Pride Month: Islanders Support LGBTQ+ Owned Businesses

Pride Month: Islanders Support LGBTQ+ Owned Businesses

Jun 28, 2022

June is Pride Month, honoring the effort that goes into achieving equal justice and opportunity for all LGBTQ+ individuals. The Bridgeport Islanders are proud to celebrate the beauty, diversity, and humanity of those in the LGBTQ+ community and recognize the impact their businesses have in our area.


This Pride Month, Islanders Community Engagement Manager Sam Provost visited three local businesses that are LGBTQ+ owned and operated to discuss the importance of Pride in our communities and how we can all be inclusive to our fans, clients, friends, and family.


We believe hockey is truly for everyone.


Twin Peaks Counseling | 111 New Haven Avenue, Derby, CT


Dayne Bachman, LCSW is a gender therapist and the founder of Twin Peaks Counseling in Derby (pictured above). Nearly 100% of the clients Dayne sees are part of the LGBTQ+ community. He greeted us with a warm smile and open arms when we arrived earlier this month, and it’s clear that Dayne takes his high level of care, compassion, and inclusion very seriously at Twin Peaks Counseling.


“Once you come through the door, we are a team” Bachman said.


Clients travel from coastal Fairfield County, New Haven, Litchfield, and Hartford County to see Dayne and his team. We asked how the world can be more inclusive and his answer was simple: “Be more kind,” Dayne said. “In the context of a sporting event, it’s important to ensure all fans know they matter and that they are welcome on any game day.”


You can learn more about Dayne’s journey through his book “She, He, Me” available on Amazon.


RJS Designs | 56 Tucker Avenue, Oakville, CT


Since 2005, Roger Spinelli has been providing premier event design decorating services throughout Connecticut. Designing spaces such as the Huntington Green for its annual winter holiday festival motivates Roger to always go beyond a client’s expectations.


“We want them to enjoy their experience,” Spinelli said. “Seeing their reaction is the best part of our job.”


Roger and his team spoke about the significance of LGBTQ+ representation in business, sports, and entertainment especially for trans youth. We wondered what would make a Pride Night at a professional sporting event stand out in his opinion.


“Let your fans know, ‘We care, we approve’ and that’s the biggest thing,” Spinelli said.


You can find RJS Design’s work coming up at the Night of 1000 Smiles Event hosted by the Connecticut Gay & Lesbian Chamber on Saturday, September 24th.


Elm City Gamers | 71 Orange Street, New Haven, CT


We met with Trish Loter and Matt Fantastic who own and operate Elm City Games, which has been serving New Haven for nearly seven years. They described how Elm City Games came to be as “a happy accident” that grew organically from a game café idea 15 years ago and has become a thriving business and community staple.


Everyone loves board games, and at Elm City Games there are more than 1,500 options to choose from. Their mission is all about feeling their vibe: chill, inclusive, friendly.


“Whichever community you are a part of, you can find your people here,” Loter said. “Our goal is to make everyone’s day better by coming here and feeling welcomed and supported.”


When sharing how a professional sports organization can become more inclusive, Trish and Matt emphasized that a fan must know the organization has their back, and that they can feel safe, secure, and supported in the venue. Whether you are in the market for a new game or looking to join a community game night, you will leave Elm City Games feeling their vibe.


Each business was given homemade cookies baked by our friends at Molten Java (213 Greenwood Avenue, Bethel, CT) when we visited. Homemade cookies were also handed out at the Sterling House Community Center and Health Care Advocates International in Stratford in advance of their "Love Is Love" event earlier this month.

Back to All