Tuff Luck, a Portland, Ore., cafe, celebrated its grand opening last month.
The coffee shop is located inside In Other Words, a feminist bookstore,
and was started as a way to help transgender people
raise money for health care by providing them with a side job and a venue
for selling art.
“It’s mostly people’s art that they can make money off because right now we can’t really afford to pay employees,” entrepreneur Ryder Richardson told Just Out, a Portland-area LGBT newspaper. “Down the line we’d like to set up an individual development account and get organizations to match whatever people can make working here.”
The cafe is inclusive of anyone who identifies as transgender, regardless of transition status, and raises funds for a variety of health care needs, including therapy, hormones, and surgery.
Richardson’s friend Seamus Bogues created the shop with the goal of funding their top surgeries and told Just Out they eventually want to provide the same option to others.
“For a business, we’ve done it on a shoestring for sure,” Richardson said. “It adds to the charm, I think.”
Richardson and Bogues thought of the idea after a friend suggested the two work out of the bookstore instead of a coffee cart.
“In Other Words wanted to draw more business and have more people hang out in here, so it kinda worked out for them to let us use the space ’cause it’s kinda mutually beneficial,” Richardson said. “I know they’re trying to have more people of different genders feel like they can hang out here.”