Long before the glitter and rainbow paraphernalia, Pride began because of the Stonewall Uprising, a police raid of a gay New York City club in June of 1969, which turned into six days of protests, largely led by Black and Latinx queer and trans people, like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera.
With this year's Pride coinciding with nationwide protests about racism, police brutality, and Black people being killed unjustly, it's imperative to reflect on history and all the Black queer and trans activists that forged the modern queer liberation movement.
The racial injustice Black Americans face goes beyond physical violence. According to a 2010 report by the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency, Black-owned businesses are less likely to be approved for funding than white-owned businesses, and 2019 report by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) found that Black business owners are treated inferior at banks. In 2018, Forbes reported that if and when Black business owners do get funding, they're more likely to receive smaller loans with higher interest rates than white business owners.
1. Feelmore Adult Gallery
Run by Nenna Joiner (they/them), Feelmore Adult Gallery is Oakland's only black-AFAB-owned sex shop. For people in the Bay Area (there's also a location in Berkeley,) you can get Feelmore goodies delivered to your door via Postmates. For everyone else, their online store has a huge selection of toys, lubes, lingerie, and BDSM gear, and they sell super cute shirts on their Instagram.
2. Bloom & Plume
Florist and artist, Maurice Harris runs the iconic flower shop and art space Bloom & Plume, and recently opened Bloom & Plume Coffee (both in Los Angeles). If you can't go for coffee in person, check out their merch, like mugs, shirts, and hats. You can also check out Harris' incredible flower installations.
3. Bye Gender (Formerly: Trans Is Beautiful Apparel)
4. Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse
Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse is a comic shop, coffeehouse, and community gathering space based in Philadelphia. The brainchild of self-appointed, "Head Nerd in Charge" Ariell Johnson, Amalgam is the first comic book store owned by a Black woman on the East Coast aiming to focus on inclusion and diversity in the comic world and beyond. You can shop their comprehensive section or pick up a shirt online.
5. Ink The Diaspora
Run by Tann Parker, a tattoo consultant and artist based in New York, Ink The Diaspora is a platform and resource for POC tattoo artists and representation of tattoos on darker skin. They have a directory of inclusive tattoo shops and artists and available for tattoo consulting (i.e., doing color swatches, talking about placement, etc.) and hand-poked tattoos.
6. Ori Gallery
7. Moon Mother Apothecary
8. Two Minds Press
9. Decolonizing Fitness
Ran by Ilya, (he/they), a Black, non-binary, trans-masculine person, Decolonizing Fitness LLC is a social justice platform in support of body diversity that offers affirmative fitness services and classes and community education. Created for people historically marginalized from fitness communities, (i.e., fat, trans, queer, people with disabilities, people over 65,) Decolonizing Fitness provides online one-on-one fitness coaching, medical exercises coaching, and affirming spaces consulting.
10. Stuzo Clothing
11. Burkinabaé Accessories
12. Patty Wack Vintage by Sabine
BlackQueerMagic is a line of handmade healing crystal and metal stamped pieces with a focus on Black queer and trans liberation, created by Vanessa B. Miller (she/they) a Black, queer, Jamaican woman. Miller is a self-taught jewelry maker, specializes in lapidary, gemology, and metalsmithing. The online store offers both ready-to-order and custom pieces.
14. Pyramid Seven
Chicago-based underwear company Pyramid Seven creates boxer briefs for periods (i.e., boxers you can free bleed into) for people of all genders. They're an affirming and inclusive undergarment company working on expanding the representation of people who menstruate.
HauteButch is a Black queer owned apparel and lifestyle brand. It's designed by and for butches, studs and tomboys, specializing in creating more masculine apparel for women and transmen. They sell ready to wear casual clothes and accessories as well as formalwear, bespoke suits, and tuxedos. They're dedicated to making affirming and unique apparel for butch, androgynous, and trans style seekers. In addition to purchasing clothes and accessories, you can book a virtual fashion consult or a personal shopper.