Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Hump Day Spinning Wheels & More

Welcome to another COP 24/7 post where we spin the big wheel of "what's really going on!" And believe me, there's plenty and then some as the social media platforms have been lit up with rants, chatter and state bashing that this platform has non to happy about. So without any delay, lets dive in head first.

The LGBTQ Body Politic

In the past several weeks, this platform has been in a "call to action," swirl ranging from asking pesky questions about the "missing ADH awareness day funds," to sharing many conversations with like minded folks who want to know what can we do next. So what's next is anybody's guess. However here are a few updates to consider.

A Town Hall meeting sponsored by the Arkansas Stonewall Democrat Caucus is scheduled for 3/1/15, 4pm,  1500W 4th inside the AEA Building. Here you can hear from panelist such as Senator's David Johnson and Joyce Elliot, an overview of the bills and a brief Q & A session. Please note that SB 202 has already become law without the Governor's signature.
You can join the Facebook page, Arkansans United Against Unjust Laws, which has been launched to act as an information clearinghouse for activities related to laws that are discriminatory against Arkansas' LGBTQ community.

And of course this digital town square is and has always been available to everyone to share for the most part whatever is on their minds. Our call to actions are not reactionary to legislative sessions, but are ongoing calls about a bounty of intersectional issues and challenges facing this community including growing infrastructure, leadership pipeline, complacency and lack of motivation, racism, homophobia, economic disparity and this platforms resolve to continue to raise awareness about continuing HIV infection rates among young gay black men while seeking to enjoin new concepts designed to close the care continuum gap.

There you have it. A quick update on what you can still do to be in the know and discover what you can do to amplify you voice about it. So what you gonna do?

Gay Business Watch 2015, Part 2

With all the other breaking news, weather outbreaks and items trying to "cancel out" other items, we could not leave you hanging from our Gay Business series from last week. Despite the recent anti-gay legislation that hasn't put our state on blast, and folks decrying why the worlds largest retailer didn't step up more forcibly.

What COP 24/7 would like to ponder is what we perceive as a ongoing lackluster response from gay owned and operated businesses. 
There has always been a strained dynamic with local gay businesses that has way to much history to even begin here. 

Even as the opposing legislation had a "business bent," in regards to the gay community, where was the ballyhoo from the community business leaders similar to the "oh my God outrage," when the city was considering shutting light night club doors. You could hear the screed and decries that included hastily organized coalitions, full color Ads, newspaper interviews and closure threats to boot!  Yes it was all there for the taking.  So where has this "release the cracken," energy been toward this measure? It seems to be MIA (missing in action) because many don't or won't fee that it will affect their bottom lines.

This scenario has been prevalent and pervasive as local CBO's or entities have endlessly struggled, cajoled and grappled with utilizing whatever community resources could be garnered.  Even though this should be a two way street, often times its not. Such as the case for the recent closure of In's and Outz, which abruptly shuttered their doors at even the surprise of their employee.

Even as this business entered the market, it was plagued with numerous circumstances that ultimately became its demise. Such exotic retail ventures have never fared well in this city which we could attest to how such shops are perceived or positioned.

From our observation, there were problems with marketing, employee retention, management challenges and above all, a lack of customer base. Not everybody can fit into Andrew Christian underwear or otherwise, therefore, if you don't have more of what's needed, then sales speak for themselves. Especially when you don't engage your possible base.

With that said, this brings us back to "gay economics 101,' in regards to interaction of patrons and businesses whom value their customers instead of taking them for granted for any reason. In this new digital reality of smart phones, Bitcoin, Apple wallets, and door knock booty calls. Let's face it,  its a new day and way to play that will require business folk to redefine how to capture and keep LGBTQ folks community through the doors.

And now our COP 24/7 Zip Stream Video Clip


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