Brit+Co is a safe space. Our readers are people from all walks of life and we are especially proud to celebrate the LGBTQ members of our community. We love being your resource for info about how to use pronouns with trans people, maternity clothes for queer moms and, of course, delicious Pride-themed ice cream. (TBH we’ll report on anything ice cream-related, y’all, just try us). Outside of the web, it’s important to find LGBTQ-friendly spaces IRL — and that’s where new startup and website MyQueerReview can help.
Announcing the launch in a press release via Medium, founders Kesha Ann Gardner and Kevin Hawkins are helping you find a safe space wherever you are with their new site MyQueerReview. Kesha and Kevin are both longtime activists who admitted to having felt ostracized for their sexuality at one time or another. For Kevin it was growing up in the Midwest and being disowned by his family. For Kesha it was the fear of getting harassed when she visited family in Baltimore. With MyQueerReview.com, they hope to change that by establishing “the first and only resource used to pinpoint safe environments on a per-location basis for the LGBTQ+ community and their supportive allies .”
The site was not just a personal mission; in their release, Kesha and Kevin include some pretty startling stats. According to their research “nearly 90% of LGBT students reported facing verbal harassment due to their sexual orientation in 2013,” and about “73% of LGBT youth feel more comfortable online than they do out in the real world.” MyQueerReview includes lists of friendly businesses and neighborhoods on their website. The info is mostly user generated so you can go and submit a review for your favorite businesses too. The reviews include info about service, overall vibe and bathrooms. According to the site, “reviews address concerns pertinent to visitors, allowing members of the community to know before they go.” The site will also evolve over time to include more spaces as well as the info businesses and other spaces may need to update their policies and procedures.
The website has a strict policy for what makes a place truly safe. In general, it says “a Safe Space is a place where anyone can relax and be able to fully express themselves, without fear of being made to feel uncomfortable, unwelcome, or unsafe on account of biological sex, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, cultural background, religious affiliation, age, or physical or mental ability.” The site also goes on to detail behavior not acceptable in a safe space, such as slut shaming, heterosexism and ace erasure.
Want to help the queer people in your community feel safe? Add businesses you like to the list and spread the love.
What are your favorite LGBTQ-friendly spots in your neighborhood? Tell us in the comments!