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Norfolk nonprofit publishes first statewide directory of LGBTQ+ friendly businesses

The LGBT Life Center's new searchable business directory will accept submissions from LGBTQ+ business owners and allies from across the state.
Courtesy
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LGBT Life Center
The LGBT Life Center's new searchable business directory will accept submissions from LGBTQ+ business owners and allies from across the state.

This story was reported by WHRO News.

A Norfolk nonprofit created Virginia’s first statewide directory of businesses accepting and welcoming of the LGBTQ+ community.

Corey Mohr, of the LGBT Life Center, said the No. 1 question the center receives is where to find LGBTQ+-friendly services. A common request they get is recommendations for medical providers and related services — but the need for welcoming spaces goes far beyond the doctor’s office.

“Just last year, I heard a story of a couple going to a restaurant on Valentine’s Day and the owner of the restaurant telling them that they were ‘only serving real couples,’ and asked them to leave,” Mohr said. “The community faces discrimination left and right. And I don’t know that people know that that’s still such a problem, but that is in our area.”

Mohr said the center has kept its own spreadsheet of welcoming and affirming businesses to refer people to when they call to ask, but the sheer volume of requests drove them to develop the new online tool.

The directory is meant to help folks easily find everything from auto shops or neighborhood bars to a plumber to come check a water heater.

“Particularly when you’re talking about inviting someone into your home, you want to feel safe with that person,” Mohr said.

The directory will accept submissions from LGBTQ+ business owners and allies from across the state. It’s searchable by distance and category.

Mohr said accessing and submitting to the directory are totally free — unlike many other business directories — because the center doesn’t want cost to be a barrier for community members seeking services.


Copyright 2024 WHRV

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