Creating the Knoxville LGBTQ Friendly Business Directory

"Creating the Knoxville LGBTQ Friendly Business Directory"

Searching for lgbtq friendly

April 23, 2024 Beau Knowles LGBT

I created the Knoxville LGBTQ Friendly Business Directory website because I thought one was needed.  I often search for things online and it can be hard to find the right business you are looking for, especially if one of the most important things is that you feel comfortable and accepted wherever you shop. I'm not a web designer by trade, but I have worked in marketing, and I know that we can do so much with the internet's assistance these days.  You will have to tell me how you think I did? 

I'm getting ahead of myself though. How did I have time to create a website? Where did I find the resources? Who assisted me? Just read on and you will see. 

Ah time is a precious thing. I'm lucky that I have more than I did years ago.  When my children were younger, I was a stay at-home mother caring for them, one of which is Autistic.  When I became a single mom 10 years ago, I decided not to take a marketing manager position because I knew the hours would be longer and I would be away from my family more. I worked in a call center with flexible hours so I could be available to my family. 

Beau and her son Sept  2020

You will notice my efforts are specifically LGBTQ businesses and resources. This is because I have been a community member for almost 3 decades. I also felt that this was an area that could use the most help.  I have worked with many organizations, advised nonprofits, provided marketing and promoting events all for free.

During all the activism and assistance, I found many lgbtq friendly businesses and resources that I would share with individuals on a one-on-one basis. I thought I would like to be able to find this information online myself. When I looked for it I did not find an extensive list. It occurred to me that I could build one. 

Beau Knowles Empowerment Business Course March 2021 

In 2020, I was at home furloughed, with my special needs son, living off of our savings, I had always been too busy before to try to do a big project but now I had time. My son and I hiked and went on outdoor adventures while I was home but I also worked on this website and others. There are thousands of woman hours behind creating this website and taking training. I took online courses for Google Analytics, Google SEO, Web design, Utilizing Code for creating extra Features, Accessibility Training, and so much more. I've learned more than I ever thought i would be able to absorb.

One of the courses I took was a Women’s Empowerment Business Course. That business coaching experience showed me that I did not have to be a pro at something to achieve my goals. It gave me the tools to create my own brand and a community of supportive class members to encourage me. It was only a 9-week course, but it was definitely a pivotal part of my website story. 

Beau and Norita Cruz co-Owner of Pillar to Post Home Inspections at American Legion Post 2 "Beans and Boos Trunk or Treat Oct 30 2022 

My largest website is the LGBTQ Friendly Directory website, there are over 750 business and resource listings.  I add to this website frequently as new information becomes available to me. The businesses are reviewed, referred, request to be added or they are researched by me. A business such as  Frog Juice Boocherie, can email me. Their owner told me that they are a "queer sober safe space." I added them to the directory under Nightlife/Breweries section then I visited their location on Sutherland Ave to take photos. " They now have their own page on my website that will come up in a search engine. 

I'd love for people to know that I pride myself in finding the information you need when you need it. We search for businesses that are no less than Friendly to the LGBTQ Community. "The businesses that we list do not have to be owned by the LGBTQ Community, but they must be LGBTQ Friendly or accepting of the individuals and families that will utilize them. We expect exemplary customer service. "There is a plethora of customers that want to shop and receive services where they feel accepted.

Beau April 2024

I'm a bit of a perfectionist with things, I had wanted to make sure everything was perfect before going public with the website's existence. However, that's not possible as there is always something to add or an area to rework. Some businesses change their website that can affect our web links. You never know what can happen but because I built it myself, I can change it as soon as I get to my laptop.  I had published it and we were already seeing searches for information. 

Since I took those Google Academy Courses on Search Console I can say, Google search engine console is giving me performance statistics on our searches. The site had 637 clicks for the month of March 2024.  My impressions are 28.9k and CRT is 2.2%. The website has only been indexed for the last 9 months. Our most popular searches are "Gay Bars Knoxville TN", "Trans friendly doctors near me", "lgbt friendly hair salon near me". The searches can change by seasons. Our top search for June will be "Pride Festivals". The more clicks the website gets the higher our ranking. One of my favorite searches is search for a "business name" lgbtq friendly? If they are on my website it will come up first even before their google business profile. That is a happy accident, but I will take it. Though the website is doing well I have added an articles section to highlight local events and organizations to drive more search results our way.  I also list businesses in other areas as we all want to know the best places to go. 

Beau and Sean Bryant founder of Bryant's Bridge at  Blount Pride 2023

Building this website was a very much "Field of Dreams" movie moment for me, I was going with "Build it and they will come" mindset." I only have a few types of spaces that I allow paid advertising on. I want to make sure that I am stay true to the purpose of the website. It is Lgbtq Friendly.

Beau Knowles

Knoxville LGBTQ Friendly Business Directory

Phone 865-236-0521

PO Box 22081 Knoxville TN 37933

Interview with Empowering Appalachia

Episode 10: Beau Knowles (  Episode 10: Beau Knowles  October 27, 2021 <iframe src="" frameborder="0" width="100%" height="500"></iframe>

It's October y'all! Welcome to Episode 10 of Empowering Appalachia! This episode is chock full of resources for Knox local folks, specifically for our LGBTQIA folks locally. You're gonna meet Beau Knowles and if you know anything about the webpages that catalog local LGBTQIA businesses, then you probably already know Beau. But you'll meet her here, learn a bit of her story and hear how she is empowering all the LGBTQIA folks of Appalachia.

You can reach Beau at

From Beau: " I've built websites to offer affordable support to businesses & resources to bring the lgbtqia+ community together. I help small businesses navigate social media, create hastags and marketing plans. I also host workshops via zoom. Courses such as lgbtq leadership, non-profit strategies, vision board building, and small business support. #beauknowleslgbt

Additionally I created a businesses and resources directory website to go along with my Facebook business groups established in 2013, Knoxville LGBT Friendly Owned and Operated Businesses. This website currently houses the Knoxville and East TN LGBT Directory as well. The webpages will have a calendar of events and news sections. I am assisting Knox Pride with their Community Resources, as well as other groups in Knoxville and surrounding areas. Please send events and press releases to  #knoxlgbtbusinesses #knoxlgbtdirectory #easttnlgbt #easttnlgbtbusinesses #easttndirectory #knoxpride 

 I do have a buy me coffee account or you can ask how to sponsor one of my directory websites."

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Song credits for "I deserve to be here" to the band Tellios.

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Thank you for visiting. See you again soon. ~Beau