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Best US Transgender Friendly Restaurants

Jan 05, 2022

Best US Transgender Friendly Restaurants
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  • Navigating the world with a Transgender identity can be very empowering, but also presents a number of challenges. It’s no secret that many Trans people face discrimination simply for existing and even a simple trip outside the house can present a major safety hazard. The anxiety of finding a safe location can be incredibly challenging, however; despite the negative experiences, a growing number of companies have shown their solidarity with the queer community. 

    Some of the restaurants in this guide may have queer owners themselves which can provide a sense of comfort. Even those who do not have queer owners still identify as allies of the community. Being able to feel safe around the staff and clientele in these restaurants will allow trans individuals to have a relaxing and safe dining experience. Giving money to these restaurants also provides a sense of comfort knowing you’re supporting owners who are part of a great cause. Visit some of these chains or independent restaurants for a fun and family-friendly experience.

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    Olive Garden

    Olive Garden may have meme-worthy delicious breadsticks, but to add to their greatness, they are also a queer-friendly company. Owned by Darden Restaurants, the chain is good for more than just a delicious Italian meal.

    Their parent company, Darden Restaurants is one of only two restaurants (the other being McDonald’s!) to consistently score one-hundred percent on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. This scale measures different businesses based on their protections and benefits for queer individuals in the workplace. They  rank businesses based on five categories including:

    • Non-discrimination policies
    • Employment benefits
    • Demonstrated organizational competency and accountability around LGBT diversity and inclusion
    • Public commitment to LGBT equality
    • Responsible citizenship

    Knowing that Darden Restaurants consistently scores high on these rankings can provide some peace of mind that you’re giving your money to a great brand when craving an Italian meal.

    Red Lobster

    Another Darden Restaurants brand, Red Lobster, makes the list of queer-friendly chains. Come here for delicious Cheddar Bay Biscuits or an array of seafood-themed dishes. Being owned by Darden ensures that workplace conditions are fair for trans and all queer workers and ensures that owners have a progressive mindset toward the queer community. As mentioned above Darden Restaurants as a parent company consistently ranks high in multiple categories pertaining to the treatment of LGBTQ workers.

    As a bonus, Red Lobster is a family-friendly restaurant so Trans parents can bring their children to enjoy a great meal as well. Being able to enjoy a family meal in an environment where discrimination isn’t tolerated is a great sense of relief for Trans parents.

    Big Gay Ice Cream

    This quirky small chain is located around New York City and is great for visitors or natives alike. It started off as a food truck and has expanded to a few storefront locations. Founded by partners Doug Quint and Bryan Petroff, Big Gay Ice Cream refers to both the sexual orientation of the two founders, as well as the word happy when describing ice cream.

    The ice cream shop is known for some of its famous favorites, including:

    • Dorothy: A vanilla ice cream cone injected with Dulce de Leche and rolled in ground Nilla Wafers.
    • American Globs: Vanilla Ice cream with pretzel bits in a chocolate shell.
    • Salty Pimp: Vanilla ice cream cone injected with dulce de leche, lightly salted and dipped in chocolate shell. Also their best known cone!
    • Classic favorites such as Strawberry Shortcake

    If you’re craving a sweet treat and are in the NYC area, look no further than Big Gay Ice Cream.

    Davey’s Delicious Bagels at West Central Coffee

    This welcoming cafe is located in Fort Wayne, Indiana. They offer affordable prices and a chill cafe atmosphere for anyone looking for a place to relax for the day. Boasting that they are a place where all people can be accepted for who they are, you can be assured that you’ll feel comfortable among the staff and clientele at this cafe. 

    Many Trans people may feel uncomfortable being in a public space for prolonged periods due to safety reasons, so being able to have a safe place to chill outside your home provides an immense sense of comfort. Come here to get some work done, meet up with a friend, see one of the performances held at the cafe, or simply relax!

    Hungry Pants

    Hungry Pants is a plant-based restaurant located in Orlando, Florida. The founders Joey Conicela and Alex Marin were looking to create a “plant conscious” menu. They claim that their menu is tailored toward people who want to experiment with whole and balanced foods, as well as alternative protein sources. The menu isn’t at all boring though – you can still find comfort food favorites, which provide something for everyone.

    The bright environment of the cafe makes it a very welcoming place for everyone and is sure to put you in a good mood. For Trans vegans or plant-based people- even those who simply want to experiment, visiting Hungry Pants is a must!

    HER is A Safe Community for Trans People

    One place that Trans people can surely feel at home is on the HER App. You can be sure to find a welcoming community of Trans and other queer people to relate to. Find a new friend, soulmate, and everything in between. You can also find a variety of events, live chats, and more to connect you with queer friends.

    Don’t hesitate to download HER today, you won’t regret it!

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    Robyn is the CEO & Founder of HER the world's largest brand for LGBTQ womxn & queer people. Also runs London Queer Fashion Show. Find her on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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