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LA’s only LGBTI cafe seeks urgent funds to fend off closure

LA’s only LGBTI cafe seeks urgent funds to fend off closure

Cuties Coffee, the only LGBTI cafe and community space in Los Angeles, says it faces imminent closure unless it can raise enough funds to remain open.

The cafe needs to hit a target of $12,000 per month. The business has turned to patronage fund raising site Patreon.com in order to save its future.

So far they have received commitments of $9,348 a month, and only have until 1 November to raise the remaining $2,634.

Cuties Coffee in LA creates a safe space for LGBTIs. Picture: Cuties Coffee Facebook

More than 840 donors have pledged funds to date, but with only days remaining they are keen to find more donors from the local area and around the world to pitch in and save the cafe.

Owners hopeful if more donors step up

Despite being short of the target with the clock ticking, Virginia Bauman said the pair were ‘very hopeful’ of reaching their goal.

‘We have made it much farther than we originally anticipated. The demand for our space is high given the climate we currently survive in.’

The owners say the current Trump administration’s lack of support for the LGBTI community means spaces like theirs are vital.

‘Creating sustainable models for us in a system that is increasingly hostile to our very existence is a form of activism and a means to enabling more direct action in the times ahead,’ Bauman told Gay Star News.

‘Cuties connects people, provides hope and inspires people. We need that, now more than ever.’

Cuties corner: Regulars get together in the popular LA cafe. Picture: Cuties Coffee Facebook

Global demand for more ‘Cuties’ style LGBTI spaces

Moreover, the cafe proprietors say they are getting regular requests for more spaces like Cuties.

‘Every week I get messages from our queer & trans kin all over the world asking us to open a Cuties in their hometown’, Barnum-Haule told Gay Star News. ‘There is a great need for more space. LGBTQIA+ folks deserve a safer space that is all ages and open every day of the week.’

The cafe was opened last year by Virginia Bauman and Iris Bainum-Houle. But more than just being a cafe, they set out to provide help to those in the gay community. This includes housing help for those in need as well as help with clothing and other essentials.

The owners secured initial capital via a fundraising campaign on Indiegogo.com, which raised $30,000. However the high cost of running a business in LA means they now need to raise $12,000 a month, or close.

Donations can be as little as $2 and go all the way up to $250 or more a month. In return, Cuties is offering a scale of rewards such as regular updates from the cafe, to do-nut making classes at the cafe.

Anyone wishing to support Cuties fundraising effort can visit the cafe’s funding page here.

See also:

https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/australia-will-open-doors-of-its-first-transgender-legal-center-next-week/#gs.DtRgeXk

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