The Balance Sheet: December 7, 2023

This week, we covered a news story about a queer Latina-owned gym called Babes of Wellness in Los Angeles that was ransacked in a presumed targeted crime.

The Balance Sheet: December 7, 2023

Before we dive into the news, thank you to those of you who attended the inaugural LGBTQ+ Business Week! Our hearts are full and we are so grateful.

If you missed the Virtual Summit on the last day of LGBTQ+ Business Week, you can watch the replays here. You'll hear from 30 entrepreneurs, creators, and advocates about what it takes to start a community-centered business from the ground up.

This week, we covered a news story about a queer Latina-owned gym called Babes of Wellness in Los Angeles that was ransacked in a presumed targeted crime. We broke down the key findings of the HRC Foundation's Corporate Equality Index and found that it doesn't accurately reflect LGBTQ+ workers' experiences in the workplace.

And as always, if you find value in our work, we would really appreciate your financial support to sustain and grow Queerency.

Enjoy this week's roundup of LGBTQ+ business news!

Until next week,

Your editor-in-chief, Leo 💜

Top Line

Stories With Main Character Energy

9 key takeaways from LGBTQ+ Business Week Virtual Summit

On Friday, December 1, 30 entrepreneurs, creators, and advocates spoke at the inaugural LGBTQ+ Business Week Virtual Summit. These amazing speakers discussed the current state of the queer economy and practical tips about starting your own business.

Learn more at Queerency. Watch replays of each session at LGBTQ+ Business Week.

Queer Latina-owned gym Babes of Wellness ransacked in presumed targeted crime. Here's how to help them recover.

Founded by queer married couple Cat Perez and Marianna Di Regolo, the website takes a curated approach to finding queer products and gifts.

The Tea: On Wednesday morning, Babes of Wellness shared in an Instagram post that their establishment had been broken into.

  • Sources say that the break-in appears to be a targeted crime.
  • Nothing was stolen, but only damaged through ransacking.
  • The incident is under investigation by police.

Read the full story at Queerency.

4 trends LGBTQ+ business owners should know about in 2024

During the LGBTQ+ Business Week Virtual Summit, panelists gave practical tips about running your own business, working with people you love, and how policies like anti-trans legislation have affected their business. 

We learned about these four trends:

  1. Ethically driven, niche, independent businesses are here to stay
  2. The creator economy will continue to be lucrative
  3. The 2024 election could change the queer economy
  4. Communities crave vulnerability and connection

Read the full story at Queerency.

8 queer people and groups on the picket line in 2023

The labor movement scored historic wins in 2023, and queer and trans people were on the frontlines.

From Hollywood to the largest LGBTQ+ organizations in the country, here are 8 queer people and groups on the picket line this year.

Read the full story at Queerency.

5 books recommended by LGBTQ+ Business Week Virtual Summit speakers

During the summit, the panelists recommended the following books:

  1. Your First Million by our keynote speaker Arlan Hamilton, out on January 2, 204
  2. Algorithms of Oppression by Safiya Noble, recommended by Anni Lundy, senior marketing strategist at Lesbians Who Tech
  3. Teaching Critical Thinking: Practical Wisdom by bell hooks, recommended by scholar and teacher Dr. David Johns
  4. The Spirit of Intimacy: Ancient African Teachings in the Ways of Relationships by Sobonfu Some, recommended by scholar and teacher Dr. David Johns
  5. The Woman in Me by Britney Spears, recommended by content creator Ruba

Read the full story at Queerency.

95% of corporations now include nondiscrimination protections for workers, but this data may not accurately reflect LGBTQ+ workers experiences in the workplace

On Thursday, November 30, the HRC Foundation released its annual Corporate Equality Index (CEI), which scores corporations on a scale of 1 to 100 based on its LGBTQ-affirming policies and culture.

95% of participating businesses have nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ+ workers, up from 5% in the inaugural CEI in 2002.

This year's CEI findings show significant progress for the safety of LGBTQ+ people in the workplace. However, this data may not accurately reflect LGBTQ+ workers' experiences in the workplace.

Read the full story at Queerency.


Queer-Owned and -Allied Businesses In the News

U.S. Bank Opens First LGBTQ+ Flagship Branch in Arizona
The bank’s newest LGBTQ+ flagship continues commitment to enhance customer experience for the diverse communities it servesNORTHAMPTON, MA / ACCESSWIRE / December 5, 2023 / U.S. BankOriginally published on U.S. Bank company blogThe U.S. Bank Phoenix…
Diva down! Iconic East London queer venue The Glory is closing
The beloved LGBTQ+ boozer on Kingsland Road will cease trading at the end of January
Redline, downtown LA gay bar, to close
Redline, downtown LA gay bar, to close. Owner Oliver Alpuche made the announcement on social media on Sunday. It will close in 2024.
“Empowering Authenticity: Treena Marie’s Odyssey of Self-Discovery and The TRĒZSPORT Movement” - Eyes on Hollywood
Treena Marie, an enterprising entrepreneur and visionary designer, has risen as a formidable influence. In the dynamic realms of fashion, real estate, and digital art, her captivating journey, openly chronicled on The TRĒZSPORT Brand, unfolds a tale of profound self-discovery, unwavering resilience, and the transformative strength derived from embracing one’s authenticity. This article delves into Treena’s narrative, traversing the challenges she confronted to the triumph of embracing her genuine self, exploring how this odyssey has not only shaped her life but also fueled the emergence of her brand – The TRĒZSPORT Brand.

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Good News in Queer Business, Politics, and More

Miss Portugal Marina Machete is the first transgender woman to place top 20 at Miss Universe

In 2022, Miss Portugal changed its rules to allow trans women to compete in the pageant. This policy change allowed trans women Marina Machete to compete, win, and advance to Miss Universe. Even though Machete only had 3 weeks to prepare for Miss Universe, she placed in the top 20.

In 2022, a media conglomerate called JKN Group led by Thai multimillionaire Anne Jakkaphong Jakrajutatip bought the Miss Universe Organization for $20 million. Just a year later, JKN Group filed for bankruptcy. Despite filing for bankruptcy, Jakrajutatip created more inclusivity for trans women competing in pageants.

Read about Marina Machete's historic win at Business Insider. Read about Anne Jakkaphong Jakrajutatip at Queerency.

Florida students stage walkout after transgender sports controversy
Students from a Florida high school staged a walkout after school officials were reassigned over a transgender student’s participation on the girl’s volleyball team. WTVJ reports.
Anti-Drag Rally Becomes ‘Queer Joy Block Party’ - The Provincetown Independent
Townspeople were alarmed last week by a flyer advertising a protest against drag to be held on Commercial Street on Friday, Dec. 1. The American Society for the […]


Challenges to Overcome

Queer Starbucks workers wanted to unionize. They say the coffee giant is punishing them for it.
“They really are what their mascot is…the siren is just [a] monster [that] lures people in with a beautiful song and then [kills] them…
HRC hands Starbucks inclusion award despite staff complaints
The Human Rights Campaign has been criticised for including Starbucks in its list of inclusive companies despite anti-union efforts.

Future Outlook

Opportunities & Events to Know About

Nominate a youth leader in California to win up to $10,000

The California Endowment and Youth Leadership Institute teamed up to grant a total of $62,000 to youth leaders and nonprofit awards cultivating pathways for youth power in California.

Nominate a youth leader (ages 16-26) in California and they can win one of the following awards:

  • Voices for Change Award, 4 winners will receive $3,000 each
  • Brandon Harrison Youth Visionary Award, 1 winner will receive $10,000

A Youth Power Partner Award that grant 4 nonprofits $10,000 each for creating a platform for youth to become leaders.

Nominate youth leaders on The California Endowment website by December 22.

Black Identity Development Conference

Join LGBTQ+ author and activists George M. Johnson, Hope Giselle, Dr. Torie Weiston-Serdan, and BrandElsa Pereira on Saturday, February 24, 2024 at the inaugural Black Identity Development Conference.

Learn more and register here