Pride Month looks a little bit different this year. The global pandemic has effectively diminished any hopes we had for parades and other large-scale celebrations, and as a society we’ve been largely focusing on the horrifying racial issues affecting the country. While some might believe Pride Month is essentially “canceled” in light of the growing momentum of the racial justice movement reignited by the murder of George Floyd, this is simply not true. The truth is the Black Lives Matter and the LGBTQ+ acceptance movements go hand in hand, and widely stand in solidarity with each other. This June, we’re seeing a blended social cause that may just make this Pride Month more impactful than ever before.
On Sunday, June 14, thousands marched in Hollywood for racial justice and LGBTQ+ rights, walking over a huge street mural that read “All Black Lives Matter,” painted in the blue, pink and white colors of the transgender flag. This combination of two anti-discrimination powerhouses has the potential to create major change.
Protesting and attending Pride events are a great way to show support, but if you’re looking for a different way to contribute to the community, here are five LGBTQ+ brands to support this month (and year round, of course.)
This LGBTQ+ brand specializes in graphic tees, edgy enamel pins, music records and an abundance of other items. The shop is home to over 200 independent brands and merch companies, each with their own unique style. Autostraddle isn’t just a shop though; they also have an online publication all about pop culture, entertainment and LGBTQ+ issues.
The publication was founded in 2009 by couple Riese Bernard and Alexandra Vega, who then launched the store. Autostraddle is now run by a team of women whose mission is to provide an online community and voice for badass queer ladies and other marginalized groups.
Check out 1600 Hats for some statement-making political gear, or browse Socially Distant Fest’s line of COVID-themed shirts. With the sheer amount of items available on The Autostraddle Store, there’s sure to be something for everyone.
We’ve seen clothing companies challenge beauty standards, but what happens when a jewelry store decides to break down barriers in the industry? That’s where queer, trans-owned Automic Gold comes in. Founded by Al Sandimirova (they/them), this fine jewelry shop strives to create inclusive and diverse pieces everyone can enjoy — no matter your size, gender or race.
Automic Gold challenges other jewelry companies by selling sizes that differ from industry standards. While rings are usually made at sizes 4-9, Automic Gold offers sizes 2-16, ensuring no one is excluded from having access to the shop’s beautiful pieces. The company also believes in hiring models who are non-white and non-cis, and they don’t Photoshop any of their models either.
The shop sells a variety of necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings, as well as customizable lettered jewelry. Unique standout pieces on their site include the GAY Necklace, the Love Knot Ring and the YES / NO Earring.
Automic Gold also has its own blog with posts written by owner Sandimirova and other members of the AG team. These posts include helpful jewelry tips, behind-the-scenes industry knowledge, body positive content and more.
This one is for all the fragrance addicts out there. Bijou Candles is an eclectic shop with candles so aesthetically pleasing you might not even want to burn them. Married couple Alaina and Jocelyn Drew created the company in hopes of making luxury, high-quality candles that won’t break the bank.
Bijou Candles currently carries three collections, each with its own unique theme. Their “Icons” collection features six pink and gold candles, each named after a legendary ‘70s or ‘80s female artist and created with specialty scents that match the personality of each artist. For example, the “Stevie” candle has notes of earthy white sage and neroli.
Candles from the “Coven” collection come in black glass votives decorated with gothic golden lettering and witchy designs, with the three candles “Hermione,” “Sabrina” and “Willow” being named after pop culture witches. Finally, the “Starlets” collection comprises four smaller soy candles with a clean white and gold aesthetic, each named after a famous Hollywood starlet.
Proceeds from sales in June are going to the ACLU, the NAACP and Black Lives Matter, so you can help out organizations that make a difference while supporting an LGBTQ+ brand this Pride Month.
Novelist Tanaïs (they/them) launched Hi Wildflower in 2014 with a mission to start a socially conscious self-care brand that’s inclusive and intersectional. Hi Wildflower is an online beauty and fragrance shop that specializes in perfumes, botanical lipsticks and hand poured candles.
Notable products include their line of MATÍ androgynous lipsticks, which were created with the intention of making earth-toned pigments to complement every skin color. Hi Wildflower’s lipsticks are cruelty-free and made with a blend of essential oils and moisturizing waxes.
Tanaïs also runs a podcast called MALA that aims to celebrate women and their stories, as well as help them reimagine their lives in the form of a signature perfume scent. The first season of MALA focuses entirely on a group of formerly incarcerated women who live in Queens, New York.
Since its start in 2014, Hi Wildflower products have hit the shelves in over 200 stores, including Urban Outfitters and Nordstrom.
This LGBTQ+ brand was founded in 2012 by Rachel Berks (she/her), a queer woman who gained popularity for bringing back the iconic “The Future is Female” tee that swept the internet. Berks redesigned the feminist shirt that was originally made in the ‘70s by Labyris Books, the first women’s bookstore in NYC.
The shop offers a variety of home goods, beauty products, books, accessories and so much more. Otherwild sells everything from home decor and fragrances, to graphic tees and other clothing — check out their LGBTQ+ themed apparel. They also carry environmentally friendly products, like zero-waste cleaning kits and recycled clothing. Otherwild is truly a one-stop shop for everything you could possibly want for both your home and your wardrobe.
Otherwild also gives back — the business donates to organizations like Planned Parenthood and Black Lives Matter, so you can feel like you’re contributing to a social cause when you shop.