Between a global pandemic and new names added to the long list of Black people killed at the hands of police, today’s general climate can be summed up in one word: heavy. Though the nation is beginning to take steps toward pre-coronavirus normalcy, the reality remains that we have a long way to go to empowering underrepresented and oppressed demographics, LGBTQ+ individuals included. With legendary activists like Marsha P. Johnson responsible for the start of the Pride movement, Black people are central to the queer community, though often overlooked. Black queer lives matter, and the LGBTQ+ movement wouldn’t be where it is today without Black people who risked their lives in the name of justice.
As people take to the streets for protests worldwide, shopping is probably the last thing on your mind right now. But uplifting LGBTQ+ brands is one way to counteract the disproportionate privilege and visibility that’s awarded cis-, white-owned businesses. In its 51st year, Pride continues to stand as a reservoir of activism and joy—and there are countless queer-owned businesses to support now and beyond Pride Month. Ahead, 19 LGBTQ+ brands to keep on your radar.
Bloom & Plume Coffee
Bloom & Plume Coffee is the Black queer-owned café you didn’t know your life was missing. The shop opened its doors in 2019 in East L.A. and is a community-driven space with masterful aesthetics, but it’s so much more than that. Inspired by the South African concept Ubuntu, meaning “I am because you are,” the company is dedicated to providing a place of belonging for people from all walks of life. At the moment Angelinos can order coffee to go or get free delivery within a three-mile radius, and everyone else can purchase merch (including seriously gorgeous mugs) here.
Infuse your space with Boy Smells limited-edition Pride Collection, benefiting the Trevor Project, which provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention work for LGBTQ+ youth. Founded by partners Matthew Herman and David Kien in 2016, the “objects of intimacy” brand aims to “disarm binary ideas and imagine a genderful universe.” Boy Smells’ best-selling candles like Cedar Stack and LES will be available in limited-edition hues to #IlluminateInclusivity.
Coco and Breezy Eyewear
Founded in 2009 by twin designers Corianna and Brianna Dotson, the NYC-based Coco and Breezy Eyewear offers optical glasses and sunglassess that don’t sacrifice form or function. According to the brand, “Eyewear is the outfit and your clothing is the accessory.”
Freck Beauty is a clean L.A.-based beauty brand that makes “innovative skin care and cosmetics with top quality ingredients and packaging that makes you feel seen and sexy.”
BLK MKT Vintage
This Brooklyn business is built on a motivation to curate a collection that mirrors Black cultural expression and lived experiences. Founders Jannah Handy and Kiyanna Stewart offer a variety of one-of-a-kind collectibles including vinyl, clothing, art, and accessories at their BedStuy shop (temporarily closed) and online. You don’t come across unique vintage gems like this every day.
Automic Gold doesn’t photoshop its brand imagery, hires size-inclusive and minority models, is queer-owned, and creates radically wearable fine jewelry for everyone at an accessible price point. What’s not to love?
Whether you’re on the hunt for quirky desk toppers, underrated perfumes, jewelry, ceramics, or prints, Otherwild’s got you covered. Aside from its array of aesthetically appealing retail goods, the brand serves as a graphic design studio and collaborative community for artists, herbalists, musicians, and creatives. Sadly, the New York location was forced to close its doors due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the L.A. shop is still there, and you can shop its impressive variety of goods onsite as well.
Dubbed the Bushwick Birkin, the Telfar Shopping Bag has been spotted on everyone from Solange to Selena Gomez, and the genderless label is one to know. Designer Telfar Clemens, 2017 winner of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund award, challenges the often rigid high-fashion arena with utilitarian designs at accessible price points.
Genderless fashion is the present and the future, and Official Rebrand is one unisex label to keep on your radar. Reviving discarded clothing and giving it new life through painting and alterations, artist MI Legget goes against the grain and champions anti-waste values in the industry. Known for its alternative aesthetics and creative fluidity, Official Rebrand ditches gendered categories and smashes social constraints in one breath.
Challenging industry norms with androgynous, menswear-inspired attire, Kirrin Finch creates great-fitting clothing that makes buyers feel comfortable and confident in who they are. From blazers to button-downs and unique bow ties, the brand defies gender constraints and fills the gap for women struggling to align their personal style with measurements fit for the female form.
Revel & Riot
Utilizing graphics as a medium for change, Revel & Riot sparks conversation and raises awareness with thoughtful T-shirt designs, and every shirt has a story. The LGBTQ-run nonprofit sells apparel that promotes equality, pride, visibility, and justice, and offers resources on anti-oppression, transgender health, internalized homophobia, and more. Check out the site for literature recommendations and organization resources to support the cause.
No Sesso, whose name means “no gender” in Italian, challenges “the conventions of fashion, art, culture and design” and focuses on empowering people of all colors, shapes, and identities. As the first trans designer to show at New York Fashion Week, Perrie Davies is working to build a safe space for underrepresented community members in a notoriously exclusive industry.
On a mission to change the way people shop for swimwear, Humankind Swim is in the business of helping consumers hit the beach feeling comfortable and confident, gender identity aside. From swim shirts to Pride-themed trunks, Humankind’s offerings are for queer people, by queer people.
Black Queer Magic
Crystal lovers, get into Black Queer Magic. The brand was founded by Vanessa Miller, a self-taught jeweler and social worker who merges their love of community activism and therapeutic interventions with jewelry design. “Jewelry has given me the freedom to express my identity and to find myself over, and over again,” Miller shared on the site.
Alder New York
Founded by David J. Krause and Nini Zilka in 2016, this queer- and women-owned beauty brand is one to watch. Designed for all skin types, age groups, and gender identities, Alder combines design sensibility and efficacy for no-nonsense high-performing personal care essentials at an affordable price. For the month of June, 10% of all Everyday Skincare Set sales will be donated to the Ali Forney Center, whose mission is to protect LGBTQ+ youth from the harm of homelessness and empower them with tools needed to live independently.
Merging unisex androgyny with classic silhouettes, designer James Flemons juxtaposes the feminine and masculine with Phlemuns’s thoughtful designs intended to last a lifetime.
Struggling to find quality underwear that transcended the confines of size and gender, founders Fran Dunaway and Naomi Gonzales created Tomboyx, an intimates and lounge wear brand that shakes up the status quo and makes underwear shopping a hell of a lot more fun.
Nicole Zïzi Studio
The women-run apparel company brings us a range of stylish essentials (think graphic tees, utility jumpsuits, and slim-fit trousers) and started in 2013 with the belief that “a womxn has the right to wear whatever the hell she wants, and to be with whoever the hell she wants.” Enough said. According to the site, Wildfang raised over $400,000 for charities that support reproductive, immigrant, and women’s/human rights in 2018.
Originally Appeared on Glamour