The Balance Sheet: April 2, 2023

The Balance Sheet: April 2, 2023
Two TikTok creators collected in six hours over $1 million for trans health care through a 30-hour “TikTok-a-Thon" fundraiser to celebrate Friday’s Transgender Day of Visibility.

Hey there! This week's Balance Sheet is well-balanced with a lot of great news to share:

  • a $2.3 million TikTok-a-Thon for trans healthcare
  • our community saved a queer-owned bakery from closing due to bigotry
  • Texans rallied at the State Capitol to fight for trans kids

along with some not-so-great news:

  • LGBTQ+ representation on TV is decreasing
  • bigots around the world keep doing bigotry

Also, check out the replay of my webinar I co-hosted with Chris Angel Murphy, MSW. And be sure to apply by April 7th for Lesbians Who Tech's SQUAD Leadership Program, the first leadership program and network intentionally designed to connect, support, and help promote more LGBTQ+ Women, Non-Binary leaders, and underrepresented Allies into senior leadership positions.

Have a great week!


Top Line

Stories with Main Character Energy

TikTokers Mercury Stardust and Alluring Skull Raise $2.3 Million for Trans Healthcare in 30-Hour TikTok-a-Thon

Two TikTok creators collected in six hours over $1 million for trans health care through a 30-hour “TikTok-a-Thon" fundraiser to celebrate Friday’s Transgender Day of Visibility.

Mercury Stardust and Jory, better known online as alluringskull, raised the funds for Point of Pride, a nonprofit that provides gender-affirming services to trans individuals across the world.

Donors Save Queer-Owned Bakery that Almost Closed Due to Anti-LGBTQ Harassment

We did it! Two weeks ago, I reported that Uprising Bakery & Cafe in Chicago suburb Lake in the Hills, IL, was facing closure due to sustained anti-queer harassment. After the owner, Corinna Sac, announced that the bakery would have to shut down at the end of March unless they raised $30,000, donors raised enough funds to help keep the bakery open. Read more about the bakery's plans below:

6 Trans Entrepreneurs Share How Anti-Trans Legislation Affects Their Lives And Livelihoods

According to the ACLU, there have been 435 anti-LGBTQ bills introduced in state legislatures across the country this year. Bills in 44 states directly target transgender and nonbinary individuals through bathroom bans, restrictions on gender-affirming care, sports bans, and the criminalization of healthcare providers who support trans patients.

Even bills banning drag performances have indirect implications on the ability of transgender and gender non-conforming people to exist in public.

Beyond the negative physical and emotional impact of the bills (particularly on LGBTQ+ youth), anti-trans legislation also takes a toll on the business community. On International Transgender Day of Visibility, I asked six trans and nonbinary small business owners share the impact of anti-trans legislation on their lives and livelihoods, and what allies can do to show their support.

Read full article at Forbes

Texans Rally to Fight for Trans Kids

Texans rallied at the State Capitol on Monday, March 27 to oppose HB 1686, a bill that will ban gender-affirming care for trans kids.

Check out scenes from the day in the Queerency video below, that includes footage from CJ Cruz, cohost of the Profit on the Margins podcast, Equality Texas, and the Transgender Education Network of Texas.

Watch on Instagram

7 tips for anyone who needs to move quickly to escape anti-trans laws

In response to anti-trans bills, families across the country are pillaging their emergency savings fund and going into debt to afford the move to sanctuary states like California and Minnesota.

Leo Aquino (they/them) provides some great tips on the financial mechanics of trans migration for Business Insider.

Leo and I also collaborated on a video this week on the ways that anti-trans legislation can cause long-lasting financial trauma for trans/queer folks and families. Watch it on Instagram below.


Good News in Queer Business, Politics, and More

Tampa baker makes comeback thanks to LGBTQ support
Barry Sherman had to close down his cookie business for three years due to the pandemic, but after support from his partner and the LGBTQ community, he is back with Da Bomb Confections.
2023 GLAAD Media Awards winners: ‘Bros,’ ‘9-1-1 Lone Star,’ more
‘Bros,’ ‘A League of Their Own,’ and more honored at 2023 GLAAD Media Awards: See full winners list
‘TransFormation’: A Mumbai salon run by transgender persons to promote inclusivity
Deutsche Bank and Rotary Club of Bombay have teamed up to open Mumbai’s first transgender-run salon on Saturday, March 25 in an effort to create equal employment opportunities. TransFormation Salon’s hiring and training of personnel have been supported by the partners. The business will receive ini…
Georgia county said it was too costly to spend $10,000 a year on health cover for trans employees. It spent $1.2 million fighting it, lost, and has to pay anyway.
Houston County spent nearly $1.2 million fighting an employee who wanted a change to their health plan to cover gender-affirming surgery.
The UK’s LGBTQ+ bookstores are thriving
These social enterprises and safe havens have become beacons of acceptance and community…
Safari Experiences See Opportunity With More LGBTQ+ Families
The default perception for the LGBTQ+ travel market brings to mind Pride parades and dance festivals that resonate with gay solo travelers or same-sex


Challenges to Overcome

Elon Musk’s Twitter Makes Millions Off Anti-LGBT ‘Groomer’ Tweets: Report
Musk promised Twitter wouldn’t become a hellscape of hate. Researchers say he’s broken his word.
GOP lawmakers override veto of transgender bill in Kentucky
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Republican lawmakers in Kentucky on Wednesday swept aside the Democratic governor’s veto of a bill regulating some of the most personal aspects of life for transgender young people — from banning access to gender-affirming health care to restricting the bathrooms they can use.
California may end travel ban to states with anti-LGBTQ laws
A California lawmaker wants to end a ban on state-funded travel to states with discriminatory LGBTQ laws. State Sen. Toni Atkins said Wednesday she wants to replace the ban with a state-authorized marketing campaign to promote inclusive messaging in those states. California passed a law in 2016 bann…
TV’s LGBTQ Representation Is Down, and Mass Cancellations Aren’t Helping
GLAAD’s “Where We Are on TV” study this year found a 6% decrease in the number of LGBTQ characters across broadcast, cable and streaming — and the cancellation/ending of shows surely isn&#821…
LGBTQ Pride celebrations could land Texas schools in trouble under bill
Texas teachers could lose licenses and violators fined up to $10,000 for programs celebrating sexual preferences, under bill.
Google, others say Uganda anti-LGBTQ bill bad for business
A business group in Uganda including corporate giants such as Google says it opposes the country’s anti-LGBTQ legislation, calling it “a concern for global businesses and investors operating or planning to invest” in the East African country


Queer-Owned Businesses In the News

The Meltdown of a Gay Bank
What went wrong when an LGBTQ+ start-up set out to disrupt finance.
The Q, troubled Hell’s Kitchen queer nightclub, apparently shutters
The Q, a troubled Hell’s Kitchen LGBTQ nightclub, appears to have shuttered late on March 27, according to a report, former employees, and a Go Fund Me
An anti-discrimination educator on creating queer spaces for people of color
Queer spaces are often run by white members of the LGBTQ+ community. Here’s how one activist and educator defines queer spaces and what they could look like.
Receive A Free Coffee By Supporting “The Kindest Bookstores” In Atlanta
For a limited time, you can get free coffee and goodies by supporting local, from this adored queer & woman owned coffeehouse in Atlanta
Mr. Bake on creating space for queer chefs of color
Local entrepreneur mentors young gay and Black bakers

Future Outlook

Opportunities & Events to Know About

Apply for the Lesbians Who Tech + Allies Squad Leadership Program

The SQUAD Leadership Program, the first leadership program and network intentionally designed to connect, support, and help promote more LGBTQ+ Women, Non-Binary leaders, and underrepresented Allies into senior leadership positions.

Learn more here

Apply by April 7th here