Pride’s origins start with the Stonewall Uprising of 1969, a six-day standoff between police officers and LGBTQIA+ protesters outside the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City, which brought widespread publicity to the inhumane treatment of the queer community in America and led to social justice reforms.
To mark the Stonewall Uprising’s one year anniversary, LGBTQIA+ activists held Pride Marches in cities across the country, and the movement has grown in the years since. In 1999, President Bill Clinton officially marked June as “Gay and Lesbian Pride Month,” and ever since then, queer activists and allies have joined together each June to celebrate the queer community – and many large and small brands have joined the celebration too, with a wide variety of rainbow- and LGBTQIA+-themed merchandise available every Pride Month.
But while raising visibility and celebrating diversity is never a bad thing, when it comes to truly honoring the queer community, it’s good to take a look at which brands you can support that actually honor those communities in genuine ways, rather than simply paying lip service.
We’ve rounded up a handful of Shopify merchants and partners that support the queer community in vital ways year-round – whether through visible queer representation, or commitment to honoring diversity in their products, or giving back to the community through community service or donations.
Here are some of our favorite brands that pay tribute to the LGBTQIA+ community all year long that are worth supporting this Pride Month.
Otherwild is a shopfront owned by a queer Los Angeles-based entrepreneur, Rachel Berks, that focuses on showcasing artist-designed goods and apparel, as well as zero-waste kitchen and bath products. The store’s apparel and housewares assortment includes items that showcase the wearer’s preferred pronouns, a “the future is female” slogan, and a wide variety of beautiful handcrafted products for the kitchen, bath, garden, and other types of giftable objects. The company is dedicated to using an ethically-produced supply chain, and to providing representation to marginalized artists, including queer and BIPOC artists. The company also gives back financially to grassroots organizations as well as via direct grants to artists.
Coco and Breezy is an ecommerce eyewear brand founded by LGBTQIA+ twins, Corianna and Brianna Dotson. The company features fun and stylish sunglasses and prescription eyeglasses, with a virtual try-on technology tool that lets you see what the frames look like on your face before you buy. In addition to selling online, the brand is also featured in many eyewear stores throughout the United States.
Founded by Liz Bertorelli, Passionfruit is an inclusive design company that showcases apparel and accessory designs produced by queer people, enabling all customers to show their support for the LGBTQIA+ community. With shirts, hats, mugs, and tote bags featuring slogans like “Love Is Love Is Love,” “Protect Trans Kids,” and “Forever Queer,” the store has many items that both queer customers and allies alike will appreciate – and you can feel good in the knowledge that a portion of all proceeds is given back to The Trevor Project, a nonprofit organization that provides free mental health support to queer and trans youth.
Founded by transman London Reed, Awarewolf Apparel is a brand by and for the LGBTQ+ community, with apparel designed for trans, queer, and nonbinary customers, many of which feature fun cartoons and powerful slogans of LGBTQIA+ support.
Pride Candle Company is owned by a LGBTQIA+ entrepreneur, Tim O’Keefe. He sources socially and environmentally responsible materials to design beautiful and fragrant candles with natural smells, such as orange blossom or pink grapefruit. And best of all, 10% of all proceeds from candle sales are donated to causes that support the LGBTQIA+ community, with more than $80,000 donated to date.
Wildfang is a sustainability-focused apparel company focused on rethinking gender norms and how they present in our apparel. With a wide range of products including blazers, coveralls, and other items in sizes up to 3X, Wildfang is dedicated to supporting inclusion across every category, including both the gender and the size spectrum. The brand has given back more than $650,000 to nonprofits, including ProjectQ, ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and others, and has recently taken the 1% PLEDGE, committing to give at least 1% of annual revenue to charitable causes.
Ash + Chess, run by queer and trans couple Ashley Molesso (she/her) and Chess Needham (he/him), is a greeting card and art print company that offers fun and inspiring prints on greeting cards, tee shirts, art prints, accessories, and more, many of which offer positive messages such as “trans people belong here!” The couple also sell a book that they co-wrote and designed, The Gay Agenda, which features an illustrated history of the queer rights movement in America.
Owned by queer couple Matthew Herman and David Kein, Boy Smells offers a range of scented candles, fragrances, and intimate apparel that are designed to appeal to customers across the gender spectrum. The collection includes a collaboration with country music star and LGBTQIA+ ally, Kacey Musgraves on her “slow burn” candle, and an annual Pride collection in which 10% of proceeds are donated to The Trevor Project.
Regardless of where you choose to spend your dollars this Pride Month, we hope you’ll join us in honoring inclusivity and diversity across the sexual orientation and gender spectrum – and pay tribute to the countless pioneers who’ve paved the way to make the world a safer and kinder place for the LGBTQIA+ community.