From a small-town gay bar to a trans-owned barber shop, there are more LGBTQ business than most people imagine all around them, in every corner of the USA. Despite challenges from the pandemic, an estimated 1.4 million LGBTQ entrepreneurs are working to create these connections every day. Gay bars and cafes—often the most accessible safe space—double as centers for activism and celebration. Other business owners are breaking barriers in industries where LGBTQ people have been historically marginalized, such as auto repair or the barber shop.

Across the country, LGBTQ business owners and employees are finding that creating spaces where all people feel welcome and comfortable is generally good for business... and helps promote a deeper, stronger sense of community and active participation in a community. Feeling connected, as it turns out, is a big need that consumers across all industries love!

Remember there’s a market for you, and to always be authentic.

I just think you have to remember, there’s a market for you. You are talented, and you are incredible as you are, and spending your life trying to be someone else is a life sadly lived—based on my experience. Being authentic is the greatest asset we have in life and in business. Rather than trying to fit in with “those at the top,” build your own team of people around you, and come up together.

Learn to ask for help 

Something other business owners have learned and, many admit, had a hard time dealing with is accepting help from people when it’s offered—and to ask for help when you need it. There is a lot to be said about struggling and working really hard, but your business that does what it does for people couldn’t exist without being aware of the need to asking for help from the closest people to you: sometimes your own families, sometimes friends, sometimes leaders in your community. 

You're not alone. So don't isolate yourself!