The Balance Sheet (November 9, 2023)

We're deep in pumpkin spice season, inching closer to the end of the year, Queerency fam. This week in queer business news, some of my favorite stories were...

The Balance Sheet (November 9, 2023)

We're deep in pumpkin spice season, inching closer to the end of the year, Queerency fam.

This week in queer business news, some of my favorite stories were:

  • Queer-owned bookstore, All She Wrote Books, raised $60,000 after being displaced due to rent
  • LGBTQ film festival Outfest laid off its staff via mass email with less than a 2-hour notice
  • Curators of a popular open mic, Shaun Mykals and Brandon Burke, are opening DC's only Black-owned LGBTQ lounge called Thurst Lounge

Before diving into your weekly dose of the best LGBTQ+ business news of the week, Trav and I want to invite you to the annual LGBTQ+ Business Week, a 7-day virtual celebration of queer-owned small businesses. From November 27-December 3, there will be panel discussions and virtual meetups with LGBTQ-owned businesses from all over the globe.

Check out the hundreds of businesses that have already signed up, and submit yours to our database of #BuyProud Businesses. Interested in sponsorship or other collaboration opportunities? Email

Finally, if you find value in our work, we would really appreciate your financial support to sustain and grow Queerency. This is a labor of love, with labor being a keyword. Please help us grow by becoming a supporter or making a one-time donation.

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

Until next week,

Your editor-in-chief, Leo 💜

Top Line

Stories With Main Character Energy

LGBTQ film festival Outfest lays off majority of staff with a two-hour notice, calls for resignation of board co-presidents

After facing financial difficulties due to the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, LGBTQ film festival Outfest lays off the majority of their staff via email with only a two-hour notice. Staff members were only given a four-day notice before their health insurance expired on October 31.

Laid-off workers, who recently formed a union called Queer Film United, are calling for the resignation of Outfest Board co-presidents Bil Bertini and Nii-Quartelai Quartey. Donate to Queer Film United's GoFundMe page here to support the laid-off workers.

Read the full story at Queerency

Thurst Lounge, DC's only Black-owned LGBTQ+ lounge, is opening soon

Shaun Mykals and Brandon Burke, the curators of a popular open mic night, are launching the lounge in December.

Read the full article by Queerency

All She Wrote Books turns the page at new location after being displaced due to rising rent

The only queer, inclusive bookstore in the Boston area has a new home, thanks to the generosity of its patrons and community.

The Tea: In September, All She Wrote Books owner Christina Pascucci-Ciampa announced that the intersectional, inclusive feminist and queer bookstore was being displaced due to untenable rent increases and other expenses.

Read more at Queerency

Human Rights Campaign condemns X for allowing a transphobic documentary to take over the platform

Last week, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) released a statement condemning X, formerly known as Twitter, for running a transphobic platform-wide campaign.

On November 2, X ran a sponsored "timeline takeover" content from PragerU, a conservative organization that created a documentary on transgender people.

Read the full story at Queerency


Queer-Owned and -Allied Businesses In the News

How a queer cafe collapsed amid sexual harassment allegations, worker revolt

Milk SF, a queer-owned community cafe in the Mission in San Francisco, closed its doors last month due to financial difficulties. Ahead of the October 8 closure, 7 former employees accused its owner, Kathryn "Scoots" McKee of sexual harassment, racism, and poor management.

Read the full article at Mission Local

Lightspeed makes relocation easier as LGBTQ+ workers seek safety | CityNews Toronto
When a wave of anti-LGBTQ+ laws swept across the U.S. over the summer, Lightspeed Commerce Inc. employees wasted no time asking the company’s executive ranks to help protect staff. President JD Saint-Martin recalls a June meeting held by the Montreal-based company’s pride group that inspired Lightsp…
Check out these queer-owned businesses during AFLW’s Pride Round
In the spirit of Pride Round, which celebrates everybody being free to be themselves, the AFL is supporting three queer-owned businesses which embody the round’s vision of inclusivity and diversity

In partnership with Sonara.Ai

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There’s a free trial to start using Sonara, and then it switches to a monthly subscription. But as a member of the Queerency community, you can save 20% off your first month using this link:


Good News in Queer Business, Politics, and More

Political Notebook: Gay former transit planner Logan runs for Oakland council
A gay man who oversaw mobility issues in both San Francisco and Oakland is running to unseat from office next November Oakland District 3 City Councilmember Carroll Fife.
Trans teens’ families ask Supreme Court to protect gender affirming care in Tennessee
Families of transgender youth in Tennessee are appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court to block a state law that bans gender affirming care.
Dolly Parton Weighs in on Tennessee’s Anti-Trans Laws: ‘I Just Want Everyone to Be Treated Good’
The country icon has long been an ally to the LGBTQ community, and said that when it comes to a person’s gender identity, others should respect that “that’s who they are.”
Hong Kong kicks off Asia’s first gay games despite opposition
The Gay Games Hong Kong (GGHK) kicked off on Saturday, its first time in Asia, despite opposition from anti-LGBTQ lawmakers and human rights activists.

Facts & Figures

Data to Digest

These are the 50 most and least LGBTQ-friendly cities in the U.S., according to a new study

A new study by Clever Real Estate ranked the 50 most and least LGBTQ-friendly cities in the United States based on data from the Human Rights Campaign, National LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce, and more.

Read more at Queerency


Challenges to Overcome

Trans people flee to New Mexico for safety, waitlists for gender-affirming care grow

Transgender people are fleeing to New Mexico to escape anti-trans legislation introduced or passed in other states. However, the state's healthcare providers can't keep up with the demand for gender-affirming care.

Read the full story at Queerency

Port Bar’s Landlord Says It’s Time to Go
The queer bar and venue in Oakland is facing an eviction more than two years before its lease runs out

Future Outlook

Opportunities & Events to Know About

LGBTQ+ Business Week

Join thousands of businesses and supporters in a 7-day celebration of queer-owned small businesses! From November 27-December 3, we'll be hosting virtual events to help queer-owned small businesses thrive, build, and learn from each other.

Add your business to the #BuyProud Business Database and stay tuned as we reveal the event and speaker lineup for LGBTQ+ Business Week.

Visit and follow us at @lgbtqbusinessweek

Win up to $10,000 in scholarships with Silicon Valley PRIDE

In honor of its late CEO Thaddeus Orlando Campbell, Silicon Valley PRIDE is giving away 8 scholarships totaling $30,000 for members of the LGBTQ+ community ages 18+ currently pursuing a 2- or 4-year degree. Here are the potential scholarship amounts:

  • 1 first place scholarship: $10,000
  • 3 second place scholarships: $5,000 each
  • 5 third place scholarships: $1,000 each

Apply by November 11 at Silicon Valley PRIDE.

Apply for Point of Pride's Annual Trans Surgery Fund by November 30

Point of Pride will grant awards to transgender and nonbinary people seeking funding for gender-affirming surgery. Submit your application by November 30 and attend their last info session on Sunday, November 12.

More details are available at