By Amelia A. J. Foy
Graphics by Frances
Graphics by Frances
A couple of months ago, in the aftermath of Pride, I compiled a post of LGBTQ+ brands and people that we can support instead of corporations who cater to our community only for their own gain. Pink capitalism refers to this phenomena of companies and organisations appearing “pro-gay” (let’s be real, it’s only ever about being ‘gay’ to them) to reap in profit, whilst not actually putting in the work to make LGBTQ+ lives easier. To quote myself:
“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?”
Since this article was posted, I’ve wanted to do another one so badly, since I’ve come across so many more talented queer artists, designers, writers and influencers who I want to spotlight. Scroll on and nab yourself some cute queer goodies and follow some cute queer icons:
- @hirsuit, in their own words, “fills the hole left by a limited and patriarchal notion of swimwear, made for people whose style choices fall outside of the fashion industry’s antiquated assumptions regarding gender and identity.” It is an androgynous swimsuit designed for all gender expressions and all body types, ethically produced.
- @thiiim is a collection as part of @thephluidproject, mentioned in part 1. With The Phluid Project, THiiiM put on a killer fashion show for their outfits, and you can shop their collection on the Phluid site.
- @roobs_grlclb, or Ruth, is a mental health activist, feminist and writer based in the UK. She creates independent slogan t-shirts and stickers for sale here. These include “tories kill”, “thou shalt never fuck a tory”, “pay artists for art” and “this millenial kills fascism”.
- @n.a.s.tee (Not.Another.Slogan.tee) makes, you guessed it, slogan tees! Based in London, these tees and tote bags include phrases like “queer cutie”, “too cute for the closet”, “let’s get bi together” and “pro homo”. Go support a cute queer shop now!
- @shopheav3n, created by @itslulo, hosts many different brands and ships their clothes worldwide. They sell a range of alternative-style outfits for all your hell-raising needs - suspenders, lingerie, velvet and loads of cute hoodies. On the more expensive side, but if you have the money, go for it! They also host parties if you’re local.
- @official_rebrand sells gender-neutral repurposed clothing, which you can commission! This includes painted jackets and trousers, re-stitched tops, embroidered tanks, and all in-between.
- @otherwild are a “store, design studio, community space”, selling a whole range of products. They sell slogan tees and totes, which include “the future is female”, “we can be radical” and “out of the closet and into the streets”, as well as accessories, homeware, kids clothes, and hair/skin care. You can buy from them here.
- @radimola are a gender neutral clothing brand - you can spot a lot of your fave queer babes on their instagram modeling them! They sell accessories, hair/skin care and clothing, including the “let boys be feminine” and “fuckery knows no gender” tee. They donate an amount of each purchase to #BlackLivesMatter.
- @hellomachine sells tees, tanks, sweats and trousers in some iconic queer designs. This includes their Greek-style “Lezbos” design, “be yourself” design, and “queer” upside-down triangle design. You can shop their clothes here.
- @doodlepeoplexo sell a range of accessories, but mostly cute slogan badges. These include “they/them” pronouns badges, “your anxiety is lying to you” and “no bitch you are confused and it ain’t my problem”. They also sell slogan prints and prints of their art!
- @menswearselfcare are a Filipinx queer activist talking all things LGBTQ+ and QPOC between creating great art. Follow for all their projects and all their thoughts on different, important social justice issues. Great place to get educated and engaged.
- @babe_ebba is a Swedish LGBTQ+ activist, posting about her relationship, body positivity and more. Most posts are in Swedish, but you can always translate Instagram captions, and the looks transcend languages!
- @roscoeramone is a lesbian self-love icon whose feed instantly makes me feel warm and fuzzy. They post a lot of important social justice content between aesthetics and I would recommend following!
- @the_yvesdropper is a black queer model with killer tattoos. He spotlights LGBTQ+ organisations and influencers, and makes his account as inclusive as possible. Almost every WCW or MCM, he spotlights a queer person who has lost their life to violence - usually trans women - and makes their story heard. This is so important in us as a community paying our respects, but also in constantly reminding us and wider society of the violence we still face, especially transphobia and transmisogyny.
- @ihartericka is a sex educator, breast cancer survivor, and black and queer activist. They are one of the accounts I am constantly learning from and would definitely recommend following. They have a distinct and unapologetic voice, and are currently a sexuality lecturer.
- @scotteeisfat is a body positive, fat positive queer activist. He has published a book, Scottee: I Made It, “about [his] journey through the back door - how a kid with no training or qualifications survived 10 years - written through the experience of participants, mentors, mentees, friends, peers and family!” and hosted workshops, talks, and so on. He’s also got a dance show TODAY - Fat Blokes at Southbank!
- @raindovemodel is an androgynous model and activist. Describing themself as simply “I am I”, they discuss a whole range of issues on their account, regarding racial biases, gendered biases and queerphobia. Follow for really informative and unapologetic content.
- @miles_jai is a queer YouTuber who has been defying gender norms and, really, gender entirely since he first started on the platform. Follow him for lqqks, but also informed posts and opinions.
- @newpandemics is an LGBTQ+ modelling agency. Follow them for queer babes and support the influencers you see on there - it is such a vital platform for representation and diversity.
- @stef.sanjati is a trans YouTuber who has documented her transition, as well as her battles with mental health. She uses her platform to spotlight LGBTQ+ people and issues, and discusses social justice often. She recently produced a short film called “Bad Words” which you can watch here- you can also buy her merch here.
In our current activism, and general lives, it’s important to remember and honour those who have come before us and paved the way for the queer lives we lead today. Here are some accounts that serve to remind us of how far we have come, how far there is to go, and the fact we have always been here:
- @lgbt_history documents photos and stories of the LGBTQ+ community.
- @h_e_r_s_t_o_r_y and @lavender__archivist both document the history of the lesbian community specifically.
- @transnormativity is a queer creative based in the US. You can support them by hiring them as a photographer - view their work here - or buy their zines and books as they come out. Also, follow for amazing looks, other queer babes, and tattoos!
- @4locrow is a gorgeous fat positive photographer focusing on sexuality, sex and emotions. You can buy their work here in the form of magazines and prints, and view their work.
- @elisleepless’s work focuses on portraiture and bodies and people in different settings. You can support their work by buying it, or through their patreon!
- @ldvphoto offer portrait, commercial and event photography, as well as make-up services, and are based in Melbourne, Australia. Hit them up if you want some amazing photographs, especially for special occasions!
- @maryvbenoit is a photographer, performance artist and model based in NYC. If you are local, you can visit her upcoming performances as they are announced, or support her work through any sales she puts up on her accounts.
- @shooglet’s photography frames queer, fat bodies in beautiful landscapes to show how natural and gorgeous they are. Support them and their fat positive, queer movement through a number of ways: their store, their patreon, their PayPal, or through hiring them for a shoot - all links here. They also paint, which you can find on @shoogsart, where all art is for sale.
- @buoako is a digital and traditional illustrator and poet who uses their platform to talk openly about mental wellbeing and traumas which result from racism, queerphobia and other structural injustices. You can commission them and follow their account for art, selfies, honesty and social justice resources.
- @katelouisepowell is an illustrator and vegan activist. Her art and platform generally centres around animal rights activism, how to live ethically, and her beautiful illustrations - I particularly love her platform because she is makes her vegan activism inclusive and she advocates for other social justice causes too, e.g. is a feminist. Follow for informative posts and great vegan makeup looks, and buy the art from her store - from sticker packs to prints!
- @aorists is an Indian, trans freelance illustrator based in the UK. Their art centres on semi-realistic people with killer fashion and amazing attention to detail. They also post a lot of helpful and informative social justice resources on their story. You can commission them!
- @journalbebe is an art journaling account. Tara is also a mental health advocate, discussing her recovery story and sharing it through her art, and a feminist. Commission her and/or buy any original pieces she has for sale!
- @ngrigni is a traditional and digital illustrator and a trans activist. Their work depicts the trans body, queer activists and beautiful people in general in semi-realistic style, using colours and patterns to bring it to life. You can commission them - there are so many commissioned couples drawings on their Instagram! - or buy one of their prints/stickers/zines from their Etsy.
- @saltandchilli_emma is an illustrator who draws cute queer babes, showing off their tummies, body hair, surgery scars and tattoos. She also makes comics. Commission her or buy her stickers and prints!
- @sob_comix is a comic illustrator, creating “YA and queer content”. The have a really unique style in drawing people, creating single pieces or comic strips with them. Commission them now!
- @mrfishink is a illustrator celebrating all things about the fat queer body. This Inktober, they came up with their own - #fatober - with prompts for drawing plus size babes every day. They also sculpt small clay models. Commission them or buy some of their art!
- @transrebelde is a trans Latinx artist who uses a variety of mediums. Just scrolling through his profile, you can spot pencil, paint, ceramics and photography. Follow his work and ask for a commission!
- @demongarcon creates incredible pencil sketches of cute, sad human beings with amazing shading and atmosphere. But don’t just follow for that - they’re looks are amazing, too!
- @monyeeart is a queer Chinese-American artist. Their art is mainly bold and graphic, exploring their heritage and identity, and you can support them by buying their stickers, getting their work tattooed, or commissioning them!
- @mymadfatzine is a queer Parisian creating amazingly political and poignant collages. Whilst not all are for sale, you can support them by buying a piece and sharing their art!
- @labellesophie is a trans comic artist, producing short-panel comics talking about their experiences with gender, transness and the world in general. These are called “assigned male comics”. You can pre-order her newest comic anthology now, inspired by the recent rise in transphobic rhetoric: “We Won’t Be Erased”. She also has a series of French comic novels out.
- @hellomynameiswednesday creates colourful digital queer artwork with the motto of “activism through art”. Their art centres around queerness, particularly trans rights, and calling out the current political climate - as well as showing love to one another. Commission them or buy their prints or clothing here!
- @fokzaret produces beautiful little illustrations and watercolour pieces, as you can see on their Instagram. Beyond this, they do stick ‘n’ pokes, embroidery, zines and tattoo commissions. Grab a custom piece now!
- @rat666tat is a trans tattooist working out of Outcast Club in Toronto, Canada, a queer safe-space tattoo studio. Their tattoos centre on queerness - queer phrases, queer bodies and themes - as well as the Toronto landscape and other clean lineart drawings. Go grab a cute tatt from them if you’re local!
- @paulinabas is a UK-based tattooist, tattooing out of her home and guesting in salons. Her style is clean lineart, and her flash is full of designs inspired by Hallowe’en, politics, plants and people. I’ve personally been tattooed by her multiple times and loved every single one. Book her now!
- @notyourboyfriendstattoos is based in PA and does a whole range of bold, graphic tattoos, from barbed wire to cover-ups to leaves. Go support them with a follow, and grab a tattoo from them if you’re local!
- @queer_tattooers is a tattoo account similar to @qpoc.ttt, who I mentioned in Part 1. It compiles queer tattoo artists and their work from around the world in one place, so you can follow them to find out someone to get inked by, to support queer artists in your area, or just to see some incredible artwork.
- @bigolebrat is based in America, but guests across Europe, too, so plenty of us will have a chance to get a tattoo! Their work is so unique, based on clean lines and block colours, creating abstract depictions of people, places and spaces.
- @messydirty is a Swedish make-up account, with a big queer twist. The motto is “conventional make-up is boring”; he takes make-up and his face and turns it into art, without any aim of becoming “beautiful” or “polished”.
- @fruitcakemagazine is, to quote, an “Award Winning LGBT+ publication giving people the ability to tell their own stories to inspire and empower through creativity”. Ran by Jamie Windust (@leopardprintelephant), fashion icon and non-binary creative, this magazine currently has two issues. The latest focuses on LGBTQ+ relationships, featuring interviews and essays from queer folx, and is available now from Gays The Word in London, or to order online!
- @cakeboymag is a bi-annual queer magazine and, in the most icon description ever, “breeding ground for disruptive faggotry”. You can buy any number of their issues talking all things LGBTQ+, follow for beautifully queer pictures, and buy their shirt: “bad boys need good dick too”.
- @subvrtmag is a “print & online publication focusing on giving a voice back to minorities”. Follow to hear from a whole range of people on what’s important to their experiences - and buy a print issue! You can even submit to them if you would like to.
- @femzinelondon produces print issues featuring photographs, art and articles, challenging the gender binary and male dominance in the publishing world, by uplifting femme voices. You can buy a print issue or preorder their upcoming book, 4 BROWN GIRLS WHO WRITE.
- @them are a platform promoting various LGBTQ+ voices. They have video series, news articles, current events and thinkpieces, and photoshoots - all of which centre on queer folx. Follow and support them - and find out about even more LGBTQ+ influencers and publications through them!
- @queerpromuk is, as it sounds, a queer prom night in London! If you didn’t go to prom, or didn’t go as your true self, it’s a chance to do it over again, with drag, carbaret, and more! All proceeds go towards LGBTQ+ charities.
- Lesbians & Gays Support the Migrants is a charity organisation to support refugee rights. You can directly get involved by joining them and helping protest, collect donations and so on, or you can show up to one of their events! Their latest one was “Planes and Perverts: Halloqueen Edition” in London - all money goes towards stopping charter flights and supports refugees to remain in the UK.
- @tuttitfruttidrawing are LGBTQ+ life-drawing classes run every month in London, for around £15 (which is SO affordable for a life drawing class!). All their models are LGBTQ+ creatives. The environment is inclusive, friendly and safe, and it’s a great place to be creative around other queer people!
- @barberette_original is a gender-free hairdressing salon in the London and Prague. They charge by cut, not by gender, and are always super welcoming and friendly.
- London LGBTQ+ Community Centre is a vital resource to the London queer scene, hosting a range of different events for LGBTQ+ folks to volunteer at or visit.
- Podcast: The @megjohnjustin podcast centres on sexuality, gender and sex in general - how to enjoy it, solo or otherwise, and all the various issues that come along with it. Have a listen - and buy their book!