Photo Credit: FG Trade
Black Man Creates Safety App For Black LGBTQ Travelers After Harassing Uber Ride
There’s a new app on the market that will now serve as a critical resource for the Black LGBTQ+ community when it comes to safety.
The Lavender Book is a community-driven platform that aims to be the Green Book for the LGBTQ+ community by informing users about public spaces they can go to without facing discrimination.
“A lot of folks miss that it is still legal to discriminate against actual or perceived sexual identity, sexual orientation or gender expression,” David Johns, creator of The Lavender Book and executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, told KTNV.
Johns said simply walking into a retail store, a restaurant, or riding as a passenger in rideshares are activities people take for granted. His recalls a recent incident while riding in an Uber when the driver started harassing him about his painted nails.
“I stopped answering his questions,” said Johns. “I said then, ‘You have the destination, you don’t even have to have a conversation for the rest of this ride.’ He ended up pulling over the Uber and asking me to get out of the car.”
That incident is something that he doesn’t want others in the LGBTQ+ community to go through that, which is why he developed the Lavender Book.
“When you are in a Black, queer, trans or non-binary body, the likelihood of you experiencing those things is exacerbated incrementally,” Johns said.
The app also allows users to narrow down their searches with various filters, including whether American Sign Language is spoken, gender-neutral restrooms are available, or if there’s a wheelchair ramp on site.
“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,” Andrew Lowenthal, executive director of Out In Tech, told CNN in a statement as the company is a collaborating with the National Black Justice Coalition for the app.