business news in context, analysis with attitude

Them, a news site that defines itself as serving and reporting on the  LGBTQ+ community, has story saying that "in the face of increasingly draconian anti-trans legislation, some unlikely (or extremely likely, depending on how you see it) allies have emerged."

One of them is the convenience store chain Kum & Go, which "tweeted its support of trans kids last Thursday, with a thread that began simply, 'protect trans kids. Period'."

The story notes that "Kum & Go, which is based in Iowa, then proceeded to drop some startling statistics about LGBTQ+ youth in the state. According to Trevor Project data, 44% of queer and trans young people in Iowa seriously considered suicide in the past year, including 52% of trans and nonbinary youth."

Kum & Go also tweeted that "we're people first and that means speaking up for our community. yesterday, we voted against SF482 and SF538 in the state of Iowa. we know that this is just the beginning, and we still have work to do to continue to advocate for the LGBTQ+ members of our community … One way we can all grow is through education.  an org we partner with is the Trevor Project, whose mission is to end suicide among LGBTQ+ youth and they provide great resources to educate yourself. Join us in continuing to learn how these issues affect our community and find ways to support inclusion across the US.”

Them writes that "Kum & Go has long been putting its money where its mouth is. In 2021, the company collaborated with HOMOCO, a label founded by queer designer Daniel DuGoff, for a pride capsule collection. A portion of the proceeds went toward the Transgender Law Center. Not to be stopped at pride month, earlier that year, the company released shirts that read, 'Kum & Gay Rights,' with $10 from each shirt going toward the Trevor Project. What’s more, in 2020, the company donated 100% of its pride merch budget to the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice and the Transgender Law Center."

KC's View:

I admire this company's willingness to take a public stand that may not endear it to some segment of its customer base, but that it perceives as being "people first" and inclusive.

The statistics underline the fact that laws targeting trans people, especially kids, and other members of the LGBTQ+ community, are at their core deeply and deliberately cruel.  I'm glad that the folks at Kum & Go is looking for ways tio stand with this community.

Now, the company also is facing some small amount of chiding on social media, with some suggesting that now it has to bring its political donation policy into alignment with its approach to trans rights.  But progress often happens in small increments, and I suspect they'll get there eventually.