all the money raised? And what’s next for inclusive spaces in L.A.? We finally have some answers.
Celebrity Chef Tiffani Faison on her businesses, restaurant culture, and preserving civil rights
Celebrity Chef Tiffani Faison joins us for our monthly check-in where we hear about how her new restaurant is doing, what she thinks about current talks about restaurant culture, and her new puppy.
Push seeks to raise money to open SC’s first queer bookstore in Columbia despite opposition
Money is being solicited on crowdfunding website Kickstarter to open Queer Haven Books, which would be the only independent LGBTQ bookstore in South Carolina.
This Milwaukee Woman Has Made It Her Job to Help You Take Care Of You
Being a queer woman of color with a self-care business on the southside of Milwaukee has been a struggle for 25-year-old Amira White.
Penguin Random House and Florida parents sue school district over book bans
The publishing house, five of its authors, parents and an advocacy group allege that removing the books discussing race and LGBTQ people violates the First Amendment.
Starbucks affirms LGBTQ+ support amid backlash over pro-trans India ad
Starbucks has affirmed its support for the LGBTQ+ community amid calls for a boycott over a recent ad for its India market that featured a trans model. Released on May 10, the 2-minute commercial marks the debut of a new campaign called #ItStartsWithYourName, which aims to further Starbucks’ commit…
Some Queer-Led Homewares Labels To Support for Idahobit
A ceramicist, a designer and two jewellers-turned-barware-makers tell what International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia (Idahobit) means to them.
Tubby & Coo’s Book Shop Can Now Come to You With Mobile Store - Big Easy Magazine
Tubby & Coo’s Mid-City Book Shop, the local, queer-owned independent book shop focused on science fiction, fantasy, horror, romance, queer, and diverse books, is on the move! The shop will […]


Good News in Queer Business, Politics, and More

Meet Haley, Queerency's Summer 2023 Intern!

Haley Pender (she/her) is a rising sophomore multimedia journalism student at North Carolina A&T State University, where she is the recipient of the prestigious Dowdy Scholarship.

Haley is a talented student journalist and content creator. She writes for the A&T Register, her school newspaper, and produces engaging Black history and culture videos on her 52K+ follower TikTok channel, @haleyfromdahillz.

An LGBTQ ally, Haley will be writing news articles, producing social media content, and covering all things queer economy this summer. If you want to say hello or pitch her a story, email her at

‘We’ve made history’: Rue Landau poised to become Philly’s first openly LGBTQ City Council member
Landau, a housing and civil rights attorney who received the first same-sex marriage certificate in Pennsylvania in 2014, secured one of five nominations for at-large seats on Council.
San Francisco names America’s first drag laureate
San Francisco has tapped a popular nightclub owner to be its first drag laureate, creating the ambassador-style position at a time when America’s LGBTQ community fears an erosion of its rights amid rising conservative attacks.
Gay couple’s court victory a watershed moment in Namibia’s history
A South African gay man and his Namibian spouse scored a landmark victory after they forced the Namibian government to recognise
Support for same-sex marriage in Hong Kong rises to new all-time high
Support for same-sex marriage is at an all-time high in Hong Kong, with 60 per cent of people now of the view that the law should be changed.
Gay couples allowed to jointly adopt in Taiwan
TAIPEI: Taiwan’s parliament passed an amendment on Tuesday allowing gay couples to jointly adopt children, a move hailed by activists as ‘another big step forward’ for marriage equality.

Facts & Figures

Data to Digest

Lesbian and bisexual women may have worse heart health
Lesbian and bisexual women may be less likely to have ideal cardiovascular health than heterosexual women, according to new research in France.


Challenges to Overcome

A trans girl will miss graduation because school officials told her to dress as a boy
The Mississippi 17-year-old is not participating in her high school graduation ceremony because school officials told her to dress like a boy and a federal judge did not block the officials’ decision.
Nebraska lawmakers pass restrictions on abortion, transgender medical care
Nebraska lawmakers on Friday passed a bill that limits abortion and puts restrictions on gender-affirming medical care for transgender youth in a single piece of legislation that strikes at two highly divisive issues.
DeSantis signs bills targeting drag shows, transgender kids and the use of bathrooms and pronouns
Florida is banning gender-affirming care for minors, effective immediately. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a series of anti-LGBTQ+ bills on Wednesday. Others address drag shows and how schools handle the use of personal pronouns and bathrooms. Planned Parenthood immediately started canceling ap…
Gay Men in Nigeria Targeted in Dating App Extortion Scheme
The blackmailers pose as potential dates to entrap their victims.
Parents call cops after teacher offers ‘This Book Is Gay’ to middle schoolers in Illinois
Parents reportedly called police after a longtime Illinois teacher allowed her students the option to read a book that tackled the topics of gender and sexualit
Beijing LGBT Center shuttered as crackdown grows in China
An advocacy group that served as a safe space for the LGBTQ community in Beijing has been…

Future Outlook

Opportunities & Events to Know About

National Pride Grant for LGBTQIA+ Small Businesses

The LGBTQIA+ National Grant allows eligible small businesses to receive one of 25 grants totaling $25,000. Founders First is committed to increasing the number of diverse founder-led companies generating over $1 million in revenue and creating premium-wage jobs. To be eligible, the company's founder must identify as LGBTQIA+, have an active U.S.-based business, be the CEO, President, or owner, and employ between 2 and 50 employees.

Learn more and apply here

Black Queer Creative Summit

GLAAD’s Black Queer Creative Summit is the first-of-its-kind in-person event, specifically geared towards educating, empowering, and training emerging Black LGBTQ+ creatives across five sectors of the entertainment industry:


Learn more and apply here

Bottom Line

Words of Wisdom for Your Week

"You have to find the joy. You have create the joy. Honestly, the hardest part is focusing on the joy in your life, because we all know there are so many awful things that are around. Why not make your home a beautiful, joyous place to live in."