It’s June, which means that it’s also LGBT Pride Month! Rainbows are plastered everywhere. Because their varying colors represent hope and freedom for sexual minorities, they are universal symbols of the LGBT community. The LGBT community is growing throughout generations as people feel less afraid of expressing their true identities. With this growth, support for the pride movement has spread into the realm of fashion. As certain sexualities and genders grow more prominent, however, products representing wider audiences are becoming higher in demand. Luckily, both indie and mainstream brands are starting to provide such diverse products. From clothing stores to Etsy sellers, here are sources that provide plenty of merchandise, especially those that feature more than just rainbows.
Foxflight Studios reimagines not only the rainbow flag, but also the bisexual, transgender, pansexual, asexual, and lesbian flags as weapons. Based on games and animated series from fantasy genres, specifically Dungeons & Dragons, the fusion ofsocial progression and geekiness captures hearts. With rhymes (“Mace Ace”), alliteration (“Nunchucks Nonbinary”), and puns (“Cast Iron Pan,” which refers to pansexuality), these humorous pins are popular, grossing over 700 sales. Fortunately, everyone can join in the fun.
Though these shirts are not specific to any sexual orientation, American Apparel uses their signature minimalistic designs to make equality look stylish. One shirt specific to supporting the LGBT community flaunts the quote, “Still Here, Still Queer.” Other shirts share a message of open-mindedness by including words that refer to hot-button issues like abortion (“fetus”) and mental illnesses (“vulnerable”). All of these shirts can be worn everyday, even after June, for they don’t have colors or symbols that hint at the LGBT community or Pride Month.
Though Converse has created beautiful, rainbow shoes to celebrate June and the growing LGBT community, the company has also appealed to a more specific audience by releasing its first transgender-themed shoes. With blue, pink, and white striped soles that match the stripes of the transgender flag, generous amounts of glitter, and bold lightning bolt prints, these shoes express transgender equality in whimsical ways. All proceeds from this collection go to LGBT organizations like It Gets Better and OUT MetroWest.
This year, ASOS Design and Glaad Media Awards collaborated to create exclusive pride apparel. Though the clothes are very colorful, none of them explicitly use rainbows or refer to the LGBT community. Instead, the shirts are scattered with the word “unity”, and photos of people in crowds smiling and holding hands are printed on their backs. Openly LGBT actor Tommy Dorfman, who plays Ryan Shaver in the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, models for this collection. “I am so excited to be a part of this campaign,” Dorfman announced. He fully supports the collections’ theme, saying, “I know first-hand the power of being an out and proud LGBTQ person or ally – I’m so moved by all of the messages I receive from young people around the world who identify with my character on Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why.”
Shirts designed by UO Community Cares come in one color instead of all seven colors of the rainbow. With witty phrases such as “Pride and No Prejudice” and “Participation Strongly Encouraged,” these shirts boast LGBT pride without being too direct. For every shirt sold, Urban Outfitters and UO Community Cares donates 10 USD to GLSEN, which is an organization that focuses on building schools that are LGBT-inclusive. Those who are in the LGBT community or are supporters of it are also able to celebrate Pride Month at local Urban Outfitters stores, which host performances and art galleries that revolve around queer culture. Members of UO Community Cares were also seen showing their everlasting support by giving out banners and marching in pride parades in Chicago and Honolulu.
The idea of LGBT accessories and clothing might seem obvious because of its prominence today, but having this merchandise is important. LGBT merchandise increases the visibility of the community, helping to make queerness a part of our everyday lives instead of something taboo. Anyone can show support for gender and sexual diversity without being overly vocal by buying and wearing these products. Hopefully, the recent parades, merchandise, and the celebrations of differences throughout June can create a more harmonious world.