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‘A safe, comfortable place’: New auto shop aims to welcome everyone

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As a nonbinary, transgender woman, CC Haug knows how important safe spaces are. They also have a passion for cars. Those two ideas merged into one new business called Good Judy Garage, a safe place for the LGBTQ+ community and everyone.
CC Haug is finally able to express their identity freely and fulfill their passion of working on cars by opening Good Judy Garage.

SHERIDAN, Colo. — Just south of Denver, a new auto repair shop hopes to provide something other shops may not.

Good Judy Garage is tucked away in a strip of businesses off Santa Fe Drive and Union Avenue and has openly advertised as being LGBTQ+ friendly and welcoming to everyone.

“The name Good Judy Garage comes from the phrase ‘Good Judy,’” explained CC Haug, owner and operator of the new garage. “The reference comes from Judy Garland, who was a supporter of LGBTQ rights. So, somebody that was a supporter of the community, a friend of the community, was referred to as a ‘Good Judy.’ So, we kind of took that on because … we want to be there for the community.”

Colorado Voices

New inclusive auto repair shop: Good Judy Garage

CC Haug has combined two parts of their identity into one new business: Good Judy Garage

Haug has been living in Colorado their whole life. Born and raised in Salida, they grew up constantly around cars and racing. Their family owned auto shops and they found themselves constantly around cars. Haug even built racing cars as a young teenager. Now, those trophies from those races decorate a special corner of the garage. 

After high school, Haug attended and graduated from University of Colorado in Colorado Springs with a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering.

Haug moved to the Denver area about a dozen years ago and is now able to bring all aspects of their identity together in this new garage. 

“I identify as trans–they/them, also she [pronouns]. And I'm getting ready to start hormone therapy in January. Then growing up racing and working on cars and being part of the automotive community, it's just a huge, huge passion of mine,” explained Haug. “And so, to be able to kind of bring the two together is sort of where that came from because I always felt like if I expressed myself in terms of my gender identity, things like that, that I wouldn't be welcome in the automotive community.”

That fear is something Haug said they have heard from others as well, so it pushed them even more to open their own businesses. Haug said they’ve seen such positive reactions from people before the shop even opened. 

“The reaction's been overwhelming in terms of how many people have expressed interest in it and sort of also what it means to people,” said Haug. “I've had people start crying when they talk to me about it and stuff. And so, to be able to put something together that means that to people is really, really been a great experience for us.”

Earlier in December, Good Judy Garage hosted a couple of nights as an open house to help people see and understand their mission and heart of the business. 

“The goal has been to really do everything correctly. To do it the best that we possibly can, whether it's just the aesthetics or the equipment that we're bringing in, to the way we post the pricing and things like that on our website,” said Haug. “The whole point is to be honest and open and trustworthy because I think that's something that is kind of missing in that industry on some level.”

At Good Judy Garage, openness and honesty start with pricing. On their website, they provide a flat rate for oil changes and explain that their hourly labor rate charge of $120 is the industry average. 

The website continues to explain their promise to customers: "We will take the time to explain what your vehicle needs and why, and give you different cost options for parts, when options are available. We’ll tell you our professional opinion on what needs doing, but will never be pushy, and will always respect your choices" 

This honesty does go further than just transparent pricing; the garage also allows people to come as they are. The waiting area is a small, but well-thought out space. There are with a few couches, a neon sign with the shop's name, a TV and artisanal items they sell to further support the LGBTQ+ community.

“Feeling like I couldn't express myself and my gender identity in those kinds of traditional operations and places without being discriminated against or judged or, you know, harassed or belittled,” said Haug. “It's part of being honest and open and accepting of other people is to sort of put yourself out there as well.”

Good Judy Garage is also a family business. In the “our team” part of the website, you’ll see Faith Haug, the “business brain” behind the garage as well as their kids, Renndyn and Helena. 

“To get our kids involved and stuff like that is part of it, I think is a huge thing,” said Haug. “So, I think there's a lot of educational value in that for the kids being able to see how a business is run and developed and put together.”

Good Judy Garage opened on December 19, with just CC as the mechanic for now. So, services are somewhat limited, but the Haugs hope to expand in the new year and hire on more mechanics. That way they can take on more customers who are searching for this type of place to bring their business. 

“I don't think anybody likes to walk into a business and feel uncomfortable or intimidated or any of those kinds of things,” said Haug, referring to the automotive industry and common complaints they’ve heard.  “Not just from people that are part of the LGBTQ community but people in general. We've had lots of [people], especially women, reach out to us and be like, ‘You know… when we go to a traditional shop, we feel very uncomfortable because of the environment and kind of the attitudes that people have.’ So, we've really looking forward to this being a welcoming space and a place where we can have a positive attitude and enjoy it.”

Good Judy Garage is now open but is already booked a few weeks out. You can find out more information about the garage and look at appointments on its website.

Amanda Horvath is a multimedia producer with Rocky Mountain PBS. You can reach her at

Brian Willie is the Content Production Manager with Rocky Mountain PBS. You can reach him at

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