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From queer-centered bookshops to gender-diverse apparel, we've rounded up some excellent LGBTQ-owned businesses to shop throughout the year.
You’ve probably heard the phrase “vote with your dollar” at some point or other, and when it comes to supporting marginalized communities, it really does make an impact. While Pride Month is often co-opted by major corporations and brands eager to make a little cash on rainbow-colored products, these profits don’t always go into the pockets of LGBTQ-owned businesses. A better option, both during Pride Month and the rest of the year, is to seek out queer-owned businesses and support them financially.
According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, there are 1.4 million LGBTQ-owned businesses in the United States alone. That means you have more than one million ways to help the queer community via the purchase of products, services, and more. If you’re LGBTQ+, you might already be doing this. And if you’re not, this is a great example of how to be an LGBTQ ally (yep, it goes beyond simply learning what LGBTQ stands for).
So what’s stopping you? Sure, some neighborhoods have brick-and-mortar shops with rainbow flags, signs with LGBTQ quotes, or even books on LGBTQ heroes, all of which may be signs of a queer-owned business. But that’s not the only way to find them. Here, we’ve rounded up 31 top-notch LGBTQ-owned businesses, perfect for showing your support during Pride Month and beyond.
While some more mainstream cosmetic brands have begun to recognize that it’s not only cis women who wear makeup, it’s so much better to support a brand that knew that from the start. Cue Fluide, a line of vegan, cruelty-free cosmetics that includes liquid lipstick, nail polish, eyeshadow, and of course, some ultra-fab glitter. Founded by Laura Kraber and Isabella Giancarlo, and with Black trans woman Dev Doee as chief creative officer, Fluide is destined to be your go-to inclusive makeup brand.
Malin + Goetz
In 2004, New York City couple Matthew Malin and Andrew Goetz decided to go into business together and launch a line of luxury skin care products (and then some). Today, Malin + Goetz is one of the most popular queer-owned businesses around, with a reputable brand of shampoos, conditioners, cleansers, moisturizers, bar soaps, and more, all made with natural products and zero animal testing. And if you’re in New York, Los Angeles, or London, don’t forget to pop into one of the many brick-and-mortar locations to sample the goods—the Eucalyptus Deodorant is a must-buy.
Fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race all know about Trixie Mattel (also known as Brian Firkus), and since her win in the competition, she’s found a way to help others look as spectacular as she does via her brand Trixie Cosmetics. Heart-shaped cream blushes, lip glosses with names like Hater and Floral Fixation, and shadow palettes geared toward certain seasons of your life are all part of Mattel’s ultra-fun makeup line. It’s worth a shop, whether you’re a weekend-only makeup user or a 24/7 queen.
Kiss My Face
What began as a dream on a farm in the Hudson River Valley some 40 years ago is now one of the most widely known LGBTQ-owned businesses of all time, seen in grocery stores and pharmacies across the nation. Steve Byckiewicz and Bob Macleod started it all by making bars of Kiss My Face soap, but now the couple sells everything from body lotion and toothpaste to roll-on deodorant, kids’ sunscreen, and just about anything else you might need in your bathroom.
Tubby and Coo’s
This queer-owned indie bookshop in the Mid-City neighborhood of New Orleans is a haven for nerdy LGBTQ+ folks near and far. Tubby and Coo’s focuses heavily on sci-fi, fantasy, and queer books, as well as maintaining a strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (and not just the performative kind). Named after owner Candice Huber’s grandparents, the progressive bookshop also serves as a safe space for the community—something that is always appreciated.
The Irreverent Bookworm
Meg Niesen opened this Minneapolis-based bookshop in 2019 and has worked to create a space where all readers feel seen and welcomed. The queer, woman-owned Irreverent Bookworm is the perfect place to browse for the latest LGBTQ books, find a used copy of an old favorite, or simply pick up some charming literary gifts like mugs and T-shirts for your bookish friends. With a homey atmosphere, it’s sure to become your next favorite spot.
Under the Umbrella
This self-proclaimed “queer little bookstore” in Salt Lake City truly specializes in catering to the LGBTQ+ community. In fact, every book in the shop was either written by a queer author or includes LGBTQ+ content. Under the Umbrella also makes sure to prioritize the work of marginalized queer populations, including Black, disabled, two-spirit, and incarcerated individuals. For a fun twist on the traditional book club, local customers can stop in for the Queer Speed Date events, during which they chat about the book of the month.
This cleverly named, lesbian-owned fashion brand was founded in Bend, Oregon, by Jenn Hofmann, Serena Christy, and Kelly Zimmerman, who wanted to bring beautifully colored, smartly designed wrist wear to every person. The result is an array of handcrafted leather wrist straps, bead stackers, rope bracelets, and cuffs that look gorgeous on any wrist (there are necklaces too). The brand even has a special Pride-inspired gemstone bracelet, perfect for this month’s festivities.
Clothing in most shops tends to be cut for men or for women, but at Both, careful attention is made to ensure silhouettes go beyond the gender binary. The idea came after founder Finnegan Shepard, a trans man, struggled to find clothing that fit just right post–top surgery. Geared toward the transmasculine community, the selection includes plenty of diverse tops, from T-shirts to crop tops, that will keep your particular body’s needs in mind.
This brand has been one of the Internet’s favorite queer-owned businesses since 2013. Cofounded by Julia Parsley and Emma Mcilroy, WildFang just put out a collection in collaboration with Toms, featuring blazers, pants, shoes, and slides. But if that’s not what you seek, you’ll also find button-up tops, coveralls, overalls, jumpsuits, and of course, a special Pride collection to wear to the next parade.
Play Out Apparel
Play Out’s motto is “No Gender, Just Style,” which is exactly what many in the LGBTQ+ community have been asking for. This trans- and queer-owned business was cofounded by Abby Sugar and Grey Leifer in order to provide the world with more gender-inclusive streetwear and underwear. Unlike most undergarment designers, Play Out differentiates underwear needs via “flat front” or “pouch front” designs and sells everything from boxer briefs to thongs, so everyone has comfortable access to whatever styles they love.
For more diverse undies celebrating all kinds of bodies, look to TomboyX. From Tucking Bikinis to Fly Packing Boxers, the brand’s Gender Euphoria line ensures that those who have often been left out of mainstream underwear shops are seen and honored. Queer founders Fran Dunaway and Naomi Gonzalez also made sure to include a line of period underwear to keep all menstruating bodies leak-free, as well as a stunning Rainbow Pride Collection that will bring plenty of fun to your underwear drawer.
Formerly known as Werk Those Pecs/Trans Is Beautiful Apparel, Bye Gender is an apparel company founded by Jason Hill and Samuel Leon as a way to help trans folks afford gender-affirming surgery. The company is now owned by Devin-Norelle, and the fund (which relies on proceeds from these delightful shirts, pins, binders, and even menstrual cups) now provides additional resources for applicants to ensure that all trans folks’ needs are cared for. This is a great way to shop and give back to the community.
Peau de Loup
Founded by Adelle Renaud and Erin McLeod, Peau de Loup heavily abides by its tagline: “We make clothing for bodies, not gender.” The queer-owned business makes button-down shirts, tees, chinos, and more for folks across all genders who find traditional menswear ill-fitting and traditional womenswear too tightly fitted. Instead, you get a comfortable, casual fit with plenty of fun, sharp designs to choose from.
When Ames Simpson became disillusioned with the lack of options for butch folks in the world of apparel and accessories, she teamed up with Susan Donaldson to create their own line: Butch Basix. The LGBTQ-owned business sells accessories like shoes, belt buckles, jewelry, and ties, plus T-shirts and more for butch consumers who are weary of bouncing between the boys’, men’s, and women’s clothing departments.
Food and beverage
Founded in 2017 by couple Lani Gobaleza and Amy Truong, Paru is both a brick-and-mortar tea shop in California (there’s one in La Jolla and another in San Diego) as well as an online shop that provides a wonderful array of specialty loose-leaf teas, tisanes, matcha, and modern tea blends for those who enjoy a cup. Tea lovers can also enjoy Paru subscription boxes, virtual tea tastings (as well as private tastings), and lovely merchandise, including adorable “tea pets” that will add a bit of whimsy to your daily life.
Uncommon Coffee Roasters
Uncommon Coffee Roasters has been bringing much-needed caffeine to the masses since 1994, when Guy Darienzo and Stephen Keye opened it up as the “local gay coffee shop.” Fast-forward to today: Now run by Bruno Nobre and Mauricio DaSilva, Uncommon Coffee Roasters is a wholesale coffee-roasting company serving online shoppers everywhere. Head here for their Saugatuck Summer, Bourbon Barrel-Aged roast, and special Pride Blend. But don’t worry—locals in Saugatuck, Michigan, still get to enjoy Uncommon in person too.
Queer Black woman Jennifer Martin was named one of the 50 Black women founders to watch by Essence Magazine, and here’s why: Martin, along with her brother Jeff and his wife, Teresa Tsou, founded Pipcorn a decade ago with less than $3,000. Since then, they’ve managed to turn it into a sustainable, successful snack brand (thanks in part to an appearance on ABC’s Shark Tank). Pipcorn sells bags of mini popcorn, cheese balls, corn chips, and Cheetos-like crunchies. Now that’s an LGBTQ-owned, Black-owned business we can get behind.
You’ve likely seen Mason Dixie at your local grocery store, but did you have any idea it’s an LGBTQ-owned business? Chief operating officer and co-owner Ross Perkins works with a diverse LGBTQ team to not only provide delectable biscuits and breakfast sandwiches to the masses but also to advocate for queer rights and visibility. Mason Dixie even donates to and works with organizations like SMYAL and Rainbow Families, so you know your money is going to some great causes.
Resign yourself to the fact that cravings for sweet goodies are going to follow you until you give in and order some cookies from Wunderkeks. The brainchild of Guatemalan couple Luis Gramajo and Hans Schrei, this bakery whips up (and sells online) cookies, brownies, and sweet care packages that’ll have you drooling. Order a dozen of the best-selling chocolate chip cookies, or try one of everything with the Greatest Hits variety pack. Coming from Guatemala, the owners know what it’s like living in a place that’s less friendly to the LGBTQ community, which makes the success of their Austin-based bakery even sweeter.
If you’re looking for a creative gift or just a lovely piece of home decor, you can’t go wrong with a hand-poured candle from CTOAN. Owned and operated by Jodyann Morgan, a queer Black woman living in Wisconsin, the company creates scented candles that are truly works of art, especially the 3D designs, which celebrate the human form with all its curves and rolls. Morgan’s candles come in a variety of scents, from sandalwood to eucalyptus and even unscented, with special seasonal items (including gorgeous rainbow versions) giving part of the proceeds back to the community.
Who doesn’t love to indulge by bringing home some artisanal goods from time to time? That’s exactly what shops like Reisfields are for. Founded by gay New Yorker Reis Chester back in 2016, this self-proclaimed “Black and queer cultural and lifestyle design lab” offers up products like botanical soaks, incense collections, crystal intention sets (because it’s never too late to take control of your life), and more.
This queer-identified, woman-owned store was founded a decade ago by artist Rachel Berks and has since grown into a brick-and-mortar shop in Los Angeles as well as a thriving online boutique selling bags and scarves, makeup and skin care products, and housewares and apparel, all of which caters to the LGBTQ+ community and beyond. Hit up Otherwild General—a store within the store—for eco-friendly products that support a zero-waste lifestyle.
BLK MKT Vintage
Based in Brooklyn’s Bed-Stuy neighborhood, this funky vintage shop is where you can spend an afternoon seeking out curiosities, collectibles, and more, all of it rooted in Black culture. If you’re not in the New York City area, however, you can always browse online for things like vintage Alvin Ailey photographs, Juneteenth T-shirts, prints from Black-centric movies like Do the Right Thing and The Color Purple, and more. Founded by couple Kiyanna Stewart and Jannah Handy, this culture shop is a space obviously rooted in love.
Founded in Brooklyn in 2013, Minna has since moved to Hudson, New York, but still offers simple, artisanal textiles and home goods that’ll bring peace and tranquility to your home. Queer owner Sara Berks named the shop after her grandmother and believes her goods should be intentional and inclusive. Look around, and you’ll find throw blankets, place mats, furniture, books, dinnerware, and more. Shop here to bring some feminism into your everyday life.
Ash + Chess
From cute LGBTQ+ greeting cards to pastel prints for your walls, you’ll find plenty to love at Ash + Chess. Started by queer and trans couple Ashley Molesso and Chess Needham, this stationery (and more) shop is great whether you’re looking to send uplifting notes to friends or adding to your colorful sticker collection. While it’s based in Richmond, Virginia, you can find Ash + Chess products all over the country (and beyond) in smaller stationery shops, major retailers like Urban Outfitters and Paper Chase, and online.
Ink Meets Paper
Wife team Allison and Jamie Nadeau founded this clever stationery shop back in 2006. By 2010, they’d launched their own greeting card line. Today, they create and sell hundreds of thousands of pens, paper goods, greeting cards, and more. Those in the LGBTQ+ community will want to check out the Pride collection for the perfect card to send when a nonbinary friend shares new pronouns, a family member comes out, or any of the queer people you care about deserve a little love. For those in North Carolina, make sure to visit the new brick-and-mortar shop once it opens in Greenville (check the site to stay on top of updates on the move).
If you’re looking to spoil your four-legged friend with some innovative products, look no further than Fable. Founded by Jeremy Canade and sister Sophe Bakalar, Fable offers pet products unlike anything you’ve ever seen. The best-selling Magic Leash features a hands-free design, so you can wear it multiple ways, and a dog puzzle toy called The Game aims to relieve boredom by prompting your furry pal to exercise and work for snacks.
Kin and Kind
For pets with sensitive skin, there’s Kin and Kind, a brand that looks to keep your fur babies groomed, comfortable, and happy all at once. This LGBTQ-owned business was founded by twins Janine and Thomas Ling, who wanted to create pet care products free from unnecessary chemicals while remaining budget-conscious. The result is this lovely assortment of natural, vet-formulated items, including flea and tick repellant sprays, dog shampoos, kitty ear cleaner, superfood supplements, and more.
Shana Rehwald, founder of Me-est Me, created the Me-est Me Journal after going through a major life transition. Her goal: help herself (and others) become the realest versions of themselves. The 88-page journal features prompts and exercises that’ll help you have fun and reflect on where your life is and where you’d like it to be. This is the sort of LGBTQ-owned business that’ll do your mental health good.
Queer- and BIPOC-owned High Hemp is the creation of Paola Fernandez. Founded in 2016, the Florida-based company offers an alternative to tobacco-based rolling papers—an herbal hemp-based wrap that comes in a variety of flavors to enhance your smoke. High Hemp also now sells CBD products including gummies and tinctures to keep you feeling your best.
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce: “6 Resources for LGBTQ-Owned Businesses”