Stonewall Columbus adding coffee shop to build community, provide LGBTQ+ opportunities

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A new cafe coming soon to the Short North will offer more than just coffee and tea. Stonewall Columbus is fundraising to create an inclusive coffee shop at its High Street LGBTQ+ community center.

“What the community center has thought really about was — how do we invite people in? How do we create a space that’s welcoming, that people want to come and stop by?” explained Densil Porteous, the Executive Director of Stonewall Columbus.

The coffee shop will open on the main floor of the building, in a corner of the nonprofit’s art gallery.

“The places that we see in the community oftentimes as a community gathering space are coffee and tea shops,” Porteous said.

It will not only function as an intentional way to engage the community, but also as a way to generate revenue for the non-profit. Additionally, the project will provide employment opportunities for trans individuals.

“Oftentimes they’re finding it the hardest to find employment because people have whatever preconceived notions or beliefs they have against them,” Porteous said “But also just because of laws and regulations on the books that are literally there to hold them back and infringe upon trans citizens’ rights.”

According to GLAAD, transgender people experience a 3 time higher unemployment rate than the general population. The rate is 4 times higher for trans people of color. GLAAD’s research also finds 30 percent of trans people report being fired, denied a promotion or experiencing mistreatment at work in the past year due to their gender identity.

“These citizens are valued and valuable to our community and we want to ensure they understand their value and what they can do for our community,” Porteous said.

Several corporate donors, Abercrombie and Fitch and CAS, have helped Stonewall Columbus begin raising funds to create the coffee shop. Porteous said the goal is to raise enough money by the organization’s 40th anniversary in late September.
You can learn more about the mission of Stonewall Columbus, become a member or contribute to the organization by clicking on this link.

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