[Image description: "NO TO PINK CAPITALISM" written in black with "pink capitalism" crossed out in pink. The O's on "No To" are upside down pink triangles.]
Part three is here! If you have missed my previous installments (I & II), No to Pink Capitalism is a series I created to curate LGBTQ+ creatives and LGBTQ-owned brands we can give our money to instead of buying into corporate pride/pink capitalism. This is the phenomena of big companies and businesses cashing in on Pride and all things queer (usually for only one month a year: June) for the sake of profit, whilst not actually supporting us in the long-run. Basically, companies have realised we are a viable consumer base, and by extension “social justice” is commercialisable.
There are too many examples of this happening to list here. It’s disingenuous. Unless you’re giving 100% of profits to LGBTQ+ charities and throughout the year employing us, platforming us (and safeguarding us from hateful backlash thereafter) and not centring yourself in the LGBTQ+ struggle, your brand is ultimately exploiting our already vulnerable and marginalised community (and let’s not get into how many of us can’t even afford the commercialised rainbows they’re selling us). But as I’ve said before:
“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?”
So stop buying into it. Put that money directly into the pockets of LGBTQ+ people - or at the very least, follow these folks and support their work in other ways. There is something to say about encouraging consumerism point-blank in the name of Pride (shout out capitalism, innit), but ultimately it’s unavoidable for many of us. If you want a cute rainbow lqqk, some queer art, or an organisation to invest time into, see below:
[Image description: The word "CLOTHING" coloured in rainbow.]
- @theGayAgenda_UK is a clothing store selling LGBTQ+ slogan tees, from “All Gays Go To Heaven” to “Sapphic Sweetheart”. If you wanted a slogan tee from the highstreet, but didn’t want to support corporate pride, this is perfect - keeping it cute and queer. Shop here!
- @xystugli is the place for all your queer upcycling needs. All their clothes are upcycled or handmade, and customisable, so check them out and snap one up. Their slogans range from “you would be nothing without queer culture” to “sex work is work”. Buy through their etsy, where they also sell prints!
- @gc2b make clothes with the “true you in mind”. This includes t-shirts, shorts, crops and binders - including their new rainbow binder, and Rebel Roots collection in collaboration with the Marsha P. Johnson Institute. Have a browse of their products and collections here!
- @clothes4bodies sells thrifted clothing for all genders on their Instagram. All their prices include US shipping and discounts are available for QTPOC - go show your support! Also found on depop.
- @theunapologeticallybrownseries is much more than a clothing brand, even if their shirts are killer. They’re an online platform creating visual art for QPOC and having important conversations. Support them through their online store (for t-shirts, prints and other projects) and by taking it to the streets with their free posters!
- @whitecopyrighted sells t-shirts, keyrings and other assorted accessories. First glance at their site might look pretty pricey, but people of colour use discount code IAMNOTWHITE and prices are reduced to £25 a tee. This is a brand for and by people of colour. Shop here!
- @redrumjoburg, also found on depop as soyduimkid, was set up by Misa River to sell “some items that misgender me” and help them out of a shitty living situation. They’re based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Please support them if you can.
- @itsnotalifestyle sell t-shirts and tote bags with queer slogans on them, like “my gender is nope” or “no apologies, no assimilation”. You can shop their collections, like their Pride and Pronouns collections, on their site and suggest what they should make next!
- @thelezbag sells “clear bags for queer fags”. You can shop it here with a range of cord combos and live you biggest gay dreams in style, and support a queer creator while you’re at it!
- @genderswap_ is making spaces for trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming individuals through clothing swaps and community events. This includes workshops, pop-ups and installations. They have collaborated with LUSH and MAC cosmetics to these means. You can support them by following them and keeping an eye out for their events (like this make-up masterclass in Cardiff, UK)! Whilst they’re UK-based, they do collaborations with organisations in other countries, too.
- @candyflaps_and_sprinkles creates “cute and freaky jewellery” with free shipping available! You can buy from their site or order a custom design from them.
- @genderfreeworld sells “clothing without labels”. Their gender neutral clothing line covers tees, shirts, underwear, accessories, trousers and so much more, including second-hand shirts. Their unique size guide labels clothing by genderlessly, too, so it fits bodies, not gendered misconceptions of bodies. Shop here!
- @affect.metals sells “queer armour” in the form of metal fetishwear. This includes earrings, chokers, harnesses, body chains and bralettes. All items are handmade using traditional chainmail techniques. Have a look here.
- @shopbigirlsclub sells apparel for multi-gender attracted women and femme folks "who dare to be visible". Their designs break down stereotypes and empower bi, pan and queer people (e.g. "not your unicorn" and "bi femmes club"). Shop here!
[Image description: The word "ARTISTS" coloured in rainbow, with "illustrators, photographers, MUAs, tattooists, performers + more!" underneath in parentheses, in black handwriting.]
- @vultures_peck is a queer stick-and-poke tattooist based in London. I just recently got tattooed by her and I love it! She’s very welcoming and very warm and her style is super unique. Definitely check her out if you’re looking for a tattoo!
[Image description: Photo of Amelia's tattoo: a black ink spider web on their ribs, with text wrapping around: "I WANT TO BELIEVE IN EVERYTHING BUT NOTHING."]
- @lem0nchild is a queer embroderist based in London. Their work is mainly in fashion and they will soon be selling it! Follow them to keep an eye out (their looks are also 10/10).
- @emilylikestodoodle is the art account of our own Risener, Emily (@floteren)! She doodles up quirky, queer art pieces about being LGBTQ+, being chronically ill and being cute. They also make jewellery and other goodies, which you can buy on their Etsy!
- @mayakern is a “fat queer magical girl”. Her digital art features queer couples, cuties and characters, as well as patterns and prints. She also sells journals and pins! Check it all out on her store or support her on Patreon.
- @softooth creates soft art about his experience as a trans man, growing pains and general beautiful things, using traditional and digital mediums. I can only really describe the feeling of it as warm and safe. Follow him and buy his art on his Etsy!
- @isaiahgzmn is a graphic designer and illustrator. His graphics are clean, simple and colourful. You can hire him for tasks related to branding and user experience.
- @artbycheyne is an award-winning queer illustrator based in Hawaii. His digital art borrows the style of older superhero comics and adapts it to honour LGBTQ+ heroes and icons, in both his Pride Patrol, Heroes of History and RPDR series. Check him out and support his patreon!
- @batmoons makes art about being queer, autistic and mentally ill. Their graphics are cute and affirmative, and you can buy them on badges here along with zines, prints and postcards.
- @ezra_w_smith’s art celebrates LGBTQ+ influencers, activists and people, of all shapes and sizes, with fun, colourful graphics and patterns. You can but her art here, here or support her patreon.
- @fatvegfemme makes art and text graphics about fat acceptance, disability and being queer. Follow them to listen and learn, and buy their prints, badges, stickers, keychains and more on Etsy. You can also commission them, donate to their wheelchair fund and/or support them on patreon!
- @nevhada makes digital art and pins celebrating everything queer - she was also responsible for many of the pride gifs on Instagram this year! You can support her by buying stickers, prints, shirts and more on redbubble, teepublic, society6 and/or storenvy, or commission her!
- @loukoumh makes soft, colourful art of queer people and queer couples that won’t fail to warm your heart. She really captures the beauty of being LGBTQ+. You can commission her to draw your couple (or yourself)!
- @rat666tat is a queer tattoo artist based in Toronto, Canada at Outcast Club. Their tattooing style is illustrative, graphic and can be super colourful, with lots of queer motifs throughout. You can check out their work on instagram or their website, and grab a tattoo if you’re near enough! (If I ever go to Toronto, I definitely will.)
- @kaethebutcher creates detailed illustrations about people, bodies and our bonds with each other. They recently took part in a group show called Queer Frontiers in Soho, London. Support them by buying yourself some beautiful art here!
- @atnrrm creates beautiful, atmospheric art of queer couples and characters, as well as other cuties and animals. Their colour schemes are always 10/10. Follow for some beauties!
- @ggggrimes is a badass graphic digital artist. Their colourful work centres on people of colour, especially trans people of colour, social justice issues and mental health. Commissions are currently closed (as of 17/07), but you can always buy some prints on their site!
#BelieveALLSurvivors ☁️ Special thank you to @justice4sexualassault for creating this project and sharing your story with us. To survivors who feel unseen, your story is important and so are you. Content warning for sexual assault in the rest of the caption. Please don’t post any comments detailing an assault or its aftermath under this image without a proper content warning so people can know what they’re about to read. ☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️ “This image is a reminder that ALL survivors of sexual assault deserve to be heard and believed. This was inspired by the story of Rufai; Hello Rooster, who on the 9th of June 2017 was raped and sexually assaulted on a feminist porn set (by a director at Erika Lust Films). Rufai then had their birth name revealed and exposed online without their consent by Erika Lust, further breaching a written contract. This caused Rufai to suffer a severe mental health crisis; damaging their safety & livelihood as a sex worker. Rufai’s story echoes that of many survivors who do not fit the media’s narrow view and representation of what a sexual assault victim looks like. As well as the difficulty that is experienced when seeking justice as marginalised victims.” ☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️ #art #artwork #illustration #drawing #painting #digitalart #digitalartwork #digitalillustration #medibang #medibangpaint #medibangpaintpro #huion #drawingtablet #blackartist #queerartist #peopleofcolor #nycart #nycartist #artistsoninstagram ☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️
- parttimeartpunk makes mixed media and illustrative pieces about feelings, being queer and feelings about being queer. Their art captures a real blend of emotions. Follow them!
- @nathancha_ is a queer transmasc artist and performer. His work is abstract and centres on gender, queerness and education, and his instagram is always full of reflections and discussions. Follow him and buy his work here, including t-shirts!
- teddytookover is a mixed media non-binary artist talking all things LGBTQ+ and spoonie. They make traditional art, jewellery and customise clothing. Follow them and buy their work through depop, then stick around for when commissions open up again!
- @blueredandgray creates cartoons and illustrative work. You can find it on instagram or their website, where you can also find upcoming events to support her at!
- @fagsigns creates neon signs reading a whole range of things! In their most recent project, they have worked with queer influences in an exhibit at Heller Gallery (on till August 9th!) called “Collaborations with Queer Voices”. If you’re in New York, you know what to do! You can also order custom signs on their site.
- @chubrubshop is the art shop of performer @chubrrrub. He sells “earrings, prints and ugly handbags” - so what are you waiting for? Have fun and get yourself something gay!
- @becca_537zine is a “titpot artisté” - aka makes the clay masterpieces you see below. I’ve bought one myself and they’re completely customisable, too! Shoot Becca a DM and grab yourself one.
- @kowboykit is a freelance fashion illustrator who is open for collaborations. They also tattoo, which you can see over at @_queer_fear_ - so if you want to collab or commission them, or get yourself a nice tatt, you know where to go!
- @ranafarba is a queer creator creating illustrative, emotional pieces full of colour. They also create tattoos over on @alien_poeme. They’ve also designed the cover of an anthology zine, How To Wait: an anthology of transition.
- @lois.spooked is a queer tattooist based in London. Their cartoon-based tattoos commonly centre on queer topics and phrases. Go nab yourself one!
- @makedaisychains is a queer artist and a mental health advocate. Her art commonly talks about mental health, self-care and LGBTQ+ issues through illustrations and comics. Also cats!
- @ryegarden has made countless illustrations of beautiful queer people in relationships that will make you feel warm inside. Follow them and buy their badges!
- @jacobvjoyce is, in their own words, a “multidisciplinary artist amplifying historical and nourishing new queer/anti-colonial narratives.” They run workshops, create zines and are in the process of making a West London mural around Black historical figures. You can find all their work on their website.
- @soofiya is an illustrator, designer and educator. They create affirming and self-expressive art, give talks around their personal experiences and their art and create graphics. Commission or work with them! You can find everything they do here.
- @andyrogyny is a queer illustrator and comic artist. Their work centres on LGBTQ+ experiences - both their own, and uplifting the voices of others. You can find more of their wider work on their website.
- @ninten_beau is a queer creative based in London, creating art through illustration and embroidery. You can buy prints here, and follow on instagram to see what pieces are for sale!
- @lightbydan is a photographer based in London who creates “queer surreal celebrations” through his shoots. He plays with light with his subjects, who are usually queer people and couples. You can book him via his website and buy prints!
- @emo.dads creates stunning, exaggerated make-up looks that you don’t want to miss on your feed. Make-up can really be an art form, as you see here!
[Image description: The word "MUSICIANS" coloured in rainbow.]
Describing music can be super difficult because we all have our own tastes. So below, I’ve hyperlinked to these musicians’ Spotify, YouTube and/or Soundcloud accounts (with their genres & number of albums/EPs) and you can check them out yourself!
- Genre: pop/electropop/pop punk
- Discography: 1 album (Odd One Out, 2019), 1 EP (Hot Mess, 2017)
- Spotify | Soundcloud | YouTube
- Genre: electropop
- Discography: 2 albums (Saves The World, 2019; About U, 2017) and 3 EPs (About U: One Year On, 2018; Loudspeaker, 2017; More Perfect, 2014)
- Spotify | Soundcloud | YouTube
- Genre: pop
- Discography: 1 album (Greatest Hits, 2017), 1 EP (Sateen, 2017)
- Spotify | Soundcloud | YouTube
- Atlantis Gandhi
- Left At London
- Genre: alternative/indie
- Discography: 2 EPs (Transgender Street Legend, Vol. 1, 2018; The Purple Heart EP, 2018)
- Spotify | Soundcloud | YouTube
- Karnage Kills
- Genre: pop/dance pop/contemporary R&B
- Discography: 1 album (Language, 2018), 1 EP (Small Talk, 2015)
- Spotify | Soundcloud | YouTube
- Years & Years
- Genre: synth-pop/electropop/pop
- Discography: 2 albums (Palo Santo, 2018; Communion, 2015)
- Spotify | Soundcloud | YouTube
- Andrea Di Giovanni
- Kim Anh
- Genre: post-punk/alt rock
- Discography: 1 album (Nature, Love, and Anger, 2019), 1 EP (Wheelbarrow, 2019)
- Spotify | Soundcloud | YouTube
- Genre: pop/experimental pop/alt pop/dance pop
- Discography: 2 albums (Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides, 2018; Product, 2015), 1 EP (Nothing More To Say, 2013)
- Spotify | Soundcloud | YouTube
- King Princess
- girl in red
[Image description: The word "READING" coloured in rainbow, with "books, authors, zines, mags + more writings!" in parentheses underneath, in black handwriting.]
(I recommend using book depository to buy any books below to save some money and get free shipping! Avoid Amazon if possible (we know how they treat their workers), which includes goodreads, who they own sadly. Otherwise, buy it in store or through the authors’ sites if you can!
- Juno Dawson is a YA and non-fiction author from Britain, as well as a journalist, screenwriter and columnist. Her most popular books include This Book Is Gay (non-fiction) about growing up LGBT+, Meat Market (fiction) about the world of high fashion - currently being adapted to TV! - and Clean (fiction), her recent book about drug use and rehabilitation.
- Savannah Brown is a poet and author you might recognise from YouTube. She has self-published a poetry anthology called Graffiti, exploring “anxiety, death, first loves, and first lusts.” Her most recent publication is the fictional novel The Truth About Keeping Secrets (or TTAKS for short), following Sydney in the wake of her father’s sudden death. (I’m currently reading this and love it so far - also includes queer representation!)
- Soulfire: Book One of the Soulfire Chronicles is a project on kickstarter by Chaz Harris that will centre on LGBTQ+ fantasy. If this is up your street, I’d recommend checking it out - join the mailing list and/or invest in it here!
- Remember that girl behind that Taylor Swift stan account on Twitter who went to jail for refusing to join the IDF? She’s written a book. If that doesn’t persuade you to buy it, I don’t know what will. Here’s the link to Be Gay, Do Crime: Thoughts from Prison. Thank you, Stephanie R. Leep.
- Heartstopper is an ongoing webcomic by Alice Oseman with two physical volumes (Volume One, Volume Two). It follows the backstory of two previously established characters in “an LGBTQ+ graphic novel about life, love, and everything that happens in between - for fans of The Art of Being Normal, Holly Bourne and Love, Simon.” It’s adorable. Buy it, read it online (also available on Tapas) and finance it on Patreon.
- A to Z of Gender and Sexuality: from Ace to Ze is a glossary with a twist by Morgan Lev Edward Holleb. This book provides more than basic definitions of what “trans” means, but goes into the history and current usage of many terms, including reclaimed slurs and terms specific to the BDSM community or people of colour. It’s politically-charged because the words we use speak to our politics. Morgan has been previously mentioned in No to Pink Capitalism: Part I for his freelance writing, activism and sexual assault support group for men and non-binary people, Not Your Fault.
- @foolsjourneybook by Jane Flett is a “a book of tarot and poetry and magical art”. This includes tarot cards designed by 22 artists and queer poetry. To get your hands on it, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and see snippets on instagram!
- Andrea Gibson is a poet and spoken word artist talking about gender norms, social and political issues and LGBTQ+ struggles. Their publications and tour dates are available on their website. If you’re looking to be moved, definitely check them out.
- Mary Jean Chan is an award-winning poet from Hong Kong. Her work talks about her experiences as a Chinese person, with queerness and multilingualism, and her cultural history. Her publications - books and anthologies - as well as appearances and workshops can be found on her site.
- Jay Bernard is a writer based in London. Their work “is interdisciplinary, critical, queer and rooted in the archive” and available on their site - from books to short films, like the film Something Said exploring the New Cross Fire of 1981 that killed 13 young black people.
- The Black Flamingo is Dean Atta’s debut novel, illustrated by Anshika Khullar (@aorists, mentioned in No to Pink Capitalism: Part II). It explores coming-of-age as a mixed-race gay teenager. He has previously published a poetry collection exploring race, identity and sexuality.
[Image description: The word "ACTIVISM" coloured in rainbow.]
- RISE Refugee Queer Project is an Australia-based initiative by RISE Refugee to support LGBTQ+ refugees, survivors and ex-detainees who are being mistreated in the country (to put it very lightly). They list their goals on their GiveNow, which are: 1) Develop long term queer project sustainability; 2) Provide queer ex-detainees and refugees advocacy support and casework; 3) Create resources and community directory for queer refugees, especially for ex-detainees; and 4) Hiring a project coordinator.
- @wearetransmissions is an organisation fighting for trans, non-binary, intersex and gender non-conforming folks’ rights. They platform their voices by creating events to celebrate, fundraise and raise awareness for them.
- London is having its first Trans Pride - following in the steps of Brighton amongst other places - on the 14th of September this year! Show up if you can, or spread the word if you can’t! More info is available here.
- @voices4_ say queer people anywhere are responsible for queer people everywhere. They’re a peaceful direct action group founded by @adameli (who is also worth a follow - amazing activist and soul) in New York, but has now been established in London, too (@voices4london) - their first London meeting is on the 18th of July, so show up and get involved!
- @ellen__jones is an “MTV EMA Award-winning campaigner, speaker & writer.” She addresses her experiences being autistic and LGBTQ+ and having mental health difficulties whilst looking killer in purple. Follow, sign-up to her newsletter and/or support her on Patreon.
- @lgbtiqoutside is a “grassroots project led by ex-homeless, homelessness professionals, community & activists” that establised an LGBTQI community centre and the UK’s first permanent homeless shelter for LGBTQI people. You can donate to them here, volunteer or otherwise help them by attending their events - more information on their instagram, Twitter and site.
- @mermaidsgender is a UK charity supporting trans and non-binary children. We all know how valuable this initiative is. Please donate and get involved (you can read more about their initiative on their website).
- @imaanlgbtqi is “an award-winning volunteer-led charity for and by LGBTQI Muslims,” a community very under-represented when we talk about Pride and queerness. Go and support them because they are doing vital work within this community. Read more about them and their work on their website.
- @goddessplatform was established by activist and model Munroe Bergdorf (@munroebergdorf - who is iconic, by the way) to “amplify the global voices of womxn, trans, non-binary & intersex people.” It’s an amazing platform providing much needed representation to these marginalised groups.
- @radamridwan is a writer, creator and icon, constantly sharing very important PSA’s and more vulnerable insights into their experiences (whilst turning out lqqks...obviously). I’ve learnt a lot following them and really appreciate their presence in my feed.
- @kei_maye is a creative coach, putting out content to support visual artists and creatives. Her talks are always insightful and motivating, but also real - no toxic positivity here! Follow if you’re looking for that content, plus really cool art!
- Girls Will Be Boys is an online platform created by Char Ellesse (@ellessechar) to encourage “an open discussion exploring modern ideas of femininity and masculinity through content creation.” Explore their site - from their t-shirts to their videos - and support queer people dismantling gender roles. The film OMG she’s bald has just been launched with a screening in London.
[Image description: The words "EVENTS & PLACES" coloured in rainbow.]
- Open Barbers is a gender-neutral salon in London. Their prices are dependent on your haircut, not your (perceived) gender, and operate on a sliding scale, so you pay what you’re able to (there is a minimum payment, of course). They also have merch! You can buy badges, stickers, shirts, zines and more.
- @queerfayre is an arts and crafts market organised by queer people, for queer people! If you’re around London when their pop-up happens, go and get something cute - and meet the people who made it!
- @fat_cabaret is a performance show celebrating fat people, and often fat queer people. They’re based in Brighton, UK, but have also put on shows in London - I recommend giving them a follow regardless for good fat representation!
- @gay_garage is a night for, you guessed it, garage for LGBTQ+ people. If that sounds like something for you, then follow them for their latest events!
- @bentfest is queer punk fest put on annually in the UK. Follow for the latest news on this - they also sell merch on their bigcartel!
- @queer_cinema_club is, as you could probably guess, a film night for LGBTQ+ people featuring LGBTQ+ films, based in London. Follow them if you’re interested in attending an event!
- @miseryparty is, in their own words, “a mental health collective & sober club night centring healing for queer/trans/nb/intersex BPOC.” This kind of space is so necessary considering the lack of sober spaces queer people have. If you’re a queer BPOC, follow to get involved with them and their events.
[Image description: The word "MISC." coloured in rainbow.]
- @batmecosmetics is a queer-owned make-up company who has been featured on the TV show POSE (which you should all watch). Their products, available here, are all cruelty free and plant-based, and a percentage of each sale is donated to the Los Angeles LGBT Centre.
- @queercinemahistory is an account documenting the history of queer cinema. We can often forget that LGBTQ+ folks have existed throughout history on screen, so this is a nice glimpse into the history of our representation.
- @nailitofficial was founded by Charlie Craggs (@charlie_craggs, activist and icon) to “nail transphobia”, running nail stalls at several events. The reclamation of the lobster emoji by the trans community was also led by Charlie and Nail It. Sign their petition here!
- @soft.queer.soft.belly is an account celebrating queer people’s tummies in all their forms. You can submit your tum to them through their DMs! All bodies are good bodies.