A couple of years ago I was speaking to a lesbian couple about the disappearing gay bars in Buffalo and other cities. When I asked them if Buffalo should have more gay bars, they told me that in actuality, they were happier knowing that they were welcome in all restaurants and bars, and since times had changed, and acceptance was the norm, they didn’t see the absence as a negative. They found themselves going to gay bars less and less, and said that a lot of their friends did the same. Of course, in my mind gay bars are a lot of fun, and my wife and I love to go to places like Fugazi and (RIP Roxy’s).
That said, we can also apply many of the same sentiments to a broader LGBT business culture in Buffalo (and other cities). At one point (a long time ago), Buffalo Rising was going to start a sort of gay-friendly business beat. That never panned out, but there are others who have carried the torch forward, as you are about to learn. Not to say that we necessarily need to promote LGBT businesses more or less than others, since the air of acceptance means that we support whoever has the products and services that we need and want. But that doesn’t mean that there can’t be a business support group for the LGBT community… and in actuality it’s still a darn good idea.
On March 13, 2014, a new organization called ‘I DO Love Buffalo’ will be hosting its first premier business and event expo geared towards, but not limited to, the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender community. The event will take place at Statler City, and will showcase a number of local resources that will help people to navigate the process of coordinating functions that range from grand scale weddings to smaller specialized parties.
The charity partner for the inaugural affair is The Pride Center of WNY (PCWNY). This year’s theme is “What does marriage equality mean to you?”. With the ever-growing acceptance of same sex marriage comes a range of opportunities for the LGBT wedding and event planning community.
Hence this new opportunity to network in an inclusive atmosphere that shines a light on alt resources, thanks to the work of ‘I DO Love Buffalo’ coordinators Heather Bellini of Heather Bellini Photography, LLC and Soda Kuczkowski, owner of City of Light Events, LLC.
The event will take place the evening of Thursday- March 13, 2014 from 6-10pm. Tickets are $8 per person or $14 per couple with a portion of the proceeds being given to the Pride Center of WNY. Tickets as well as vendor and sponsorship information can be found at www.idolovebuffalo.com. Also see Facebook event page.