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Queer Up Business

This Year’s Cadbury Easter Bunny is Florida’s Betty. And She Is A Frog.

It’s that time of year again.  Easter is not just about Jesus.  Easter is also about the Easter Bunny and Chocolate treats. So when the 3rd annual Cadbury Bunny Tryouts began.  We got excited. So the winner is now in and for the first time ever it’s an Australian White Tree frog.  And her name is Betty.  And she is our neighbor just up the road in Orlando. At Queer News Tonight we love the diversity as Betty is the contest’s first amphibian to take the title, as well as the smallest and the first female. Cadbury introduced Betty to the world today by embracing her diversity by saying “Betty knows what it’s like to be different and she’d like the chance to show everyone that our differences are what make us who we are and they are something to be proud of.” Beating out other worthy contenders from across the nation, Betty hops away with a cool $5000 cash prize plus the opportunity to star in the 2021 Cadbury Clucking Bunny commercial. Cadbury will also be donating $15,000 to The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in honor of the contest.

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Queer Up Business

Tender Pantene advert tells true story of trans girl and her family.

Pantene took to Twitter this week to bring attention to a unique LGBTQ story that shares the story of lesbian parents Ashely and Ellie and their trans child Sawyer. The Twitter post read: “Hair is a large part of our identity. And for LGBTQ+ youth like Sawyer, who choose to express themselves, their style and their creativity through their hairstyle, it can help them feel seen.”  Pantene had amazing responses and many hate filled responded to the those featured in the video.  Pantene doubled down on its support of LGBTQ+ families and children in a post that said: “Transphobia has no place in our world or on our feed.” As negative comments continued, Pantene as a brand could have folded.  Instead they went even further.  They said “In response to the bullying and harassment directed at those featured in the video of our last post: We stand with this #BeautifuLGBTQ family and the entire community.”  A famous line from the movie Jerry McGuire comes to mind. “Pantene, You had us at hello.”

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Queer Up Business

GOP Senators complained when Amazon refused to sell one anti-trans book. Now it won’t sell any.

An anti-LGBTQ activist’s book “critiquing” trans people was once a top-seller on Amazon’s charts tracking sales of LGBTQ books. Then, Amazon stopped selling it. The author argued that the mega-corporation had “erased” his book by deciding not to offer it, and this caught the attention of four conservative U.S. Senators. They wrote a letter to Amazon to complain, and so the company explained: they’re no longer selling books that claim being gay or transgender is a form of mental illness. The book in question is entitled When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment, written and published by Ryan T. Anderson in 2018. The book claims that being transgender is a mental illness based on the narratives of “ex-transgender” people. Anderson worked for the Heritage Foundation, an anti-LGBTQ group where he reportedly worked closely with then-Vice President Mike Pence, who is now the organization’s newest name-recognized employee.

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Queer Up Business

Grindr Is “Horrible” at Protecting Your Data, Says New User Privacy Report

Mozilla is shedding light on the privacy and security policies of your favorite queer dating apps. A new guide from Mozilla, the software community behind Firefox, is shedding light on how dating apps and sex toys use your personal information — and some of the findings are, um, decidedly unsexy. With a mid-pandemic Valentine’s Day right around the corner, the research team at Mozilla has published its 2021 Privacy Not Included guide, an in-depth analysis of the privacy policies of 50 popular dating apps and sex toys. This year’s installment incorporates gay dating apps like Grindr, Hornet, HER, and Lex, as well as more than 20 sex toys. Among the queer dating apps included in the guide, Lex — a text-based, personal ad-style dating app for lesbians, queer women, and trans and gender non-conforming people — emerged as the safest and most secure of the bunch. And the least secure queer dating app? Grindr, which also had “the worst of the worst” data-security policy of all 24 dating apps reviewed by Mozilla, gay or straight.
The findings will come as no surprise to anyone who has stayed on top of Grindr’s privacy-related controversies. In early 2018, Grindr was formally acquired by a Chinese tech company, which U.S. intelligence experts flagged as a national-security concern. The app later came under fire for providing information about users’ HIV status to third-party vendors. It was even slammed with a hefty fine from the Norwegian government for illegally sharing personal information about its users with advertisers. Mozilla said “Given Grindr is the world’s largest gay dating app, and given that in some parts of the world outing someone as gay can get them killed, these bad data privacy practices aren’t just awful and illegal, they are also life threatening. As a location based app that tracks users movements and matches them based on proximity, Grindr knows a lot about it users. … What’s the worst that could happen? Grindr could leak your location, homophobes could search you out, find you, and murder you for being gay. This has happened already in the real world. Grindr is bad. Our recommendation, delete Grindr.”

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Queer Up Business

60 Corporations That Improved LGBTQ Policies in 2020

The Human Rights Campaign this week released its 19th Corporate Equality Index, which closely examines the LGBTQ+ policies of thousands of American corporations, including most of the Fortune 500. Even with the tumult of 2020 — from the COVID-19 pandemic to social unrest to a president who refused to concede an election and incited an insurrection — corporate America trended toward inclusivity, with 60 corporations that previously appeared on the CEI receiving perfect scores for the first time. In total, 767 businesses met all the criteria to earn a 100 percent rating and the designation of being a “Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality,” including several that participated in the CEI for the first time ever. The HRC ratings are based on workplace protections to prohibit discrimination, whether they offer inclusive midical benefits and culture and corporate responsibility specifically in diversity training.  It is widely believed the HRC rating system has had the most significant impact on American attitudes toward the LGBTQ community over the last 20 years

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Queer Up Business

N.Y.C. now largest U.S. city to grant LGBTQ businesses access to minority contracts

New York City now recognizes LGBTQ-owned companies as minority-owned businesses, making them eligible for billions in city contracts, as well as access to consulting, mentorship, educational programs and other resources. The new designation, announced Tuesday by New York City’s Department of Small Business Services in partnership with the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, will fast-track LGBTQ-owned businesses into city certification programs, including the Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise, or MWBE, Program. Justin Nelson, the chambers President said in a statement “New York City has a legacy of leadership in promoting inclusivity at every level of public life. LGBT entrepreneurs in New York City will now have the opportunity to create jobs and develop innovations that benefit all who live there.” New York is now the largest city to incorporate LGBTQ businesses in minority contracting and procurement opportunities, but it follows similar efforts by numerous other cities — including Chicago; Baltimore; Los Angeles; Nashville, Tennessee; and Philadelphia — and several states, including California, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.

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Queer Up Business

10 Most Historic & Iconic Gay Bars In America

At no time since the 1969 Stonewall Riots have our gay bars been under greater attack than in 2020. This time we can’t see the violators. It’s a virus called Corona. So it’s more important than ever to support our gay culture institutions. So we take a look at our most historic and iconic gay bars in America. How many of these historic venues have you visited or even heard about? (TONY) The White Horse Inn – in Oakland, California, claims to be the oldest, continually operating gay bar in the US. It was officially opened in 1933 and has been attracting gay custom since around that time. (AL) Cafe Lafitte in Exile – New Orleans. Like the White Horse in Oakland, Louisiana’s Cafe Lafitte In Exile also stakes a claim as the oldest gay bar in the US still in operation. It also dates back to the end of Prohibition in 1933 but may have been operating unofficially before that time. It can be found in New Orleans’ historic French Quarter. (FAY) Atlantic House – Provincetown. It’s impossible to say how long gay people have favored this Cape Cod venue as a watering hole, but it’s been at least 60 years and probably several decades longer. Provincetown has been attracting an LGBTQ crowd since the start of the 20th century when it became a popular retreat for artists and writers. (TONY) Twin Peaks Tavern – San Francisco is in the heart of the Castro, is one of the city’s most famous gay bars and has a history stretching back almost 50 years. It opened in 1935 but was taken over by lesbian friends and relaunched in 1972. Mary Ellen Cunha and Peggy Forster did something radical at the time. They uncovered the windows, making Twin Peaks the first gay bar in the US to have big, clear windows, so people could see in from the street. Previously, gay bars were boarded up or hidden behind discreet doors. (AL) Wild Side West – San Francisco. Wild Side West has been gay-owned since its launch as ‘Wild Side’ in Oakland in 1962, catering predominantly to the lesbian community. It relocated in 1964 to Broadway in San Francisco, changing its name to Wild Side West in the process, and then to its current location in Bernal Heights in 1976. (FAY) The Hole In The Wall – San Diego. This cozy, California dive bar has a history going back to the 1920s. It was a speakeasy during Prohibition and began to earn itself a reputation as a gay-friendly hangout in the 1940s. (TONY) The Rail – San Diego. Another of the longest-running gay bars in the whole country, The Rail (formerly The Brass Rail) has a history dating back to 1934. It first opened in Downtown’s historic Orpheum Theatre building, before relocating to Hillcrest in the early 1960s. (AL) Oil Can Harry’s – Los Angeles. Oil Can Harry’s has been welcoming gay men through its doors – particularly leather men and cowboy lovers – since 1968. You’ll find it in San Fernando Valley, away from West Hollywood. (FAY) Julius – New York City. Julius is believed to be the oldest, continually operating gay bar in New York City. The venue opened in 1867. It began to get a reputation as a gay hangout in the 1950s, a reputation its management at the time took steps to try and quell by sometimes refusing to serve people who they knew to be gay. (TONY) The Stonewall Inn – New York City. Stonewall is probably the most famous gay bar in the world. The venue had existed for several decades, mainly as a restaurant, when it was taken over by a Mafia mobster in 1967 and relaunched as a gay bar. On a hot June night in 1969, it was raided by police, and patrons famously fought back, leading to several nights of protests and rioting. The uprising helped advance the modern LGBTQ rights movement and the birth of Pride festivals worldwide. Madonna, Taylor Swift, and Joe Biden are among those who have visited the bar – now under new owners – in recent years to pay tribute to its place in gay history. The 2020 pandemic has had a massive impact on the Stonewall as a business, but a successful GoFundMe campaign has succeeded in raising over $300,000 to guarantee it should be around for some time to come.

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Queer Up Business

10 Queer-Owned Small Businesses to Shop Gifts for the Holidays and Beyond

In 2020, the coronavirus has accelerated the growing gap between local and corporate businesses. The landscape looks increasingly grim: Jeff Bezos’ wealth rose by an estimated $48 billion from March to June, while Amazon workers organized strikes throughout the year to demand fairer pay and COVID protections. So spending your money at a small business could go further than ever before, especially as we enter the holiday shopping season. This has never been more true for LGBTQ small business. At Queer News Tonight we have organized some recommendations for the best LGBTQ local choices. Who can’t use a little QueerKwe Designs, Rebecca Lynn created a two spirit indigneous & LGBTQ company that has amazing traditional beadwork design with modern LGBTQ pride colors. Neckties are not just for gay boys anymore. Bowtie Behavior. Founder Robin Williams. This harlem based brand aims to help everyone feel comfortable, fly and at home within themselves. Bowties and pocket squares have never been so fashionable. Not Breakfast at Tiffany’s but it’s Momo Metals. Founder Monique Peterson created this independent jewelry brand based in Philadelphia. Her unique designs have created national attention in unique one of a kind presentations. Our answer is Because. Founder Hawwaa Ibrahim created a fashion brand that should not be taken too seriously. The black muslim is creating national attention in and out of the LGBTQ community. Because sells rainbow crochet sweaters, pom-pom earrings, and flowing frocks for all genders. From baking to beanies at Tifknits. Brookly chef and baker Tiff Bryant creates hand-knit beanies for all genders, hair types, and head shapes. Created from a sheep farm in upstate New York that hand spins and naturally dyes the yarn. The unique brand is environmentally friendly and fashionable. We all need Queer Collections. Westley Collins and Devon Mazoue are the queer, agender makers behind Queer Collections. The independent, Sacramento-based shop offers chain jewelry with fun charms like mushrooms, tarot cards, or even letters spelling out “they/them” pronouns. The brand was started when both lost their jobs due to Covid-19. The virus may give them the last laugh. Perhaps Official Rebrand. Designer MI Leggett is the founder, a clothing brand that sells upcycled garments altered with original paintings and drawings. They describe the process of transforming these clothes as a “celebration of identity fluidity [by] dissociating garments from gendered categories.” Consider Sapphic Apothecary. Anna Farino is the owner and founder of Sapphic Apothecary, a Philadelphia-based business that makes hand-poured, organic, and ethically-sourced soy candles. Candles contribute to harming the environment. Enter Sapphic Apothecary that can provide environmental soundness with the beauty of flickering candle-light. How about Stuzo. founder Stoney Michelli Love and Stuzo make clothes for humans and not genders. They launched the Los Angeles-based, genderless fashion brand in 2010, and since then, they’ve offered apparel and accessories that caters to the Black queer community and beyond. Give these amazing and emerging LGBTQ brands a closer look. And this year, of all years, try to shop local. Both inside and outside the LGBTQ community.

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Queer Up Business

NetWerQ Interview With OutBüro Founder/Chief Queer Officer Denis Velco

Q News Tonight is proud to launch our BRAND NEW Thursday Night Business Professional Segment we are calling “Net…WerQ” (All Host Snaps Their Fingers), where we will highlight & network LIVE with Local LGBTQ Business Leaders, Individuals, & Organizations. And make sure to follow Q News Tonight all all of our Happening Out Television Network platforms now on LinkedIn! Here to kick off our first segment is the Gay Professional Network & Community: OutBüro! OutBüro’s mission is to connect the world’s LGBTQ employees, professionals, and entrepreneurs with opportunities to grow in their careers and grow their companies. They strive to connect companies and organizations that support LGBTQ Corporate Equality with quality candidates, while providing a voice and insight into workplace culture and LGBT workplace issues, including inclusivity such as those with disabilities. OutBüro’s services are designed to promote economic opportunity for their members by enabling you and thousands of other gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, queer professionals along with diversity recruiting professionals and our friends and allies to meet, post job opportunities, create a professional profile, store and submit your resume, find quality diversity candidates, exchange ideas, learn, and find business opportunities, all while making decisions in a network of trusted relationships within as a LGBTQ professionally-oriented safe and accepting platform. And did we mention that it’s Founder also built, curated and moderated LinkedIn’s largest LGBT Group with over 46,000 professionals? To tell us a bit more about OutBüro and in his belief of when individuals see a collective group they feel they are not alone, is it’s Founder & Chief Queer Officer, Denis Velco! Welcome Denis to our first NetWerQ Business Professional Segment on Q News Tonight!

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Queer Up Business

Trump Supporter’s Business Hit With Hundreds of Negative Reviews After Homophobic Rant Goes Viral

A Donald Trump supporter’s business has been flooded with negative reviews after a video of her aggressively homophobic rant went viral.
The woman, who TMZ reports is called Gina Michelle Bisignano, can be seen in the clip attending a small anti-lockdown protest outside of L.A. County Department of Public Health director Barbara Ferrer’s house. The protest saw COVID-19 conspiracy theorists criticize Ferrer for putting new restrictions in place to control the spread of the virus, and Bisignano was filmed at the protest loudly throwing homophobic slurs at the person filming her. “You’re a faggot. I said it. I don’t give a shit,” she said in the video, wearing a suitably ugly Trump-supporting t-shirt. “You’re disgusting, you’re a New World order Satanist.” Clutching a very small dog in her arm, she continues to make homophobic comments directed at the person behind the camera. “You’re a fag. What are you, a guy or a girl?” she continues. “I’m gonna tell you something else… You’re a nazi and you’re brainwashed by MK Ultra. … I bet you had an abortion this morning.” Unsurprisingly, the internet was quick to find out who she was so that she could face consequences for her deranged comments. Bisignano is the owner of the Beverly Hills salon, Gina’s Eyelashes and Skincare, and ever since the clip spread online, it has been hit with countless negative Yelp reviews.