10 Great LGBTQ2S+ Canadian Businesses to Support this Pride Month
As Canadians wait for things to get back to normal, this year’s Pride celebrations might look a little bit different than events past. But that doesn’t mean you can’t show your support for the LGBTQ2S+ community by shopping at these local queer owned businesses.
10 awesome queer-owned businesses
No matter where in Canada you live, here are 10 amazing LGBTQ2S+ businesses that you can support during Pride Month and throughout the year.
Based in Edmonton, Chubby Fem Thrift is an online shop selling thrifted plus-size clothes as well as their own designs in sizes up to 5X. Chubby Fem Thrift is run by London, a psychology student, and Spencer, who creates art at Prairie Fruit Arts. Their artwork is also available on the Chubby Fem Thrift website. Chubby Fem Thrift offers international shipping as well as local pick-up and delivery.
Amanita Designs is run by Amani Tarud, a Toronto-based creator selling handmade masks, accessories, and sustainable housewares. Many of their products feature Pride designs, such as trans and Pride flag masks and crocheted rainbow earrings. Amanita Designs also sells dog bandanas, scrunchies, tote bags, cup cozies, and more.
Your Open Closet is a Vancouver offshoot of the sex-positive sex toy store Womyns’Ware, which has an emphasis on serving customers of all genders and orientations. Your Open Closet opened in 2017 and the store sells gender-affirming undergarments like binders, packer underwear, and lingerie for all body types. Your Open Closet aims to create a body positive shopping experience for all.
Toni Marlow is an undergarment brand founded in Toronto that produces high quality products with an emphasis on comfort. The brand is all about inclusivity. Some of their current products include T.O.M. Period Boxers for people who menstruate, as well as bras, and Tshirts. Their gender inclusive, gender affirming underwear is available in sizes ranging from 24” to 49”, and they will happily make custom size items. Toni Marlow also donates $1 from every purchase to Egale, which provides Trans Allyship workshops to corporate clients and the community.
Operation Soap is a Toronto-based premium quality apparel brand. It creates small batch products using state-of-the-art production and socially conscious manufacturing, whenever possible. A portion of Soap’s profits are donated to queer charities and advocacy groups like Maggie’s, The 519, and Black Youth Helpline. Their name is a reclamation of “Operation Soap,” the Toronto police code for the 1981 bathhouse raids. Soap is also partnering with Pride Toronto this year to sell official Pride Tshirts. Fifteen per cent of sales will go to The ArQuives, an organization dedicated to preserving queer histories.
Brandy Mars Designs is a Vancouver-based business selling greeting cards and artwork posters. It all started with Brandy’s blog, which Brandy started when she came out and looked to connect with the LGBTQ2S+ community. Brandy refers to Brandy Mars Designs as “the gayest lil’ gift shop in all the land!” What started as a side hustle selling greeting cards with funny quotes from her blog has grown to a business selling beautiful art prints, wrapping paper, apparel, puzzles, even a children’s book about being a kid with two moms.
GRRRL Spells is a Toronto-based, non-binary, POC-owned business specializing in queer goth art and accessories. They sell everything a spooky queer person could want, from pins and patches to zines and apparel. Some notable items from GRRRL Spells include the pronoun planchette, “Gay Mess” socks (in hot pink), “RIP gender roles” iron-on patch, and an “I Am Valid” enamel pin in the trans flag colours.
Little Rainbow Paper Co is a Black-owned LGBTQ2S+ business in Calgary, selling queer and quirky cards, prints, and pins. Featured products include a variety of Pride flags, as well as pronoun pins and “Hello My Pronouns Are” stickers. Little Rainbow Paper Co also sells rainbow mugs, keychains, holiday cards, and stickers.
Little Sister’s Book & Art Emporium is a queer Vancouver store that opened in 1983. They offer a wide selection of queer reading material for all ages, information on coming out, and erotica. In addition to their books, Little Sister’s also sell greeting cards, adult toys, transgender supplies, Pride flags, and clothing. Little Sister’s offers online shopping and free shipping within Canada on orders over $100.
Not only is Glad Day Bookshop in Toronto the first ever queer-focused Canadian bookstore, it’s also the oldest queer bookstore in the world. Since 1970, Glad Day has provided customers with a wide selection of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, two-spirit and queer literature. For all of June 2021, they are offering 15 per cent off select two-spirit and LGBTQ Indigenous books from Kegedonce Press. Glad Day Bookshop also works with local queer makers to sell art prints, greetings cards, and clothing. You can shop in-store and online.
Other ways to support the LGBTQ2S+ community
Purchasing from queer small businesses isn’t the only way that you can support the LGBTQ2S+ community. Here are a few other ways you can celebrate Pride and be an ally to the LGBTQ2S+ community.
Attend digital Pride parades
While the celebrations this year won’t be what we’re used to, Canadian Pride parades are still going ahead as planned; they’ll just look a little bit different. Lots of cities are hosting digital Pride parades, so you can show up and celebrate anywhere across Canada—while staying safe and socially distanced.
Donate to LGBTQ2S+ organizations
There are so many great Canadian LGBTQ2S+ organizations that are doing important work to advocate for inclusion and change. Making a donation to a Canadian queer organization is another way you can support the LGBTQ2S+ community. Here are two organizations that are making a difference:
Egale is a Toronto-based organization with a mission to improve the lives of 2SLGBTQI people by inspiring cultural change, and promoting human rights and inclusion. Their vision is a world without homophobia and other forms of oppression.
QMUNITY is a non-profit based in Vancouver, designed to improve the lives of queer, trans, and two-spirit individuals. They offer services including free counselling, referrals, and volunteer opportunities. QMUNITY also runs queer workshops and provides educations resources, as well as advisory and consulting services.
Now that you’re aware of some great Canadian LGBTQ2S+ businesses to support, you’ll be ready to celebrate Pride Month in style.
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