The Balance Sheet: July 16, 2023

Happy Pride Month! In case you missed it, we're tracking corporate Pride campaigns all month long and will be analyzing the data in our State of Corporate Pride report later this month.

The Balance Sheet: July 16, 2023

Happy International Drag Day! In this week's Balance Sheet we're celebrating queer-owned apparel company WILDFANG's Guinness World Record for longest drag performance, taking a look at the effects of the U.S. Supreme Court's 303 Creative v. Elenis decision, and more.

Have a great week,


Top Line

Stories With Main Character Energy

This Drag-A-Thon Just Set a New Guinness World Record

After 48 hours of non-stop drag by more than 120 queens, kings and emcees, queer-owned apparel company WILDFANG has officially broken and set the new world record for longest drag performance. The event, which also raised $290K for the Trevor Project, included over 600 songs and 700 set changes.

The Tea: The DRAG-A-THON was produced by WILDFANG and was hosted at Portland, Oregon's historic drag cabaret, Darcelle XV Showplace. The 48-hour event began on Monday, July 10 and aimed to break the previous record set in 2017 in Melbourne, Australia.

Performers included Frankie Grande, Eureka O’Hara, Peppermint, Lala Ri, and dozens more.

Continue reading at Queerency

A Michigan Hair Salon Owner Bans Queer Patrons Because She Doesn't Like Pronouns

Less than two weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision allowing businesses to discriminate against LGBTQ+ customers, a Michigan salon owner has banned some queer patrons.

The Tea: Christine Geiger is the owner of Studio 8 Hair Lab in Traverse City, MI. In a now deleted Facebook post, Geiger compared people with gender expansive identities to animals, saying, "If a human identifies as anything other than a man/woman please seek services at a local pet groomer. You are not welcome at this salon. Period."

She then focused her attack on pronouns, saying, "Should you request to have a particular pronoun used please note we may simply refer to you as 'hey you.'"

The Background: In Geiger's diatribe, she referenced Michigan HB 4744, a bipartisan piece of legislation that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer recently signed into law. The legislation establishes statewide protections against discrimination for LGBTQ+ Michiganders.

However, conservatives and right wing media have decried the law and spread misinformation that it would "Make Hurting Someone’s Feelings a Hate Crime."

Continue reading at Queerency

A Conservative Neighbor Was Caught On Video Throwing a Dead Rat On the Property of an Adjacent Gay-Owned Restaurant

As soon as she spotted the lifeless vermin, Tiffany Foster had a hunch about how it appeared near the trash bins behind the Front Porch Market and Grill in The Plains, Va. The general manager went inside,pulled out her phone and reviewed security-camera footage. Her suspicion was confirmed: The dead rat had been tossed onto the property.

The suspect? Mike Washer. The businessman and his wife, Melissa, first complained to the Front Porch proprietors about pre-dawn vendor deliveries in 2019, not long after the conservative Christian couple moved their financial firm right next door to the restaurant, which flies a gay Pride flag. The renovated building doubles as the Washers’ residence, where they have a front-row view of the Front Porch’s operation.

Continue reading at The Washington Post

Fluffy’s Sno-Balls Long Beach a Top Ice Cream Shop, Yelp says

Fluffy’s Sno-Balls in Long Beach has been named one of the best ice cream shops in the nation, according to Yelp.

The Mardi Gras–themed, New Orleans-style shaved ice shop doesn’t sell ice cream, but that doesn’t matter because the frozen confection falls under Yelp’s ice cream shop label.

Yelp published its Top Ice Cream Shops of 2023 list to celebrate National Ice Cream Day on July 16.

Continue reading at Q Voice News

What You Need to Know About 303 Creative v. Elenis, The U.S. Supreme Court Decision that Makes it Legal for Businesses to Discriminate Against LGBTQ Customers

In a landmark decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to allow businesses to discriminate against LGBTQ+ customers.

The Background: 303 Creative v Elenis is a case brought by Lorie Smith, an evangelical Christian website designer in Colorado and is backed by the ADF, which is the same right-wing group that is behind the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the monstrous anti-gay laws in Uganda, a case in Tennessee that would allow an adoption agency to reject Jewish parents, and more. They’ve been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Further Context: I've been reporting on this case since on social media since it was announced in March 2022. Check out some of my videos below.

This Supreme Court case threatens LGBTQ rights (March 3, 2022)

303 Creative v. Elenis is an imminent U.S. Supreme Court ruling (June 7, 2023)

The US Supreme Court makes it legal for businesses to discriminate against LGBTQ customers (June 30, 2023)

Continue reading at Queerency

Why Republican lawmakers are going after Target

Republicans are escalating their legal threats against Target, pressuring the company to remove merchandise for transgender customers and backtrack on its initiatives to hire minorities and diversify vendors.

In singling out Target, GOP lawmakers and right-wing social media personalities are sending a larger warning to corporate America to roll back recent diversity and inclusion policies, analysts say.

“Target is a high-profile company, one of the biggest, so if you want to make a statement this would have that impact,” said Julian Zelizer, a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University and a CNN political analyst.

Continue reading at


Queer-Owned and -Allied Businesses In the News

Can You Build An LGBTQ Neighborhood? They’re Trying In Cleveland
Developers are trying to spark the birth of a new queer neighborhood in Cleveland. But can a massive real estate development succeed as LGBTQ-focused?
The Abbey in West Hollywood is for sale
The Abbey in West Hollywood is for sale by owner David Cooley. The Chapel also is part of the sale. The Abbey opened in 1991.
How Queer Restaurants Keep Their Money In Their Community
For restaurants like Ursula and Provincetown Brewing, doing business means supporting fellow queer service workers and vendors.
LGBTQ+ founders reflect on the struggles of fundraising, seeking allies and pleasing investors
LGBTQ+ founders have created 36% more jobs, 114% more patents and 44% more exits than the average founder, according to a research index by StartOut, a nonp | “It’s still hard when you’re pitching across the table to people that just see the world very differently,” said David Stein, CEO and co-foun…
LGBTQ+-Owned and Operated Tillie’s Lounge Keeps it Friendly in Northside
“No politics, no religion, no kids and no guns at the bar,” jokes owner Nigel Cotterill.
Skin Laundry Laser Focuses On Rejuvenating Skin - The Pride LA
Facials don’t have to be invasive. That’s why Skin Laundry has taken a revolutionary approach to skincare technology, making the…
Autostraddle Is Spiraling Toward A Shutdown Or A Sale | Defector
The fact that Autostraddle has lasted for over 14 years is a medium-sized miracle. Founded by Riese Bernard and Alexandra Vega as an outgrowth of the online fandom around the TV show The L Word, the website has stayed independent, stuck around through the increasing homogenization of the internet, a…
Greater Houston LGBTQ Chamber 2023 Pride in Business Celebration & Awards - OutSmart Magazine
The Greater Houston LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce 2023 hosted its annual Pride in Business Celebration & Awards at the Hyatt Regency Houston. 1 2 Next
An LGBTQ news site disappears in a warning to all media in the digital age - SaportaReport
Read An LGBTQ news site disappears in a warning to all media in the digital age by John Ruch for SaportaReport here.
“People can feel at home here”: queer-run businesses create safer spaces
When anti-LGBTQ2S+ hate flares, queer- and trans-owned businesses provide safer spaces.


Good News in Queer Business, Politics, and More

First ever Black trans woman water reclamation district commissioner sworn in
Wednesday was a historic day for Chicago, Cook County and the state of Illinois as the first ever Black trans woman was sworn in as commissioner of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District.
Gay furry hackers are targeting US states for passing anti-trans legislation
SiegedSec, a group of gay furry hackers, took their skills to US governments in June, breaching agencies across five states and to release data.
Traverse City residents hold protest in response to anti-trans posts by business owner
Dubbed the “Queer Joy March,” dozens of people gathered to make their signs at the Grand Traverse Civic Center and headed off towards the Studio 8 Hair Lab.
Miss Netherlands crowns its first openly trans woman Rikkie Valerie Kollé
The 22-year-old Dutch model will be the second openly trans woman to participate in a Miss Universe pageant.
Major business lobby to join Tokyo Rainbow Pride next year | The Asahi Shimbun: Breaking News, Japan News and Analysis
KARUIZAWA, Nagano Prefecture--To show support for greater inclusion of the LGBT community, a major business lobby will officially participate in next year’s Tokyo Rainbow Pride, one of the largest celebrations of sexual minorities in Japan.

Facts & Figures

Data to Digest

Majority of registered voters oppose refusing service to LGBTQ people
65% of voters believe businesses should not be allowed to turn away customers because of the business owner’s personal beliefs


Challenges to Overcome

These are America’s 10 worst states to live and work in for 2023, and there’s a big surprise at the very bottom
Quality of life is a major factor in where Americans choose to work, live and make major purchases including homes. These states are the nation’s worst.
Harm of anti-LGBTQ laws includes economic pain for communities, families - Kansas Reflector
As anti-LGBTQ laws spread, many LGBTQ people and their families are assessing whether they should move to a state with a more friendly political climate.
Anti-LGBTQ+ activism spiked during Pride Month, with California leading the way
Researchers saw in June the most anti-LGBTQ+ actions since they started keeping track of them in 2020.
These 5 States Are Doing the Most to Target LGBTQ People
Anti-LGBTQ legislation is at a record high — and these states are responsible for the worst of it
Texas judge wants to use Supreme Court’s recent LGBTQ+ ruling to stop marrying gay couples
Justice of Peace Dianne Hensley continues her fight to turn away same-sex couples…
Some right-wing media admit eliminating civil rights protections is the goal of anti-LGBTQ Supreme Court cases

Future Outlook

Opportunities & Events to Know About

Leaders for Inclusive Change

Are you wondering how to increase safety for LGBTQ+ youth right now? Leaders for Inclusive Change is a six-week class taught in community with two trans high school teachers, to support parents, teachers, and community leaders in holding safe space for LGBTQ+ youth. The live version of the class begins July 12, 2023 and continues for six weeks. Join other educators, parents, and community leaders as you learn how to most effectively be that safe adult that all LGBTQ+ children deserve to have in their lives. You can learn more at (insert affiliate link)

While Leaders for Inclusive Change was created by two trans teachers as a way of empowering allies to create safe community spaces for LGBTQ+ youth, it is also an incredible way for all queer people to learn about their own history, spotting internalized homophobia and transphobia, as well as learning how to support intersectional identities. 

Learn more and join here