[Chicago, IL June 1, 2023] As we begin Pride Month, many in the LGBTQIA+ community, and in particular of late, transgender and non-binary people, drag performers, and parts of the leather, fetish, kink, and BDSM communities, continue to face a day in and day out barrage of hate and oppression that is very damaging, both mentally and physically. This has a lasting impact on us in much the same way as those who experience trauma suffer from PTSD. Over time the damage is enormous and very literally life threatening. We know this as a fact we see the very real impact of PTSD on our team and our community as whole. We have experienced addiction issues up close and in person; we have experienced suicide. These are not just dramatic stories; this is our reality.
LGBTQ youth are more than FOUR times more likely to attempt suicide than their peers.
A 2022 Trevor Project study found that 45% of LGBTQ youth have seriously considered attempting suicide, including more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth.
It is estimated that 20-30% of the LGBTQ community abuse substances, compared to about 9% of the population as a whole.
o The LGBTQ community suffers higher rates of substance abuse due in part to the number of societally imposed obstacles they face, often on a daily basis.
o These situations do a huge amount of damage, resulting in "self-medicating."
LGBTQ community members have a higher degree of psychological and emotional disorders, commonly rooted in feeling forced to a live a "closeted life."
Huge portions of the homeless population are queer or transgender.
At 2Bears Tavern Group, our passion and unyielding fight for safe spaces for everyone in our community is a core value of our company and something we strive for day in and day out. In furtherance of our goals and values as a company, we also look for and expect authentic allyship from those whom we support, and those with whom we do business and partner. In the face of so much hate and efforts to dehumanize us and take away our rights, it is no longer enough to claim to be an ally by including us in your marketing or throwing some rainbows on your products one month each year. The LGBTQIA+ community needs authentic allies who stand proud and strong with us in the face of threats, boycotts, and hatred.
There are real dangers when those with the power and wherewithal to stand up and say "this is wrong" do not do so. Our community is not new to fears, threats, and acts of violence against us. The LGBTQIA+ community faces these concerns regularly for simply being who we are. For those most at risk, just knowing someone is in your corner can be the difference for that person between not seeing tomorrow and pushing forward for a better future. In
recent months, we have seen many examples of companies who have had the opportunity to stand up to hate and renew their support of the LGBTQIA+ community, and particularly their commitment to the safety and human rights of transgender people. Some have stood with us; others have failed to do so. It is no longer enough to claim to be an ally of the LGBTQIA+ community when you are making money off us. Authentic allies need to be there with us when the going gets tough, such as when the haters start spewing their lies and fearmongering on social media, as we have seen all too much.
This is about protecting our most vulnerable and creating community bonds so everyone can experience the "it gets better." It is vitally important to create safe spaces everywhere for everyone within the LGBTQIA+ community. While this sometimes requires hard choices, it is the choice tobe on the right side of history. We expect and demand that our allies make those hard choices.
All statements in this press release can be attributed to Mark Robertson and Mike Sullivan, co-owners of 2Bears Tavern Group.
About 2Bears Tavern Group:
2Bears Tavern Group owns and operates LGBTQIA+ taverns in Andersonville, Uptown and Rogers Park Meeting House Tavern, The SoFo Tap, Jackhammer, and 2Bears Tavern Uptown.
We welcome and support all our communities and our team is committed to providing each of our guests with a fun, friendly and quality experience.