The month of June has become synonymous with Lady Gaga bangers, a surge of rainbow-hued products, and flocks of queer folks and allies alike flooding the streets for the annual Pride parade. But for the LGBTQ+ community, it’s so much more than a blur of parties and rainbows. It’s about honoring the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan, which is largely considered to be the turning point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States.
Keep in mind that throughout Pride month, many big-name brands will release their annual rainbow-hued product to show their support, but not all will pledge to donate proceeds to queer-related causes and communities or continue to support queer communities come July 1. (Yes, that’s shade.)
Related: Brands That Give Back for Pride
If you really want to show your support for the LGBTQ+ community—and maybe even find your new favorite shopping destination in the process—consider going straight to the source: buying from queer-owned retailers and brands.
In order to set you on the right foot, The Real Deal team is rounding up some of our favorite queer-owned businesses to support during Pride month and beyond. From crystal dealers to high-end fashion purveyors and everything in between, these LGBTQ+ business owners and entrepreneurs are well worth checking out.
A Tribe Called Queer
Created by Los Angeles–based Sabine Maxine Lopez as an effort to, “make a statement without saying a word,” A Tribe Called Queer is a multidisciplinary brand that encompasses gender-neutral and size-inclusive clothing, a podcast, a zine and virtual events all designed to foster an in-person and online community for queer folks around the country.
When founder Al Sandimirova first conceptualized Automic Gold, they wanted to ensure the brand would be both size-inclusive and diverse. In time, the jewelry company ended up representing so much more than a shift in the fine jewelry business. The recycled jewelry brand has also pledged to charge fair, transparent prices, hire size-inclusive, non-cis and non-white models all year round, and never photoshop their campaigns.
Claire Cavanah and Rachel Venning created Babeland back in the ’90s in response to the lack of female-friendly sex shops in Seattle. The pair wanted to create a positive space where women could feel comfortable exploring their sexuality without the pressure and awkwardness that sometimes comes with walking into a typical sex shop. Today, the boutique is considered to be one of the best in the country for its variety of toys and inclusive, sex-positive approach to play.
Black Baccara Perfume and Oils
Founded in 2010 by mixed media artist Kalliope Amorphous, Black Baccara Perfume and Oils focuses on small-batch fragrances that use only the highest-quality essential oils and phthalate-free fragrance oils. Blends range from classic scents to more whimsical and creative themes that aim to go deeper than the typical department store fragrance while still offering a high-end, sophisticated approach to personal scent.
Black Queer Magic
Black Queer Magic is the brain child of VBM, LMSW—otherwise known as V—a black, queer, Jamaican woman who aims to make self care more approachable through her hand-crafted jewelry and workshop facilitations that aim to, “aid in the adornment and reclamation of black LGBTQ bodies.”
Bloom & Plume Coffee
Black- and queer-owned Bloom & Plume Coffee has quickly become one of the best cafes in the country since opening its doors in 2019. The colorful L.A.-based shop aims to cultivate a safe space for the queer POC community, but also offers a ton of cool merch and clothing for those of us outside of California.
Ready to put your self care at the forefront? Boy Smells is going to become your one-stop shop for everything me-time. Created by real-life partners Matthew Herman and David Kie, Boy Smells aims to elevate your “intimate world” by way of high-end candles, cologne and sumptuous non-binary underwear.
Created by Harlem-based Robin Williams, Bowtie Behavior was born out of the need for fun and modern bow ties that are both affordable and high-quality rather than expensive and stuffy. The non-binary bow tie brand ranges from pastel prints to more bold colorways to suit any style.
Brandon Blackwood has garnered international attention for its huge range of colorful and contemporary accessories and handbags. Clientele ranges from Cardi B to Megan Thee Stallion but we particularly love this New York-based designer for its affordable price points (most handbags run for less than $400!).
Coco and Breezy Eyewear
Coco and Breezy Eyewear was founded and conceptualized by twin designers Corianna and Brianna Dotson as a way to bring a more visual art-inspired aesthetic to the world of eyewear. Frames range from round and aviator to cat-eye and rectangular and are available in both prescription optical and sunglasses.
Although fashion has made leaps and bounds forward when it comes to gender neutral and inclusive garments and clothing, the swimwear industry is still very much rooted in binary styles. That’s where Chromat comes in. This boundary-breaking brand is sustainable and stylish with tons of styles to suit all types of bodies and preferences, from classic bikinis designed with package pouches to one-piece designs with adjustable zippers designed to fit all body types and sizes.
Freck Beauty founder Remi Brixton launched the sustainable cosmetics brand as a response to her obsession with freckled skin. The brand originally launched with “The Original Freckle”—a liquid freckle applicator—but has since expanded to liners, lip tint and more.
Not everyone loves shopping for swimwear—which is where Humankind Swim comes in. The female-founded swimwear company aims to make swimwear for every body, allowing everyone to feel comfortable and confident in their own skin. Every swimsuit is non-binary and crafted from sustainable, quick-drying fabric.
Created as an androgynous answer to the high-end garment industry, Kirrin Finch makes luxury, menswear-inspired suits, blazers and more that are designed to make anyone feel comfortable and sophisticated. Founded by real-life couple Laura Moffat and Kelly Sanders Moffat, the gender-defying fashion company prides itself on having garments that foster confidence and inclusivity.
Nicole Zizi Studio
Eco-conscious and sustainable streetwear is made easy at Nicole Zizi Studio. Created by artist Nicole Zizi, the ready-to-wear clothing is crafted with recycled materials and ethically produced fabrics—so you’ll look good and feel even better.
No Sesso—which means no sex/no gender in Italian—was founded by Pierre Davis in 2015 with the intention to take aim at the conventional fashion industry. The non-binary brand aims to empower people of all identities through beautiful and genderless garments, including everything from hoodies and T-shirts to hand-woven dresses and skirts.
Founded by Rachel Berks, the queer-identified woman-owned Otherwild is best known for its viral graphic tees, but the Los Angeles–based shop offers a whole variety of ethically sourced lifestyle products, including home decor, art, apothecary items and more.
Revel & Riot
This LGBTQ-run non-profit e-commerce shop was created as a way to raise awareness by way of graphic tees and other garments. Not only does Revel & Riot help to promote LGBTQ equality through clothing, but they also contribute to various LGBTQ+ organizations and offer resources for transgender health, internalized homophobia and more.
Show and Tell Concept Shop
Founded by Alyah Baker in 2011, Show and Tell Concept Shop is a vibrant e-commerce platform that’s packed with ethical and sustainable handmade goods from like-minded brands and suppliers. Expect everything from high-quality garments and streetwear to home goods and stationery items.
SUAY Sew Shop
Los Angeles-based SUAY Sew Shop was originally founded by CEO and Lead Designer, Lindsay Rose Medoff, as an attempt to put post-consumer waste and deadstock fabrics to good use. In 2019 alone, Suay diverted over 250,000 pounds of garments from landfills by way of their recycled pillows, quilts, towels and more.
Created by self-taught Black designer Telfar Clemens, this unisex fashion brand is well-loved by everyone from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Solange—and for good reason. The Telfar brand aims to redefine what high-end designer wears can mean by way of both accessible price points and non-binary approach.
The mission-driven Fluide was created as a response to the heavily gender binary beauty industry. Created by Laura Kraber, the vegan, cruelty-free and paraben-free cosmetics company aims to create a more inclusive space for expressing yourself through beauty, including everything from eyeliner to nail polish.