Having a safe space you can go to is of the utmost importance if you are a member of a minority group, and Marquita Payne provides diverse choices for multiple groups.
For members of minority groups, being able to go to a business and know that the employees and story policy doesn’t allow for discriminatory or abusive behavior towards you is a big deal. No matter if you are a member of a marginalized ethnic group, a trans person, a sexual minority, or even simply a woman, certain environments may not be accommodating to them, either due to poor staff or abusive customers. Marquita Payne Chicago understands this concern, and has thus compiled different organizations in the Chicago area that openly advertise themselves as a safe space for those tired of having to settle for less.
Certain areas of Chicago are going to be more inclusive for different groups than others. For people in the LGBTQ community, one place that Marquita Payne recommends is the neighborhood of Boystown. Boystown is officially recognized as an LGBTQ neighborhood, and the oldest official one in the United States. There are a lot of different places, including the Kit Kat Lounge & Supper Club, which includes dinner, drinks, and drag shows all in one. In addition to Boystown, Marquita Payne feels that people in the LGBTQ community can enjoy businesses in the neighborhood of Andersonville as well, known both for its strong community and eccentric offerings. Much like Boystown, Andersonville has a meal with a show, Hamburger Marys accompanying Mary’s Venue, which deals in drag and cabaret performances, among others. People in the area also benefit from the fact that Illinois is one of the states that designates that people may use the bathroom that matches with their gender identity. If you want to take extra caution, Marquita Payne Chicago recommends a mobile app called Refuge Restroom that provides its users with a map containing markers for businesses that specifically are trans-friendly.
Chicago has a rather unfortunate history with racial segregation, one that has created an impact on black society in the city to this day. However, businesses with minority owners are an increasingly prominent things in a lot of places, with certain organizations such as the TRiiBE guide, which helps signal boost black creators in the Chicago area. Not only that, but this guide provides an in-depth look into black-owned businesses and black-friendly businesses (which, to be fair, are often one and the same). One great example according to Marquita Payne, of a black-owned business in the area is the Semicolon Bookstore & Gallery, owned and operated by the enterprising DL Mullen. Meanwhile, people who are staying in the area and need a place to stay overnight can check out the Chicago South Loop Hotel, which is found in the Bronzeville District.
Disability access is important for those who face struggles with physical limitations, especially when it can be a strict limitation rather than one of comfort. Marquita Payne believes that this is important not just for customers, but for employees as well to make sure the business is available to both groups freely. Giordano’s Pizzeria & Restaurant, for instance, makes a decent effort to offer accessibility features for disabled patrons according to Marquita Payne, including accessibility ramps, handles in bathrooms to easily get on and off the toilet, and wheelchair-accommodating tables.
Marquita Payne encourages diversity and inclusiveness in business, both to ensure that people’s comfort is taken care of but also make sure that the business is accessible in the first place.