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Austin LGBT Chamber Raises Fees for Small Business Members

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ALGBTCC Rainbow Ribbon Cutting for BizBox Powered by Office Depot
The Rainbow Ribbon cutting for BizBox Powered by Office Depot at the Austin LGBT Chamber May Luncheon. Photo credit: Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce / Facebook

The Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce‘s Board of Directors has voted to approve a restructure of its membership fees for 2019. Starting January 1, 2019, the Enhanced Small Business Member level will be eliminated and the fee for the Basic Small Business Member level will increase from $250 to $365 per year.

When their current membership expires, current Enhanced Small Business Members will have the option to upgrade their membership to the Corporate Silver Partner level for $1,000 or downgrade their membership to the Basic Small Business Member level at $365.

There were no changes to the membership fees for Student, Individual or Non-Profit Organization member levels or the Corporate Partner levels.

Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce
2019 Membership Levels

Student – $25
Individual – $75
Basic Small Business – $250 $365
Enhanced Small Business – $450
Corporate Silver Partner – $1,000
Corporate Gold Partner – $2,000
Corporate Platinum Partner – $3,500
Corporate Titanium Partner- $5,000

Chase is the Founder and Creative Director of therepubliq.com, Host and Executive Producer of OutCast Austin, an award-winning LGBT weekly radio program on KOOP 91.7 FM in Austin. In 2011, he was named the Critics Pick for 'Most Gaybiquitous' in the Austin Chronicle's Best of Austin. In 2012, CultureMap Austin named him one of Austin's Top LGBT bloggers and he received the AGLCC's Chamber Award for Social Media Diva.

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Networking

Rainbow Connections: February 2019

Here’s our rundown of networking events to check out in February. Highlights this month include StartOut’s Celebrating LGBTQ Women, Transgender & Non-Binary Business Leaders and the SXSW LGBTQIA+ Community Meetup.

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Networking events took a backseat to political activism in 2018, but its looking like 2019 will be the year that face-to-face networking returns … at least until the 2020 campaigns start to heat up. So, grab those business cards and join us for a little LGBTQ+ networking building next month.

Here’s our rundown of networking events to check out in February. Highlights this month include StartOut’s Celebrating LGBTQ Women, Transgender & Non-Binary Business Leaders and the SXSW LGBTQIA+ Community Meetup.

This is an active post and is updated. It also features a curated list of events. For a complete list of upcoming events, check out our community calendar.

Austin LGBT Chamber February Luncheon

ALGBTCC Rainbow Ribbon Cutting for BizBox Powered by Office Depot
The Rainbow Ribbon cutting for BizBox Powered by Office Depot at the Austin LGBT Chamber May Luncheon. Photo credit: Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce / Facebook

The Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce‘s luncheon will be at the El Chile Café y Cantina on TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2019 from 11 AM – 1 PM. In addition to the luncheon, there will also be a Rainbow Ribbon Cutting for new members of the Chamber.

Tickets are $20 for members, $25 for non-members and $30 for walk-up registration, space permitting. Advanced registration is highly recommended.

05feb11:00 AM1:00 PMFeaturedAustin LGBT Chamber February Luncheon11:00 AM - 1:00 PM El Chile Café Y CantinaCategories:NetworkingAges:All Ages

Celebrating LGBTQ Women, Transgender & Non-Binary Business Leaders

On THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2019, StartOut Austin and the eBay Foundation will host an evening featuring several female, transgender, and non-binary founders and business leaders from 6-8:30 PM at Galvanize.

A panel featuring Danielle Skidmore, former Austin City Council candidate and President at Danielle Skidmore Consulting, Kerry Rupp, Partner at True Wealth Ventures, and Angelica Erazo, Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator at Oracle. Led by Logan Wick, Founder & CEO of OutBranding Promos, the panel will feature an open, honest discussion about how they navigate being their authentic selves at work while leading companies.

07feb6:00 PM8:30 PMFeaturedCelebrating LGBTQ Women, Transgender & Non-Binary Business Leaders6:00 PM - 8:30 PM GalvanizeCategories:NetworkingAges:All Ages

Pride in Austin Networking Happy Hour

Exterior of the Lucille Patio Lounge
Lucille Patio Lounge on Rainey Street. Photo courtesy Lucille Patio Lounge / Facebook

The last event Pride in Austin Happy Hour was back in October 2017, but it looks like Varela Properties is reviving the networking event. The next one is scheduled for WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2019 from 6:30-11 PM and will be held at Lucille Patio Lounge over on Rainey Street.

13feb6:30 PM11:00 PMPride in Austin Networking Happy Hour6:30 PM - 11:00 PM Lucille Patio LoungeCategories:NetworkingAges:21+

LGBT+ Happy Hour with the ‘Loo

The second Thursday of each month, Rain on 4th hosts its monthly happy hour for Waterloo Counseling Center. Stop by on THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2019 from 6-8 PM and find out more about the LGBT+ and HIV/AIDS-specialized counseling services the center offers Austin’s LGBT community. Plus, each month a portion of sales during happy hour is donated back to Waterloo.

14feb6:00 PM8:00 PMLGBT+ Happy Hour with the 'Loo6:00 PM - 8:00 PM Rain on 4thCategories:Fundraiser,LGBTQ+,NetworkingAges:21+

SXSW LGBTQIA+ Community Meetup

Attendees at the SXSW LGBTQIA+ Meetup
Attendees at the SXSW LGBTQIA+ Meetup at DropBox Austin in March 2017. Photo courtesy SXSW / Waldo Photos

The past couple years, SXSW has hosted a pre-festival community meetup for the LGBTQIA+ community here in Austin. It’s an excellent opportunity to find out more about queer content included in this year’s festival. If you haven’t already gotten yours already, the chance to get a discount on a badge. Plus, there is an opportunity to win a badge to this year’s festival.

This year’s event is held in partnership with the Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce. It will replace the chamber’s monthly networking happy hour normally held on the third Thursday of the month. Join us TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2019 from 6-8 PM at the offices of DropBox Austin. The event is FREE with RSVP.

26feb6:00 PM8:00 PMFeaturedSXSW LGBTQIA+ Community MeetupAustin LBGT Chamber Networking Happy Hour6:00 PM - 8:00 PM Dropbox AustinCategories:NetworkingAges:All Ages

Stay tuned. We’ll be posting the details about our annual Big Gay Kickoff Party in partnership with the Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce in the first week of February.

GOT EVENTS? Submit events online at www.therepubliq.com/calendar/submit. Please allow 2-3 business days to process your listing. Basic events listings are always FREE.

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Workplace

Transgender Americans Still Face Workplace Discrimination Despite Some Progress

While US companies have made significant strides in creating workplaces that are more inclusive of transgender individuals, discrimination and employment penalties remain.

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This article is republished from The Conversation under a CC BY-ND 4.0 license. Read the original article.

Activist Gwendolyn Ann Smith founded Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20 to honor the memory of those whose lives were lost due to trans prejudice and hatred.

In that spirit of reflection, the day serves as an opportune time to examine how the opportunities and experiences of transgender individuals in the workplace have changed – particularly at a time when some government officials are openly advocating policies that discriminate against them.

I’ve been researching diversity and inclusion in a variety of settings including sports and work for nearly two decades. The good news is that my work and that of my peers shows transgender individuals have made significant strides in the workplace. The bad news is that many hurdles remain to equal opportunity and an end to discrimination.

SIGNS OF PROGRESS

Various indicators and signs point to meaningful improvements in the access, treatment and opportunities for transgender employees.

One such indicator is the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, an annual assessment of policies and benefits for LGBT individuals in Fortune 500 companies. In 2002, only 3 percent of Fortune 500 companies had nondiscrimination polices based on gender identity. That figure was 83 percent in the most recent report, which came out in 2018.

Human Rights Campaign 2016 Corporate Equality Index Best Places to Work Reception / photo credit: Ted Eytan / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The report also shows that most Fortune 500 companies now include transgender-inclusive medical benefits. In 2002, no companies offered such provisions.

Another measure of how much things have changed is in the willingness of corporate giants and their CEOs to oppose policies that discriminate against trandsgender individuals.

A recent example is when President Donald Trump said he would seek to legally define gender as immutably male or female. Coca-Cola, Apple, JP Morgan Chase and dozens of other major U.S. companies swiftly signaled their opposition.

Another is the backlash that has followed legislative efforts to limit the rights of transgender individuals to use pubic restrooms. North Carolina, for example, was estimated to lose US$3.76 billion over a dozen years after companies nixed plans to build facilities in the state or canceled concerts because of the “bathroom bill” lawmakers passed. They later repealed it.

My own research with a colleague shows why corporate America is taking a stand: Most consumers value inclusiveness. Participants in a study we conducted in 2014 interpreted LGBT-inclusive statements by organizations as a signal that the company valued all forms of diversity. As a result, the consumers’ attraction to the organization increased.

HURDLES REMAIN

Despite the progress, hurdles still exist, impeding full trans inclusion in the workplace.

A study I conducted with another colleague in 2017, for example, showed that, although attitudes toward transgender individuals have improved over time, they still lag behind perceptions toward lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals.

Legal scholars from UCLA’s Williams Institute have shown that transgender people earn less and are more likely to be unemployed than their cisgender peers – whose gender corresponds to their birth sex. In fact, in 2011, one in seven transgender individuals earned $10,000 or less a year, while the unemployment rate for trans people of color was nearly four times the national rate.

For those who are employed, they routinely face discrimination. In another study out of the Williams Institute, state law and policy director Christy Mallory and colleagues found that more than one in four reported being fired, passed over for promotion or not being hired in the past year because of their gender identity and expression.

Others are aware of the mistreatment. In a survey of Texans – a state where employment discrimination against transgender individuals is legal – 79 percent of the respondents agreed that LGBT individuals face workplace discrimination.

Texans are not alone. According to the Movement Advancement Project, an organization whose mission is to promote equality for all, 48 percent of LGBT individuals live in states lacking employment protections based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

MORE INCLUSIVE WORKPLACES

The evidence suggests transgender individuals have made progress in the workplace, but they still face considerable barriers. What, then, can employers do to create more inclusive environments?

Legal protections are key. Organizational psychologists Laura Barron and Michelle Hebl have shown that the presence of anti-discrimination ordinances and laws decrease bias in employment decision making. Absent federal protections, states and cities can ensure all people have employment protections, irrespective of their gender identity and expression.

Organizational leaders also make a difference. My research shows that leader advocacy and role modeling are critical when creating and sustaining an inclusion culture. Apple CEO Tim Cook, for example, has a history of strongly advocating for LGBT rights. It is little wonder, then, that Apple is routinely listed among the most LGBT-friendly companies.

The Apple contingent in the 2014 Austin Pride Parade / photo credit: Chase Martin / therepubliq

Finally, co-workers play an important role, especially when they serve as allies. These are persons who advocate for transgender equality in the workplace and try to create welcoming, inclusive spaces. Allies seek to create social change, leading the charge at times and supporting their transgender colleagues in other instances.

Transgender inclusion helps all involved. Employee engagement and performance improves, as does their psychological and physical health. Diverse and inclusive organizations outperform their peers on objective measures of success, such as stock market performance.

Thus, the path forward – one that clears the hurdles in place and creates an inclusive environment – is one that can benefit everyone.

Disclosure: Texas A&M University provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation US. A complete list of partners and funders can be viewed here.

The Conversation is an independent, nonprofit publisher of commentary and analysis, authored by academics and edited by journalists for the general public.

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Networking

Out Leadership Rings the Nasdaq Opening Bell

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Out Leadership, the global LGBT+ business network, rang the Nasdaq stock market opening bell on Friday, November 2, 2018. The ceremony celebrated Out Leadership’s instrumental impact in making LGBT+ equality a priority in global C-suites, and the progress its executive events and talent initiatives have made towards inspiring Out Leaders and global companies to grow their businesses through inclusion.

Todd Sears (center) was joined by members of Out Leadership’s senior leadership team and representatives from member companies / photo credit: Out Leadership / Facebook

“When I started this company, it was rare to see a CEO discussing LGBT+ equality as an issue that affected how they did business. In the last 8 years, we’ve engaged more than 400 global CEOs in our work, helping them realize the immense positive business impacts of inclusion. In many ways, ringing the opening bell is symbolic of the immense progress we’ve made in establishing LGBT+ equality as a guiding principle for many of our world’s most influential companies. As we ring the opening bell, we are grateful to the many companies and leaders who’ve helped us get here. And we are also reminded of how much potential remains locked behind closet doors. Our commitment to driving LGBT+ equality forward, in every kind of company, and in every region of the world, is stronger than ever before,” said Todd Sears, Founder and Principal, Out Leadership.

Todd Sears was joined by members of Out Leadership’s senior leadership team, representatives from Out Leadership’s member companies include members of its Leadership Committees, and other supporters.

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23mar(mar 23)10:00 PM24(mar 24)2:00 AMSaturday Night ft. DJ Eriq Stylez10:00 PM - 2:00 AM (24) Oilcan Harry'sCategories:NightlifeAges:21+

24mar2:00 PM9:00 PMSunday Beer BustFt. DJ Todd2:00 PM - 9:00 PM The Iron BearCategories:NightlifeAges:21+

24mar3:00 PM9:00 PMSunday Funday ft. DJ KAHLU3:00 PM - 9:00 PM Rain on 4thCategories:NightlifeAges:21+

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24mar5:00 PM7:00 PMDrag BingoHost by Vegas Van Cartier5:00 PM - 7:00 PM BT2 AustinCategories:DragAges:21+

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24mar(mar 24)10:00 PM25(mar 25)2:00 AMLatin Night ft. DJ PM10:00 PM - 2:00 AM (25) BT2 AustinCategories:NightlifeAges:21+

24mar(mar 24)10:00 PM25(mar 25)2:00 AMKreamHosted by Cupcake10:00 PM - 2:00 AM (25) Sellers UndergroundCategories:Drag,NightlifeAges:21+

24mar(mar 24)10:00 PM25(mar 25)2:00 AMLate Night KaraokeHosted by Colleen DeForrest10:00 PM - 2:00 AM (25) Highland LoungeCategories:NightlifeAges:21+

24mar(mar 24)10:00 PM25(mar 25)2:00 AMSuper Sunday Diva Show10:00 PM - 2:00 AM (25) Oilcan Harry'sCategories:DragAges:18+

25mar7:00 PM9:00 PMCupcake Bar Trivia7:00 PM - 9:00 PM Rain on 4thCategories:Drag,NightlifeAges:21+

25mar(mar 25)10:00 PM26(mar 26)2:00 AMGame Night10:00 PM - 2:00 AM (26) Oilcan Harry'sCategories:NightlifeAges:21+

25mar(mar 25)10:00 PM26(mar 26)2:00 AMMartinis & KaraokeHosted by Danny Pintauro10:00 PM - 2:00 AM (26) Rain on 4thCategories:NightlifeAges:21+

26mar6:00 PM7:00 PMBeginner Yoga with Kirk6:00 PM - 7:00 PM TransformCategories:FitnessAges:All Ages

26mar7:00 PM10:00 PMOpen Mic NightHosted by Sheena Simmons7:00 PM - 10:00 PM Sellers UndergroundCategories:NightlifeAges:21+

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27mar6:00 PM8:00 PMSteak Night6:00 PM - 8:00 PM BT2 AustinCategories:Food,NightlifeAges:21+

27mar6:30 PM8:00 PMWorkout! Wednesday w/ Erica Nix6:30 PM - 8:00 PM TransformCategories:FitnessAges:All Ages

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27mar(mar 27)10:00 PM28(mar 28)2:00 AMLIVE KaraokeHosted by Evelyn Syde10:00 PM - 2:00 AM (28) Sellers UndergroundCategories:NightlifeAges:21+

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29mar7:00 PM10:30 PMTexas Hold'em TournamentHosted by ADA Hold'em7:00 PM - 10:30 PM Oilcan Harry'sCategories:NightlifeAges:21+

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29mar(mar 29)10:00 PM30(mar 30)2:00 AMFriday Night ft. DJ KAHLU10:00 PM - 2:00 AM (30) Oilcan Harry'sCategories:NightlifeAges:21+

30mar9:30 AM11:00 AMBig Boi Yoga9:30 AM - 11:00 AM TransformCategories:FitnessAges:All Ages

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30mar(mar 30)10:00 PM31(mar 31)2:00 AMSaturday Night ft. DJ Eriq Stylez10:00 PM - 2:00 AM (31) Oilcan Harry'sCategories:NightlifeAges:21+

31mar2:00 PM9:00 PMSunday Beer BustFt. DJ Todd2:00 PM - 9:00 PM The Iron BearCategories:NightlifeAges:21+

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31mar4:30 PM8:00 PMTexas Hold'em TournamentHosted by ADA Hold'em4:30 PM - 8:00 PM Sellers UndergroundCategories:NightlifeAges:21+

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