Showtime Partners With Human Rights Campaign to Help Support LGBTQ Businesses Amid Pandemic

Courtesy of Showtime
Showtime Networks chief marketing officer Michael Engleman

The initiative will direct funds to help support queer businesses with a special focus on LGBTQ+ people of color, women and the transgender community.

The Human Rights Campaign and Showtime have partnered on "Queer to Stay: An LGBTQ+ Business Preservation Initiative" to provide support and help preserve businesses that serve the LGBTQ+ community with a focus on LGBTQ+ people of color, women and the transgender community.

Due to the crippling COVID-19 pandemic, businesses across the country have either closed temporarily or shuttered permanently to help mitigate the spread of the virus. LGBTQ+ businesses in particular suffered greatly due to canceled Pride festivities during the month of June and beyond. "Queer to Stay" seeks to help support a number of those businesses by donating funds, per today's announcement, though specific dollar amounts were not revealed. Applications are online and will be accepted through day's end on Aug. 14th. Recipients will be revealed "later this summer," per today's announcement.

"We know that businesses like bars, restaurants and coffee shops often serve as affirming and welcoming spaces for LGBTQ+ people – including young people who may not have supportive families or communities at home," said HRC president Alphonso David. "With a global pandemic and its economic impact threatening to shut down queer spaces, it’s important that we support and preserve those that have provided a place for LGBTQ+ people to express ourselves freely, find community and be our authentic selves. We are grateful to collaborate with Showtime on this initiative to protect and preserve LGBTQ+-serving spaces."

Added Showtime Networks chief marketing officer Michael Engleman: "We are proud to continue our long-standing relationship with HRC this year by bringing aid to beloved and crucial LGBTQ+ locations. Showtime has a history of telling diverse, complicated, authentic stories – with a marked emphasis on LGBTQ+ creators, characters and storylines. Our sincere hope is that this step marks only the beginning of a focus on spaces that are key to both the history and current lifeblood of the LGBTQ+ community."