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Taking Back Pride

Sick of Pride Pandering? Here are Some Actual Queer Artists to Support This Month

Hi! Let’s start with a gentle reminder that Pride isn’t about rainbows. It isn’t about merch. It’s a month where we honor the struggle that others went through to get us here. It’s also a month where brands that support anti-trans, anti-gay politicians turn around and try to sell our pain right back to us in the form of rainbow beer koozies. 

That said, Pride can be a fun, exciting time of year to hype up your own community. So instead of buying that rainbow sheet set at Macy’s, let’s start holding brands accountable and giving our coins directly to queer artists.

There’s another important reason to go out of your way to support independent queer artists: the stuff you buy from them will be beautiful, original, and full of heart. 

From shirts about trans history ere are some great places to start:

  1. Wacky Wacko

I fell in love with the artist known as Wacky Wacko when I first came upon a Divine in Baltimore button-down shirt in Otherwild a few years ago. From the moment I saw this shirt, there were hearts in my eyes. The illustrations and eye for detail Wacko shows in their work isn’t just limited to that (sadly now-unavailable) shirt. More recently, Wacko has been amping up production, so if you want a towel with original artwork of sagging boobs on it (and trust me, you do) you need to act fast. My new favorite purchase from Wacko is this shirt that tells the story of queer and trans representation in movies through the 90s and 2000s, a collaboration with Chris E. Vargas of The Museum of Transgender Hirstory and Art. I call it Disclosure: The Shirt!

@henrygiardina

BUY PRIDE STUFF FROM QUEER ARTISTS ##katespadenyhappydance ##pride ##buyqueerart ##HoldMyMilk ##transisbeautiful

♬ 1950 – King Princess

2. Bum Lung

You might know Bum Lung from their Etsy shop of the same name. Or you might know them from their work with the fantastic trans culture podcast, Gender Reveal. Their latest work is better than ever, especially if you’re sick and tired of the anti-kink pride discourse this year. The best part? Proceeds are all going toward the Tranzmission Prison Project, a trans-run resource organization providing recourse for incarcerated trans folks. 

3. Leak Your Sex Tape

Would you trust Food4Thot’s Fran Tirado or SNL’s Bowen Yang to choose your lingerie? Well you should, because both icons have already professed their love for Leak Your Sex Tape, the passion project of queer Brooklyn artist Louis Dorantes. These corsets, thongs, and bodysuits are beautiful, handcrafted, and wonderfully extra. They can also be custom-ordered, so don’t let those “sold out” labels freak you out. 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Fran Tirado (@fransquishco)

4. Machine

Another Otherwild supplier, Machine is a gorgeous handmade brand that uses tongue-in-cheek branding to celebrate queerness and throw up the middle finger to pandering pride brands. My personal favorite? That lesbos shirt, followed by the sportsbra with “Dike” written in Nike logo lettering. 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by MACHINE (@hellomachine)

5. Nosesso

It literally means “no sex,” babes! That’s a fashion statement we can all get behind. This Black-owned queer business is thriving on DePop, and Pose actor Angel Bismark Curiel is a noted fan. Now that’s a brand endorsement!

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by No Sesso (@nosesso)

6. BLK MKT Vintage

Don’t forget to save the planet while you shop! BLK MKT is a Black-owned vintage hub for beautiful pre-loved pieces, heirlooms, media, and more. 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by BLK MKT Vintage (@blkmktvintage)

7. Cuevas Uniform

Jess Cuevas is an LA artist and stylist who’s worked for major brands like Nike and Comme des Garçons. His solo project Cuevas Uniform is a playful, personal take on workwear. His painted pants are so cool, they’re carried by the recently-opened Echo Park concept store Género Neutral. 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by JESS CUEVAS (@jesscuevas7)

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