Pride month 2020 has come and gone, with a little less pomp than would be expected of a typical year. The coronavirus pandemic placed logistical roadblocks in front of Pride event planners, forcing many of the annual parades to be reimagined as virtual celebrations. Let’s remind ourselves of what we missed out on this year, and look at how e-commerce can help us make up for missed opportunities for representation.
One of the main attractions of big-city Pride month celebrations are the parades. Large floats carry local community leaders, LGBTQIA+ association members and advocacy groups, and observant high schoolers along the promenade. Speckled among them are large companies vying for attention. At last year’s celebrations in Chicago the likes of Nissan, Walgreens, Southwest Airlines, Pepsi, and Tyson could be seen sporting rainbow colors and on-brand Pride-friendly slogans.
It’s no secret the influence of queer folks has made an impact on business practices throughout the country. We have seen many large national brands adopting the symbols and messaging of Pride, hoping to gain a foothold in an increasingly powerful queer market. The growing salience of the LGBTQIA+ community in America has introduced a new demographic for capitalists to target.
The market can be a powerful force for change. Think back to some of your earliest memories of the biggest brands of your childhood, like McDonalds, Nike, etc. You might recall seeing them on T.V. commercials and billboards, but you should also be thinking of backpacks, shoes, shirts, clothing, pins, and the like. These logos, brands, styles, and the people wearing them carried subliminal messages that educated us early on as to what is present, accepted, famous, and successful in our world.
If you’ve been looking for ways to spread awareness for the LGBTQIA+ community in the absence of mass celebrations, then representing the works of talented creators within the community on your person is a great way to do that. Plenty of these creators have Etsy shops and e-commerce stores advertising their products. Rather than funnel money toward bandwagon corporations, be on the look out to prop up small businesses owned and operated by queer folks themselves. Of course, advocacy does not stop with printed shirts and sew-on patches, but donning LGBTQIA+ cultural symbols is a great way to project more queer influence into the world.
Here are a few creators producing the means to do just that.
If you can imagine it, chances are that queer creators are already selling it. Take the Etsy shop Clutch89 of Terrance Williams Designs for example. It features unique, originally designed and self-manufactured clutches both functional and flashy. Check out their official website for more original clothing and accessories that aim to project happiness and acceptance.
Bianca’s Design Shop specializes in enamel pins and accessories that increase visibility and representation for those in the LGBTQIA+ community. You’ll find print t-shirts, mugs, you name it, proudly exclaiming THE FUTURE IS INCLUSIVE. Check out her original designs at their official website.
PrideAsylum features custom-made jewelry and accessories. Handed-crafted aluminum and silver pendants sports colors representing all identities and orientations. You can find necklaces engraved with your preferred pronouns and LGBT-positive affirmations as well as t-shirts boldly proclaiming GAY RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS.
There are of course many ways to show your support to the LGBTQIA+ community, but supporting online retailers like these directly supports members of the community while also allowing you to show your pride.