By Amelia A. J. Foy
Pride month is over, but LGBT+ people need your support all year round. One way to directly support them is by choosing where you put your money. Companies have caught onto the fact that queerness makes them money (hence the Pride launches throughout June in high street stores) but where does the money go after you spend it? Do these stores have a long-term commitment to LGBT+ rights, or is it exclusively one month a year? Is it only for cis white gays, or is it inclusive of queer people of colour and trans people? Does the CEO care if the money in his (or her or their, but most likely his) pocket is from queer people or from queerphobes?
Buying from corporations is always an ethical mess, from sweatshop labour to workers’ wages to plagiarising the designs of smaller stores. Factor in pink capitalism, and it is overall much easier to buy directly from queer-owned brands and queer people, especially given how many of us are working-class. Below are some queer folx you can monetarily support, providing clothing, art, tattoos and more.
All of the following are found on Instagram. Instagram is a great place to browse queer-owned brands, as well as other minority-owned brands (e.g. black-owned, Muslim-owned and so on) and smaller independent shops and people. I would also recommend browsing Etsy - there are way too many LGBT+ sellers to mention here, but a quick search of “gay”, “queer” so on will bring them up (just make sure it’s not a TERF-y shop).
- @sleepybbybutt sells repurposed thrift clothing. They hand-print slogans onto the fabric, including “being emotionally manipulative isn’t very punk rock of you”, “femmes against fascism” and “my body may be cold and unforgiving but my heart is still warm!”. Ships internationally.
- @shopd0glover sell a variety of new and thrifted clothing, including dresses, bodysuits, trousers, shorts and shirts. They are all affordably priced and they reply extremely fast; you just have to DM them the item from their feed which you want. They will ship internationally if you cover the shipping cost, but are based in the USA.
- @bulletin.co sell a variety of slogan clothes and accessories, mainly centred on women and queer folx, including shirts, badges, jewellery and trinkets. They have two stores in NY in addition to their online shop, and donate 10% of their proceeds to Planned Parenthood. Along with buying from them, you can also apply to sell with them.
- @shop.kiddbell sells a lot of political clothing and accessories, including slogan shirts, badges, hats and patches. These centre on fighting back against sexism, homophobia, racism, transphobia, and the current political zeitgeist of the USA (where they are based, but they ship internationally).
|[Image description: Model wearing a "dead men can't catcall" shirt.]|
- @greenboxshop sells fair trade slogan shirts, such as “f*ck Donald Trump” and “being straight was my phase”. They are Afro-Latina owned and their instagram also serves to educate and empower marginalised groups, ensuring that your “activism doesn’t stop at a shirt”, as their bio says.
- @teenuhhhhh is a queer artist that sells a line of clothing called Moody Dude. You can find many pictures of their shirts and trousers on their Instagram (alongside some fire pics).
- @shopstrangeways sells mostly accessories, including badges, patches and bags. Their site acts as a marketplace for other brands to sell their items, majorly centring on queerness, mental health and slogan designs. They have a physical and an online store.
- @thephluidproject is an NYC-based clothing and accessories brand that sells LGBT+ shirts and accessories. They have a physical store and an online presence, selling shirts promoting gender fluidity and pride, and use their Instagram to do the same, and also share events, news articles and queer art.
- @goodgirl_gang isn't queer-owned, but is Muslim-owned, pro-LGBT+ and donates 10% of profits from their rainbow "get over it" totes to LGBT+ charity. They sell a variety of slogan tees and tote bags, including: the rainbow “get over it” mentioned, “smile for the destruction of the patriarchy” and more graphic prints. They are UK based, and all their clothing is hand drawn and hand printed.
|[Image description: an assortment of products in white and read, reading "smile for the destruction of the patriarchy" and "not your babe".]|
Below is a conglomeration of different types of artists, including visual art, tattoos, make-up and performance art.
- @floralhomo is a trans artist based in New Zealand with online stores selling prints, badges and patches. These centre on being gay and trans, depicting LGBT+ people and slogans. (We interviewed Theo for the site in another article: click here.)
- @umberghauri is a UK-based make-up artist who has worked with Munroe Bergdorf, Travis Alabanza, Mykki and more queer folx. They also organise Queer Picnic every year in London, as an inclusive alternative to corporate pride, and have a YouTube channel.
- @hexelot is a lesbian artist who sells art prints, tees and hoodies. Her art is explicitly political, responding to the current events of the world, such as migration and rape culture, but also explores emotion and love. She also designs tattoos for free.
|[Image description: digital illustration of a carrier bag full of guns which reads "thank you for shopping with us!", on a pale pink background.]|
- Tanja Mölholm is a queer disabled artist based in Sweden. She posts her art onto her website and tumblr surrounding sexuality and mental illness, and takes art commissions. You can contact her on tumblr or through her email (on her website).
- @ruffenough is a queer tattooist, who stick ‘n’ pokes tattoos at Valentine’s Tattoo in Seattle, USA. Their work primarily centres on sexuality, swans and body positivity, in both black-and-white and colour. Even if you don’t live locally, I would recommend following for their art, looks, and politics, and sharing their work.
|[Image description: tattoo of four colourful fat torsos blending together.]|
- @cjcalanday is a bi Pinay artist based in London, UK. She creates abstract digital and traditional art, and works as an artist for Risen. You can commission her via her Instagram or her website.
- @qpoc.ttt is an Instagram account that compiles the work of queer tattooists of colour. I would recommend browsing their feed if you want a tattoo and seeing if any of the featured artists on there are local to you.
- @katyjalili is a queer performance artist based in the UK. They are a drag artist and event organiser, putting on “Femmierrect” - a night for queer femmes in London - and “Genderfvcker”, a non-binary drag competition. They also create visual art and zines, centring people of colour, trans people and sexuality in their work, and engaging in activism. If you’re in London, go to their shows!
- @d0glover69 is one of the owners of shopd0glover (listed above), and provide academic writing services. You can DM them for editing and writing for your papers. They also share a lot of GoFundMes for trans folx, especially trans people of colour, and I learn a lot about different sociopolitical issues from following them. Currently, they are organising a fundraiser for SALEF, a Los Angeles organisation providing legal aid to undocumented immigrants. Even if you are not local to them (they are US based, but DM them for the location of this event), they are currently selling d0glover stickers which you can buy.
- @mrgnhllb is a bi trans activist based in the UK. He has a patreon for running Not Your Fault, a support group in London with an online forum for men and non-binary survivors of sexual violence. He is also a freelance writer, speaker on trans issues and consent, model, cello-player and photographer; you can hire him for any of these services. He has written a book that will be published next year on the A to Z of queerness, so follow him to find out when you can buy it!
- @gayslutswhoread run a podcast called Food 4 Thot, “a new podcast discussing sex, relationships, race, identity, what we like to read and who we like to read.” They additionally created a series of shirts with GreenBoxShop that can be found here; these include slogans such as “heterophobic”, “decolonise your bookshelf” and “gay slang was invented by white women gay men drag queens black women”.