7 Local & Online Shops That Support The LGBTQ Community
We all have that place that makes us feel safe. Whether its 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. It's horrible, but we still live in a world where not everyone supports or wants everyone to be respected or happy being who they are.
With a Vice President who worked to pass legislation that would move money away from HIV treatment centers to gay conversion therapy as Governor of Indiana, and a President who stated on the campaign trail that he would be the LGBTQ champion, but then signed signed an anti-LGBT religious freedom bill, it's clear we have much more work to do in the fight for equality in our country during Pride month — and every other month.
Certain cities have become a haven of their own or "sanctuary cities" —something Trump has also fought to abolish. 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. Some of you may live far beyond the walls of a place that can create this feeling. Thankfully, 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. Wolfe Video
Wolfe is the largest exclusive distributor of LGBT films. Many times members of this community are underrepresented in movies, and this website highlights the times where they're more than just a side part. You might discover some titles you've never even heard of.
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. Front Runners New York
Not technically a shop, Front Runners New York is a running club open to anyone who identifies as LGBT or an ally. Weekly fun runs take place in Central and Prospect Parks in New York. So if you love running and/or are looking to meet more people, this could be a great place to go.
5. Bluestockings Boutique
Queer-identifying founder Jeanna Kadlec saw a space in the market where the lingerie needs of LGBTQIA+ individuals weren't being met. She created Bluestockings Boutique as a way to empower those who had been seemingly forgotten by the lingerie industry. She wants to make sure anyone, not matter how they identify or what size they wear, feels beautiful. On top of that the company prides itself on ethical manufacturing, sustainability, transparency and creating a sense of community.
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. Out Of The Closet
This thrift store speaks for itself in the name. Out Of The Closet is very dedicated to the AIDS cause. For every dollar spent, 96 cents of it goes towards benefitting the AIDs Healthcare Foundation. On top of that, you can have your prescriptions filled while you shop and find out where to get free HIV testing.
Shop at one of these places this Pride month or in the future. At each, you will find a community and immense sense of acceptance. What could be better than that?