GSBA Origins

Community (noun): a body of persons having a common history or common social, economic, and political interests.

For many of us it is almost unimaginable to remember a time in our city’s past when police harassment and blatant discrimination from public agencies against our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) community was just part of daily life. This brand of adversity, which gave birth to our movement for equality in 1969, and then later inspired a small group of local gay bar and bathhouse owners to band together and form a coalition in 1980. Its mission was to serve as a catalyst to end discrimination in Seattle.

The original board of nine men incorporated the Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA) in 1981 to organize gay-owned businesses and create a unified voice for the local LGBT business community. What eventually followed was the enforcement of anti-discrimination laws.

Having met its initial charge, GSBA focused on strengthening the LGBT community economically. What was once a small group of visionary business leaders gathered around a table hand-stuffing envelopes, soon became a strong, vibrant and diverse community. Today, GSBA is the largest and most active LGBT business chamber in the United States with nearly 1,000 members and steadily growing.

Past Board Presidents
Past Award Recipients

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