“Everywhere is Queer” app cements a digital hub for LGBT+ businesses

by Chase DiBenedetto

Everywhere is Queer app wants to help queer, trans, and allied communities find space.

A new app has just dropped for seekers of LGBT+-owned businesses, queer-friendly artists and advisors, and inclusive community spaces — or for supporters seeking a tangible way to defy the current political tide. Launched by Everywhere is Queer, an LGBT+ business directory that gained popularity in 2022, it’s Yelp for the queer-led revolution.

Everywhere is Queer app wants to help queer, trans, and allied communities find space. Credit: Mashable composite; Everywhere is Queer/ Charlie Sprinkman / AerialPerspective Images / Moment / Getty

The just-released Everywhere is Queer app provides on-the-go discoverability to users and LGBT+-owned businesses around the world, although the majority of spots exist in the continental U.S. It’s simple to navigate, consistently updated, and, most importantly, a living, digital document of Queer community.

When users make a profile and log on, they’re greeted with a map filled with small green markers, and if they’ve enable location services, it’ll start finding LGBT+-owned spaces immediately. The canopy of location markers can be filtered by dozens of business categories and narrowed down by zip code or neighborhood. There’s a separate tab where you can browse online-only businesses, and another that organizes listings that you’ve favorited.

The app is part of a larger network of LGBT+-focused resource hubs in the spirit of the community’s legacy of mutual aid and support. Others like Everywhere is Queer include OutCare, a directory and advocacy organization for LGBT+-friendly healthcare providers, and LGBT+-focused job boards, like Queer Outdoors, which was designed by environmentalist drag queen Pattie Gonia and data architect and performer Red Fong.

Mashable first spoke to Sprinkman in 2022, not long after the initial version of Everywhere is Queer launched. The early website — a community-organized directory of queer-owned businesses using Google Maps software and a Google entry form — was a fledgling coding project started by Sprinkman, following a summer traveling around the country and working at an LGBT+ leadership camp.

Since then, Sprinkman has moved from the smaller city of Bend, Oregon to Portland and Everywhere is Queer has continued to grow. As of January, the directory had nearly 9,000 business entries, and the number of business categories has more than doubled. Everywhere is Queer has added therapists, legal and financial support, tattoo artists and queer events, and categories that aren’t necessarily profit-driven, like queer-serving community groups.

“It’s your queer pickleball groups, your queer chess clubs, your queer you-name-it. Queer people are amazing. There’s groups for everything,” Sprinkman said of the app’s variety.

The tight-knit community of thousands of LGBT+ users and supporters carried over from the initial buzz generated in 2022 has followed Sprinkman from TikTok, to Instagram, to desktop site, and now to an app. The Everywhere is Queer Instagram page has more than 140,000 organic followers, which, Sprinkman is proud to point out, is impressive for having not done a single paid advertisement for the site. Nor, they reiterated, are they venture capital-backed.

Everywhere is Queer has also built out it’s blog and an accompanying newsletter. Sprinkman’s started traveling around the country to meet, interview, and spotlight these businesses. But, all in all, the endeavor is still a small operation, with only Sprinkman and three other “employees” handling operations, one being Sprinkman’s partner, the other a part-time administrative assistant, and most recently a contracted web developer, Chris Redrich.

Sprinkman made the decision to go full time as Everywhere is Queer founder and untitled CEO in Oct. 2023, timed exactly with the first announcement that the site was developing an app. “EIQ isn’t me. It’s US,” they wrote at the time. “I am helping facilitate this project, but it’s YOU telling your friends about it and supporting queer people that is making the change.”

They’ve been hyping up the app’s release ever since, posting across Everywhere is Queer’s social media pages in the hopes that the constant buzz will encourage a swell of community engagement. Sprinkman is even incentivizing businesses, followers, and influencers to get on the promotion train with easy-to-download launch posts and events. Around 1,000 supporters agreed to share the news at the time of the app’s launch.

“It’s queer and trans and allied individuals that want to find these queer spaces wherever they are in the world,” they explained.

The app is one part natural progression of a mapping endeavor that could only sustain itself on Google’s free APIs for so long, another part future business plan, following an escalation of businesses reaching out to Everywhere is Queer for paid promotion opportunities.

“I always wanted to develop an app that would make it more accessible for small businesses to promote their business to the [Everywhere is Queer] audience,” Sprinkman explained. But the first step was to tear everything down, including the old Google spreadsheet-based map, and build it back up in the new vision of Everywhere is Queer. Fortunately, community came in clutch again. Sprinkman was contacted last summer by a queer, LA-based developer who offered to help enable the site to go mobile, later contracted by Sprinkman’s partner for a small fee, and the group has been busy designing the app ever since.

“I have to be honest, Chris is the most amazing developer I have ever worked with in my life,” Sprinkman said. “If people are reading this, do not steal him from me. In one week of us having a conversation, he had the bones of the app already built and ready to go. It’s been a little team, the three of us, coming together.”
After a completely new back-end site was designed to accommodate the new app, Sprinkman and team set out to contact every single business (at that stage, around 6,000 accounts) to build a new profile that would be directly imported into the app. Businesses can still apply to be added to the list, which continue to be updated as the app rolls out.

While the app serves the community first and foremost, Sprinkman also sees it as a potential income-generator that will sustain the Everywhere is Queer directory. “Businesses are going to be able to become a founding supporter and have a premium listing in-app for less than $50 a month at the start,” they explained. These featured businesses get priority placement in the map’s list tab, and they’ll maintain a “founding supporter” badge on their business page forever.

This article was written for Mashable and adapted for GAY45.

Chase DiBenedetto is a reporter for Mashable. Chase has a B.A. in International Studies from UC San Diego and a Masters in International Relations and Journalism from NYU. Her academic background is rooted in global social movements, humanitarian aid and human rights, and the politics and culture of Latin America. Chase’s MA thesis was all about mummies. She is an avid film watcher, breadmaker, concertgoer, and California enthusiast. On any given day you can catch her in the AMC A-List line… Or buying too many books… Or talking obscure fun facts. She firmly believes Pixar’s Cars is one of the best movies ever made.

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