The best way to support people of the LGBTQ+ community is to support their businesses. While large brands roll out seemingly supportive merch, it’s important to keep in mind that people of the community have their own businesses and merchandise, all of which are important to contribute to as it directly affects those in the community. Better yet, many of these brands give back by donating to charity. There are so many different shops and brands out there that we were only able to scratch the surface, so we encourage you to do your research and support as many as you can. To help you get started, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite LGBTQ+ owned brands and smaller shops below, and start showing support where it counts – your wallet!
Fempower Beauty was founded by partners in business and in life, Alexis Androulakis and Christina Basias. “As a team, their goal is to build a brand that not only empowers women through strength and community, but also educates society as to why makeup was created in the first place, fueled by our civilization’s ancient roots. They aim to challenge the industry that has skewed the sheer definition of beauty for decades by building capsules that chronicle the history of beauty while partnering with international suppliers all over the globe.” Not only is the brand driven by badass females, but it uses ethical sourcing methods and gives proceeds to charity with each purchase.
Pal Socks was founded by a pair of ex-girlfriends to encourage diversity and inclusion amongst kids. How do they do this? They sell mismatched pairs of socks with adorable animals on them to demonstrate to kids, “What if all kids could start out thinking that difference is great? That it’s awesome we don’t all match, that we don’t have the same ideas or have to look exactly alike? What if we could inspire our future global citizens to promote inclusivity and acceptance? Yes, Dragons and Unicorns can *defeet the norm* and become best friends. So can a T-Rex and Triceratops!” They don’t stop there, though, as they also donate to organizations with the same goals of harmony and inclusivity. Bonus: They make adult sizes.
This queer owned sex shop is one of the first of its kind. Founded out of a necessity to accommodate women, LGBTQ+, and people of color in the sexual space, Babeland is making sexuality more accessible for all. They hold free safe sex workshops and educational classes in store, further making well rounded sexual education available to as many people as possible. Not sold yet? Over its 20 year history, Babeland has donated over $200,000 to more than 300 businesses through its Come for a Cause program. They’ve made donations to Planned Parenthood, Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and the Trevor Project, to name a few.
Founded by Liz B, Passionfruit describes itself as a group of “passionate queers that believe in the power of togetherness, a colourful and bright future for all LGBTQQIA youth and visibility. Our mission is to create inclusive clothing and accessories that enable you to show your pride all year round while giving back to our community.” How exactly do they give back to the community? Proceeds from each purchase are donated to the Trevor Project, a non-profit focused on suicide prevention amongst LGBTQ+ youth. Partnering with a non-profit such as this demonstrates a genuine concern for the people of the community, rather than focus on profit.
Pyramid Seven is a revolutionary brand in its own right as it “creates boxer briefs for periods, not gender. For [them], this means that an individual can identify anywhere on the gender spectrum and menstruate. [Their] mission is to showcase and share stories of all people who menstruate. [They] begin from the premise that there are people who menstruate who may identify anywhere along the gender spectrum. [The] underwear allows a person to wear any available menstrual product comfortably inside boxer briefs without worrying about leakage, bagginess or discomfort.” Making period care accessible to people anywhere on the gender spectrum helps fill in a gaping hole in the period care industry, and we’re happy that people of the community are spearheading it.
Starting a large scale business often requires a ton of capital that someone might not have. In turn, many small businesses have been started on sites like Etsy and Spreadshirt. Shop a few of our favorites below!
Bearded Broads Club – A queer owned Etsy shop specializing in unique jewlery and delicately designed tees.
WrenlyDavidCeramics – Wrenly owns and operates his own ceramics business that creates beautiful pieces at an extremely reasonable price point.
Elliot Fletcher – Actor and activist Elliot Fletcher announced some special pride merch of his own. 30% of all profit will be given directly to various charities and GoFundMes to support people of the community who could use a helping hand.
QueerestGear – Pins, hats, stickers, bowties – this shop has merchandise in support of every position on the spectrum.
GayStuffStudio – Looking to add some pride into your home? Look no further. Originally designed wall art is definitely the standout here, but the mugs, pins, and greeting cards are undoubtedly a must purchase.
Feature Image via Victoria Morris