Almost all small businesses are owned and operated by straight people. There are only a tiny fraction of small businesses that are owned and operated by LGBTQ+ people comparatively. Note: When we say LGBTQ+ we are referring to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities. When it comes to publishing houses, there are only a handful that are LGBTQ+ owned. Publish Your Purpose (PYP) founder and CEO Jenn Grace identifies as queer. PYP and Jenn work to uplift LGBTQ+ voices and give them a platform to tell their stories.
Number of LGBTQ+ Owned Businesses
A report from the National LGBT Chamber of commerce found that out of the 28 million small businesses that are in the U.S. there are only 909 certified LGBT business enterprises (LGBTBEs). For a business to be acknowledged and certified as an LGBTBE they must 51% owned, managed, and operated by an LGBTQ+ person.
This is significantly less than 1% of all small business. Part of the reason is that there are a lot of LGBTQ+ people that are still in the closet or fear persecution from coworkers or workplace cultures. From that small percent or 909 certified LGBTBEs, about 67% of them are owned by gay men while about 30% of them are owned by lesbians. With only about 2.3% being owned by transgender people. These statistics being out of the 909 certified LGBTBEs there’s a large gap to be filled between LGBTQ+ owned and straight owned businesses.
These statistics cover all small businesses but when it comes to publishing houses the numbers decrease drastically. There are thousands of different publishing houses that range from various sizes but there are only a handful of them that are listed as LGBTQ+ friendly. There are even fewer that are owned and operated by LGBTQ+ people. These publishing houses give a voice and a platform to tell diverse voices and topics to a wider audience. One of PYP’s beliefs is that the more raw and real we can be—the deeper the connections we can experience. This drives our fierce commitment to bring voice to the invisible stories that free people from their isolation.
From Personal Experience
Discrimination in the workplace against LGBTQ+ people is unfortunately common. Whether it’s passing comments or physical violence against the person. Our founder, Jenn, has first-hand experience in facing discrimination in the workplace that has shaped her commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace.
Jenn shares in her own words—“My first job out of college was with an insurance company. I had been working in retail management previously and being openly LGBTQ was a non-issue. I quickly learned that being “out” in an office environment put a target on my back. I worked surrounded by people with bigoted and homophobic views. I learned fast that I was not welcomed. I worked hard for 5 years to try to change the culture of the organization from the inside with no success. Upon my departure, I made a vow that I would not ever allow someone to treat me the way I was treated in that environment, and further, that when I was in the role of employing and/or managing others that I would not allow that to happen to them either. This remains my commitment to this day.”
Creating a More Diverse Workplace and Providing Opportunities for LGBTQ+ People
Jenn has committed to this and has worked to build a diverse team to help our author share their stories. PYP works to ensure that everyone who works for us—or with us—is treated equally. Our team is comprised of LGBTQ+ and straight people and works to provide opportunities for all diverse people to work with us.
We strive to help tell people’s stories that are often deemed “risky” by larger publishing houses and give them the opportunity for their story to be told. Many publishing houses have specific audiences who they market their books toward and because of this they take on certain book ideas if they feel they can market it. Thus there are many stories by LGBTQ+ that get buried or untold. This is why it matters that PYP is LGBTQ+ owned and operated. We understand the importance of sharing LGBTQ+ stories that other publishing companies won’t tell.
While LGBTQ+ people’s voices are being brought to the surface more and more this has been because of the countless years of work by LGBTQ+ people. Diversity in the workplace and the emergence of more diverse-owned businesses have been made possible by diverse leaders pushing for more inclusivity in all sectors of business.
PYP continues this and strives to create more inclusive communities by helping diverse people share their stories. This is why our roster of authors is as diverse as our mission. We work with all types of authors, even those who may not appear diverse on the surface. We welcome anyone who is striving to make a bigger difference and impact in the world in a positive way.
PYP works with diverse people and purpose-driven authors that have a story that they need to tell. If you have a story that you need to share contact Publish Your Purpose today or click here to learn more about PYP.