This Pride Month, there’s been a lot of criticism towards the LGBTQ folks who buy rainbow things from capitalist entities. I see the purpose of this criticism. These big brands are taking advantage of our community, our marginalization, our need for expression and community strength. Some of them take advantage of us while supporting politicians, policies and practices that further impose injustice and inequality on our community and other marginalized minorities.
The shitty thing about this criticism is that we are seeking inclusion, identity and community. We want a place to exist in our truest expression and feel like the rule and not the exception! We want to be able to feel like we fit in, can be the norm, can be our Selves. In a cis-hetero-normative world, we want to feel trans-homo-ace-bi-etc normal! We want to be identified and identifiable to one another. How do we find this without supporting large corporate hypocrites?
The presented alternative to supporting “Rainbow Capitalism” is supporting small LGBTQ and minority-owned businesses who follow this Rainbow “trend”. I put quotes around trend because I lack a better word. It’s not a trend to those of us who live it. It’s validation of our identity and the space we create for ourselves and each other in the world.
My point is this–it’s not a bad thing to buy a bunch of Pride related things! It’s therapeutic and validating and necessary. But in ANY context, we can be conscious of where our money is going and how it is circulating based on our spending.
In supporting actual members of the LGBTQIA community in their creative and business ventures, we can celebrate our Pride without contributing to our oppression and the oppression of others.
I am an LGBTQ crochet artist making things for the LGBTQ community. I am a lesbian woman, a starving artist, making money on handmade goods I create in my small Long Beach apartment. I run the entire business alone, from purchasing to making, social media to sales, shipping to customer service. I make crochet clothing and jewelry year round with the intention of inspiring the people who wear it to be their authentic selves in the world. I love the minimalist style with attention to detail that highlights without overwhelming the individual.
I am a queer designer making Pride attire for my LGBTQ folks!
I am not the only one.
There are so many artists, in all different types of mediums, who are making clothes, art, drawings, books, zines, decor, tools, and more of your everyday purchases. A great way to find us is through hashtags on Instagram. Another way is through events, maker popups, and queer spaces like queer-owned coffee shops and gay venues.
I will warn, supporting small business is not necessarily cheap. The benefit of corporate capitalism is that mass production is cheap and some of the cheapness gets passed on to the customer. However, spending a little more money in handmade, small business, and local economies ensures that the money will circulate back into your pocket at some point. That money doesn’t go into a CEOs pocket or a trust fund or an off shore account–it helps someone keep their lights on, keep food on their table, gas in their car, etc. Paying a little more for a better quality piece of artwork is worth it. Not to mention it’s more unique, and probably made to last.
Bypassing Rainbow Capitalism by supporting LGBTQ Artists and Makers is an act of political warfare.
If you can’t support myself or other artists monetarily, you can still help us. Your support in the form of likes, sharing and encouragement is helpful and welcome.
Support one another. Support LGBTQ businesses, but additionally support businesses owned by people of color, differently-abled people, and immigrants. Our oppression is all unique, as we all have our own intersectional story, but our struggle is against the same entity–colonialism, white supremacy, injustice, inequality, and toxic capitalism. When we support each other, we all win.
We are here, we are queer, and we are making things for you. Please, Find us. <3
Lesbian Pride Bralette // Rainbow Pride Halter
Trans Pride Halter
Trans Pride Crop Top
Lesbian Pride Halter size XL
Rainbow Spectrum Crop Top
Yarn for Pan Pride and Bi Pride goodies!!!!
Non binary and Ace available too!