At Yelp, we work every day to ensure our transgender community and allies walk into a supportive workplace. We’re committed to continually educating ourselves and others on the progress so far, the work ahead, and ensuring space for all voices to be heard. The current wave of state legislation and policies targeting the transgender and LGBTQ+ community is deeply concerning. We firmly stand against these discriminatory and harmful actions, which is why last week we joined more than 150 businesses as part of the Human Rights Campaign to condemn anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in Florida and across the country, and today we’ve again joined HRC to stand against anti-trans action in Texas.
These human rights issues matter to Yelp and they matter to our employees. We’ve heard from many of them who care deeply about supporting our LGBTQ+ colleagues, family and friends. So now through the month of April, the Yelp Foundation will double match employee donations to select organizations that are fighting for equality in Texas, Florida and across America. This list of organizations includes: National Center for Transgender Equality, Transgender Law Center, The Trevor Project, Human Rights Campaign Foundation, Stonewall Equity Limited, Equality Texas Foundation, and Equality Florida Institute.
Supporting the LGBTQ+ Community on Yelp
As an organization with diverse employees, users, and customers, Yelp is committed to bringing trusted information into the marketplace and creating a positive impact on the local communities we serve. We want Yelp users to be able to easily find the information they need when searching for a local business that will make them feel welcome.
For years we’ve worked with Open To All, as well as one of their key partners, Movement Advancement Project (MAP), an independent, nonprofit think tank that provides rigorous research, insight and communications that help speed equality and opportunity for all, to identify ways we can use our platform to promote equality.
One outcome of this work was the introduction in June 2021 of a free, searchable business attribute that gives people an easy way to find and support LGBTQ-owned businesses on Yelp. Nearly 5,000 business owners have self-identified as LGBTQ-owned since the free attribute was launched. Yelp proactively monitors LGBTQ-owned business pages for hate speech against the LGBTQ+ community and will remove any hateful, racist, or harmful content that violates our content guidelines.
This followed the “Open to All” business attribute that we introduced in 2018, to give businesses an easy way to inform Yelpers that they serve all customers regardless of sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, religion, disability, gender identity, or gender expression. To date, 635,000 businesses have taken the “Open to All” pledge.
Following our support of Gavin Grimm’s 2017 case, we added a business attribute that helps users find businesses that offer gender neutral restrooms to patrons. To-date, there are more than 351,000 businesses who display this feature. We decided on “Gender Neutral Restrooms,” terminology endorsed by the Transgender Law Center, and we also consulted with a number of LGBTQ advocacy groups including the Human Rights Campaign before introducing the searchable attribute.
We are deeply concerned by the news coming out of Texas and Florida, and disheartened that the “Don’t Say Gay or Trans” bill was advanced by the Florida State Senate. We are committed to continuing to use our voice and platform to support efforts to fight for equality. We believe it is paramount for the business community to speak up in support of equality and inclusivity for all and continue to encourage business owners who are proud to be “Open to All” to take the pledge and opt-in to the attribute on your Yelp business page.