7 Local & Online Shops That Support The LGBTQ Community
We all have that place that makes us feel safe. Whether it's your room, a park, or a bookstore, it creates an immense feeling of security. For anyone who finds their rights being challenged, these places can be even more important. Members of the LGBTQ are some of the people who face this. The truth is, we still live in a world where not everyone supports or wants everyone to be respected or happy being who they are.
With the Trump administration finalizing a rule from the Affordable Care Act that would essentially allow healthcare providers to discriminate against LGBTQ people — on the anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting, no less — it's clear the United States has much more work to do in the fight for equality, during Pride and every other month.
Fortunately, certain cities have become a haven for the LGBTQ community in the form of "sanctuary cities" — something Trump has also fought to abolish in the past. One such example is New York City, the location of the Stonewall Riots and the birthplace of the Pride movement. Within New York stands many individual havens, creating spaces of complete inclusion. Although some of you may live far beyond the walls of a place that can create this feeling, the Internet is here to bring that love and community straight to you, no matter where you are. Read on for New York and online based shops that support the LGBTQ community.
1. Bluestockings Bookstore
Billed as a "volunteer-powered and collectively-owned radical bookstore, fair trade cafe, and activist center," Bluestockings Bookstore is a haven. Genres include feminism, queer and gender studies, climate and environment, and race and black studies. They host events most nights such as film screenings and workshops. Bookstores are a happy place to explore, and this one goes the extra mile to ensure that. Bluestockings itself means an intellectual or literary women.
2. Conscious Step
This Brooklyn-based, socially conscious sock company partners each design with a specific cause. If you buy a pair from their Socks that Save LGBTQ Lives line, a portion of your purchase will be donated to The Trevor Project to support suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth. Last year, Conscious Step was able to donate $13,000 to the organization from that sock line alone.
3. Cowgirl Creamery
Are you absolutely mad for cheese? Silly question because who isn't? Cowgirl Creamery is run by a lesbian couple, Peggy and Sue. After almost 20 years working at some of the best San Francisco-based restaurants, they opened the creamery. Today their cheese is sold to over 500 stores, including Whole Foods. However, if you're up for it, you can subscribe to a cheese of the month club which sounds pretty fantastic.
4. Moon Mother Apothecary
Moon Mother Apothecary was created by Brooklyn-based Suhaly Bautista-Carolina, an AfroDominican herbalist, artist, and community organizer. In 2018, Bautista-Carolina created this online apothecary with the intention of sharing her knowledge of traditional Dominican plant medicine. She even offers virtual spiritual herbalism consultations if you want to find ways plant medicine can be beneficial to your life.
5. Bye Gender
Bye Gender, which was formerly known as Werk those Pecs, is a community-based organization that was originally created in 2012 to help trans people gain funding for gender confirmation surgeries and related expenses. Ever since model and trans activist Devin-Norelle took over, the funds raised from Bye Gender's clothing line has also helped to provide financial assistance to those struggling to pay bills, buy food, and afford rent.
6. Camera Ready Kutz, Inc.
Camera Ready Kutz, Inc. was started 10 years ago when founder and master barber Khane Kutzwell became sick of hearing horror stories that occurred when LGBTQIA+ individuals tried to do the supposedly simple task of getting their hair cut. Faced with harassment of many forms, something needed to change. Kutzwell founded her shop to create a safe space for anyone to get their hair cut.
7. Brooklyn Brewery
The historic Stonewall Inn is known for being the birthplace of the modern gay rights movement. In 2017, the Brooklyn Brewery partnered with The Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative and created the Stonewall Inn IPA to help raise awareness and funds for the LGBTQ community. The Brooklyn Brewery takes pride in their philanthropic efforts and states that their beer has "a knack for turning up wherever vibrant, open-minded people come together."
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