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Brief Published: 2 Jun 2021

Lavender Book Platforms Safe Spaces for Black LGBTQ+ People


Addressing the increased risk of violence and harassment that Black LGBTQ+ consumers face, new web-based app Lavender Book maps safe and friendly establishments across the US. Launched in May, the search engine was created in collaboration with Out in Tech – a non-profit for LGBTQ+ people working in the technology sector.

The app’s name is inspired by the Green Book, an annual guide published from the 1930s to the 1960s for Black road trippers in the US, which documented places and services that would be hospitable to them. Lavender Book users can filter their searches to find establishments with trans-trained staff, gender-neutral restrooms, and Black-owned and Black-friendly businesses, among a host of other options.

David Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition and founder of Lavender Book, said: “Most people take for granted and don’t have to think about things like whether or not a barber or beautician is going to say something that might be homophobic.”

The risk of danger for Black LGBTQ+ consumers is an everyday reality. The LGBTQ+ community are nearly four times more likely than non-LGBTQ+ people to become victims of violent crime, according to a US 2020 study by The Williams Institute, a think tank researching public policy on sexual orientation and gender identity. Plus the Anti-Violence Project, a US non-profit that tracks violence against the LGBTQ+ community, said that LGBTQ+ people of colour often bear the brunt of these biases (NBC News, 2021).

For more on how tech brands are serving the needs of LGBTQ+ consumers, see The Brief.