The Municipal Equality Index examines cities across the United States and ranks them based on how inclusive their municipal laws are - In the 2021 MEI survey, 11 cities in Michigan were surveyed. Lansing scored an 87 overall, making it one of the best places in Michigan for LGBTQ citizens, families, and businesses.
The State News has compiled a list of LGBTQ-owned businesses in Lansing. From vintage thrifts to cat cafes, Lansing sports a welcoming and supportive badge of pride for its queer community.
Metro Retro – 304 E César E. Chávez Ave.
This thrift store specializes in vintage and high quality clothing and decor, all carefully curated to represent the best of fashion history. Metro Retro was founded in 2016 and quickly became a staple of Old Town as the one-stop-shop for everything queer fashion. The store offers a wide range of clothing and decoration - including glittery leather jackets and rainbow jewelry, of course.
Metro Retro is located in Old Town at 304 E. César E. Chávez Ave. in Lansing. They’re open 12 p.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, and 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday and Monday.
Strange Matter Coffee – 2010 E. Michigan Ave.
Located at the corner of Clemens Avenue and Michigan Avenue, Strange Matter Coffee is an expert shop in artisan coffee and baked goods. They offer a wide selection of coffee brews, specialty coffee drinks, and a range of baked goods to pair with your drink. They’re wheelchair accessible, have gender neutral bathrooms and offer free WiFi for all their guests!
“The mission of Strange Matter is to bring the best coffees and pastries to our community,” Strange Matter said on their website. “While enriching our neighborhood and creating a safe and welcoming space for contemplation, homework, art, Tinder dates, vintage markets, cross stitch workshops and whatever else y’all can dream up.”
Strange Matter Coffee is located at 2010 E. Michigan Ave. in Lansing. They’re open every day of the week from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Thrift Witch – 108 E. César E. Chávez Ave.
This thrift and consignment store has curated a collection of gothic pop-culture oddities and antiques that capture the beauty of horror. Taxidermy and preservations aren’t all Thrift Witch has to offer, though, as they also are home to the Dark Art Market – a feature of small businesses, collectors, and artists for lovers of the dark arts to browse.
Thrift Witch is located in Old Town, just a short walk from Metro Retro. They can be found at 108 E. César E. Chávez Ave. in Lansing. Their hours are 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Red Cedar Counseling – 935 N. Washington Ave.
Being queer is undeniably difficult in the current sociopolitical world. There’s no shame in seeking mental health services, and Red Cedar Counseling is the perfect service for LGBTQ individuals, couples, families and more. They offer services tailored specifically to LGBTQ care and the unique challenges queer people face in the world. Sexual identity counseling, gender affirmation therapy, family therapy and couples therapy are just some of the services offered by Red Cedar Counseling. They’re a queer-owned business, proud to serve the Lansing-area community with judgement-free counseling.
Red Cedar’s treatment philosophy ensures that all clients are cared for, working with you to explore areas of your life and build healthy, strong patterns of behavior to create your best self.
They have two locations in Michigan – Okemos and Lansing. For counseling services and inquiry, visit their website or contact them through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Constellation Cat Cafe – 3320 E. Lake Lansing Road
Cats are arguably the best animal, which makes the Constellation Cat Cafe a wonderful place to visit. This nonprofit organization works with volunteers and their few employees to bring the magical experience of brunch with a colony of cats to East Lansing.
They’re a queer-owned organization dedicating to raising awareness and support for cats in need of love. The best part about this cafe, though, is that every single one of the cats you dine with are up for adoption!
Constellation Cat Cafe offers a variety of options for those wishing to visit. Since they are appointment-only, you can choose options ranging from a 1-hour cat room visit to throwing an entire party with the cats. There’s even a movie night rental, so you can enjoy a private showing of the movie of your choice to watch with all of their kitties.
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This queer-owned organization is comprised almost entirely of volunteer workers, so any and all donations are appreciated. The venue is entirely wheelchair accessible, though service animals are not allowed in the cat room to prevent the cats and the service animals from getting stressed out.
You can book an appointment at the Constellation Cat Cafe on their website. These cool cats reside at 3320 E. Lake Lansing Road in East Lansing.
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