Decades ago, the Green Book allowed Black Americans to safely navigate a violently segregated country. On Monday, that concept was reimagined with the launch of the Lavender Book.
The Lavender Book, a crowd-sourced app created by the National Black Justice Coalition and Out In Tech, aims to record safe spaces for LGBTQ+ people of color.
“Finding safe, supportive, responsive environments can be a tall order for Black and African diasporic LGBTQ+/SGL people. We created Lavender Book to serve our BIPOC LGBTQ+ community in a time where anti-discrimination efforts and safety cannot be taken for granted,” said David Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, in a statement.
The app allows users to narrow down places through various filters – such as whether American Sign Language is spoken, gender-neutral restrooms are available or if there’s a wheelchair ramp on site.
This year, 33 states introduced over 100 bills that would curb the rights of transgender people across the US, including limiting their participation in sports or outlawing gender-affiriming treatment to minors.
And in January, the Human Rights Campaign found that half of US states fail to offer basic protections for LGBTQ people, such as nondiscrimination policies in employment, housing and public accommodations.
“By leveraging the power of technology and crowdsourcing for social change, we hope to help BIPOC LGBTQ+ folks find safe and inclusive spaces at the recommendation of their peers,” said Andrew Lowenthal, executive director of Out In Tech, in a statement.