During Pride Month many companies express their support for LGBTQ+ communities by utilizing the rainbow flag in their stores, logos and merchandise. While this is a significant way to enhance visibility and raise money; if they donate the proceeds to LGBTQ+ organizations, it often ends once the commercialization of the month passes.
Allyship that defends the rights, joys and freedoms of LGBTQ+ communities has to include advocating for policy change that eliminates discrimination and inequity in all social systems. It also means making sure we don’t bolster companies that use Pride Month performatively. Waving and displaying the rainbow Pride flag is wonderfully celebratory; let’s keep that energy going and take it a step further by promoting and uplifting LQBTQ-owned/run businesses and organizations all year round. Here is a list to help you do just that …
Buy From …
Otherwild is where you can find unique and carefully designed clothing, housewares, body and skincare, accessories, stationery and more. Founded by Rachel Berks, a queer woman, in 2012; Otherwild regularly gives back to the community by donating to organizations like The National Center for Transgender Equality, Black Lives Matter and The Lesbian Herstory Archives.
SUAY Sew Shop
SUAY Sew Shop sells beautifully creative, ethically sourced clothing and home goods. This queer-owned and operated company has turned sustainable upcycling into an art form — SUAY has diverted 500,000 lbs of garment waste from landfills since its founding in 2017. During Pride 2021, they are helping to address food scarcity issues within Black and Indigenous LGBTQ+ communities; by donating 10% of all pillow sales to Seeding Sovereignty Ancestral Acres Farm and Garden.
All the exquisite beadwork available through QueerKwe Designs has been created by Anishinaabe Two-Spirit artist Rebecca Lynn of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians. By supporting their work you’ll not only end up rocking some gorgeous jewellery and accessories; you’re investing in LGBTQ+ individuals who are working to create more acceptance and representation.
We Live in Truth (We L.I.T.) is a Black, trans, non-binary-led candle company that was founded by DREAM (they/them) in 2019. Vegan friendly and only using 100% organic waxes and raw materials, We L.I.T hand makes products with scents that promote healing and well-being.
Automic Gold is a self-funded, queer-owned company that creates “radically wearable” fine jewellery for all genders from reclaimed gold. Championing positivity, the company hires size-inclusive, non-cis and non-White models and doesn’t use photoshop in its marketing (more of this from other businesses, please).
W3ll People, co-founded by lesbian A-list make-up artist Shirley Pinkson, has a wide variety of skincare and make-up products to delight anyone seeking “plant-powered beauty.” During Pride Month 2021 the company is donating 5% of their profits to the Trevor Project (see below).
Get Involved & Donate To …
The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project is a suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ+ youth in the United States. It has many mental health resources and services, including a 24/7 help/advice line and educational programs for groups who work with young people so that they can better help LGBTQ+ youth in the future.
It Gets Better
It Gets Better is a global non-profit that uplifts and empowers LGBTQ+ youth through community based media programming and educational resources. Connected through international affiliates in 20 countries (including the U.S.). Their aim is to help inspire a world where all LGBTQ+ people are free to “live equally and know their worthiness and power as individuals.”
PFLAG is the most extensive organization in the U.S. that assists LGBTQ+ people, their parents, families and allies. Through their vast network of grassroots and online programs, they offer confidential peer support and advocacy services that aim to develop a world where “diversity is celebrated, and all people are respected, valued, and affirmed.”
Family Equality advocates for the advancement of legal and everyday equality for all LGBTQ+ families to live in communities that protect, respect and value them. They also work through education programs and policy change initiatives to help develop systemic change to combat discrimination and maximize opportunities for LBGTQ+ people.
Human Rights Campaign
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is a U.S. equal rights advocacy organization. Through lobbying Congress and promoting/endorsing LGBTQ-friendly political candidates, the HRC aims to break down barriers and promote equity, inclusion and representation in all facets of society.
The Kaleidoscope Trust
The Kaleidoscope Trust is a UK-based charity that works to uphold the human rights of LGBTQ+ people in countries around the world where they suffer discrimination, criminalization and persecution. They financially support groups that uphold human rights and work closely with governments and civil-society organizations to effect lasting change.
As we approach the end of Pride Month, this is a reminder that we can encourage LGBTQ+ communities all year round and help contribute to positive visibility, respect and societal change. By doing this we convey an effective message that identity matters, self-worth matters and equality matters.
The Changing Landscape of Global LGBTQ+ Rights – Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)
Improving The Lives And Rights Of LGBTQ People In America: A Road Map For The Biden Administration – Center For American Progress
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