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With so many LGBTQ+ venues fighting for their survival, GayCities has teamed up with GoFundMe to establish a LGBTQ Nightlife Relief Fund. Queer spaces can be dispropotionately impacted by the economic toll of the past year, in part because of historic discrimination that makes it harder for LGBTQ+ proprietors to qualify for loans or find other financial support. But what makes the loss of so many queer clubs and bars so devistating is their legacy as refuges for LGBTQ+ people to mingle and form community.
When queer venues close, especially those that have been open for three, four, or more decades, the queer community loses a part of its history, and risks getting pushed out of traditionally gay neighborhoods. With so many businesses running out of cash and the means to pay rent or cover business expenses, help is necessary to save queer bars and clubs across the US.
That’s where GayCities’ LGBTQ Nightlife Relief Fund on GoFundMe is hoping to help make a difference.
“This is not only about preserving historic LGBTQ venues, it’s about saving these spaces for future generations to come,” Scott Gatz, CEO of Q.Digital said in a written statement, "For many, queer bars and clubs are the first safe space they found where they could meet people and find irreplaceable community. We need to step up to save these important venues.”
Through GoFundMe.org, the nonprofit and charitable arm of GoFundMe, tax-deductible donations to the Fund will help LGBTQ+ bars and clubs across the country stay afloat by offering financial support to their employees and paying for ongoing business expenses. Until the fund is depleted, donations will be paid out as one-time $500 matching grants to qualifying LGBTQ+ venues.
Grindr has contributed to the effort by donating advertising space on their platform to promote the LGBTQ Nightlife Relief Fund.
Support LGBTQ+ venues across the country with a tax-deductible donation here.
To qualify for a $500 matching grant from the GayCities' LGBTQ Nightlife Relief Fund:
- New or existing GoFundMe fundraisers must be for clubs or bars that are at least 51% owned, operated and/or controlled by one or more persons identifying as LGBTQ
- The club or bar must complete this form
- Fundraiser must raise at least $500
- New fundraisers launched must contain #savequeervenues in their fundraiser story. Pre-existing fundraisers will need to edit their story to add #savequeervenues.
- Verify that the venue has been negatively impacted by a government mandate due to the COVID-19 pandemic
- Must be independently owned and operated, and must not be nationally dominant in the field of operation
- Recipients must intend on using the funds to help care for employees or pay ongoing business expenses