Jerame Davis

ePride Guide

Filed By Jerame Davis | February 12, 2009 6:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Gay Geeks, The Movement
Tags: ePride Guide, Indigo 501, LGBT-friendly businesses, rating system, Sue Hoffman

I had eprideguideiphone.pngthe opportunity to talk to Sue Hoffman, president of Indigo 501 Creative, about an exciting new project she's been working on - the ePride Guide.

The ePride Guide is a website and accompanying iPhone app that will allow users to access ratings on the LGBT-friendly businesses in a specific location and/or category. Ratings are pretty simple using a red, yellow, green stoplight-style system so you can see at a glance how LGBT-friendly the business has been rated.

Ratings will come from national databases or will be provided by an LGBT equality organization in the particular state. Users also can leave feedback on a listing to discuss their experience with the business or to debate a rating.

Clickety the photo to embiggen...

The iPhone app will be location aware and will cost $1.99 in the iPhone App Store. The iPhone app is expected to be available March 15th. There is no charge to use the website.

How it Works

Statewide LGBT equality groups pay a $2500 setup fee and a recurring $50 per month fee to participate and in return get a co-branded version of the ePride Guide website and ePride Guide takes care of all the techy stuff for the website, nationwide database, and iPhone application.

Each participating equality organization will maintain their own listings, compile their own data, and decide how to assign ratings.

ePride Guide is waiving the $2500 setup fee for the first 10 organizations to sign up. Get more info at

Considering the relative dearth of queer friendly apps in the iTunes app store, I really hope this takes off. It could be a valuable resource to our community in helping steer our dollars toward businesses that promote equality rather than work against it.

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Sue Hoffman is the non-profit wizard. This is a great tool for ensuring our money supports those who support our equality.

I can't take full credit. I have good people working with me. Database guru Kathy Lessa and iPhone geeks galore at Extend Interactive. Together we have one goal - to make it SUPER EASY for us to spend our money wisely.

We don't have as much time to volunteer for the Equal Rights cause as we'd like. But one thing we can ALL do, is to know where and where NOT to spend our money.

What a great idea, Indigo 501 & Sue! I can't believe no one thought of it sooner. It'd be great to know if the businesses I'm supporting are gay-friendly. In these tight financial times, I don't want my hard-earned money going to anyone who's wants to deny me my equal rights!

This has been an exciting project to work on just because it is focused on our community. I know I would much rather have my limited spending dollars go to the companies that care about me and my family and support our causes. I was very happy to join with Indigo 501 and Sue to create this application!

I think its great! The Indigo 501 team has worked hard to create a portable tool we can all benefit from. With the economy the way it is, it's important we spend our money wisely and support businesses who support equality.

This is a great idea, but I wonder how many smaller state orgs will be able to afford a $2500 set up fee, plus $600/year and have to provide all the labor of keeping the database up to date.

I'd recommend a slightly different payment method and I think it'll take over the queer world. :)

Pricing is not set in stone. The more popular and widely used the service is, the lower the prices will go. Our goal here was creating a system that was built so many states can use it instead of just one - to bring the cost down and down and down.

It is a great idea. The only thing that sucks about it is that it's only for I-Phones. That leaves a whole lot of us out in the cold. Too bad it's not available for more mobile services, maybe as a web page accessible with WiFi.

I've tried to make the web site guide fairly accessible to all mobile browsers, but I'm still working on that. It's definitely a goal, as well as keeping the site as accessible as possible through proper CSS use. Thanks for the feedback!

Hi Rebecca, not to worry.

There is a web site side to each state's guide for viewing with your web browser. AND we didn't forget you non-iPhoners, mobile versions of the web sites will be available soon in mobile mode for your Blackberrys etc!

Brandi, to address your concern. You will be able to see WHO is doing the rating.. For example.. Florida results may say something like "Rated by: Equality Florida" or National results "courtesy of HRC" or National results "courtesy of The Task Force".. just as an example. How you value the rater, is up to you.

Here's another idea: In your ratings (when you can), include "transfriendliness", how welcoming and inclusive these places are to transpeople and our issues. Not all gay friendly companies are also trans-friendly and vice-versa.

I know that's sometimes a harder thing to rate, but it would be very useful for many of us.

Participating orgs are responsible for coming up with the ratings. I'm sure some orgs will include trans-friendliness while others won't. But ePride Guide is providing the platform and the tools for the state groups to get it done, not doing the actual ratings.