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Queerty: 6 amazing stores where you can buy gifts while supporting indie queer business


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Black Friday means shoppers can get some great deals online while sheltering in place, but it also kicks off the gift-buying season for Christmas and Hanukkah in the U.S.

There’s a great way to pay it forward: Spend some money on LGBTQ-owned businesses, not only to supports the community but because these shopping sites are the creators of unique items that make fun gifts and keep life interesting more interesting than Walmart.

Take a look at some of the sexy cool stuff we found through the smaller shops that have a bona fide gay agenda.

1. Tom of Finland Store

The Tom of Finland online store features items from hundreds of artists and designers, from artsy to sexy to naughty and more. Shirts, undies (boxers, briefs, and lots of socks, oh my!), various erotic aides (the Hercules Harness is really cool), and of course lots of items featuring Tom of Finland’s artwork. Items can be pricey, but fair; for example, their Comme des Garçons Parfum is the same retail price as elsewhere online.

For a budget gift, how about a David Bowie prayer candle, or the Pocket Coco Chanel Wisdom?

2. MALIN+GOETZ

 

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When asked about the secret to his success, Andrew Goetz joked “Gay men love skincare,” but as Freud said in every joke there is truth. Goetz is half of the entrepreneurial duo (with his business and life partner, Matthew Malin) behind Malin & Goetz, which makes some of the best skincare and hair cleansing and conditioning products on the market today. The duo are also vocal champions of the community, and their entire line is gender-neutral and uncomplicated. Never tried their products? Start with a gift package of several items. You’ll be forgiven for buying a present for yourself.

3. Parke & Ronen

 

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Parke & Ronen is certainly not a “small business” as they show their collections at New York Fashion Week (watch the videos here, which include lots of leg muscles in swimwear) but they are gay-owned, and they are having a big Black Friday Sale, so they get to be on this list. Buy some new summer clothes and dream of that trip to Florida in the Spring, when everyone can travel again.

4. Blade & Blue

 

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Blade & Blue is a men’s clothing company based in San Francisco, with ethical sourcing of its products that are often made in the U.S. We love the leather suspenders! It’s a hipster thing that needs to stay in style forever. And check out the underwear, of course. Slim cut boxers are underrated in the underwear world and they deserve more attention.

5. Keith Haring Pop Shop

The legacy of the late, great Keith Haring lives on through his online store, which sells merch adorned with his graffiti artworks and fun humanoid figures. Items for sale include wall decals that are replicas of his murals, children’s clothes and books, and of course lots of T-shirts which continue to be timelessly cool. Sales benefit the Estate of Keith Haring, which continues to share his work with the public. If you order something, send an email and ask if they have it in stock. Supplies are somewhat limited during the Covid shutdowns.

6. Bookshop.org

 

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Bookshop.org is the anti-Amazon: their site donates a portion of each sale to small independent bookstores around the U.S., which in turn support their communities. So buying books actually makes the world a better place. The site also lists the locations of independent bookstores around the country, including gay and trans owned businesses, listed below. Are one of these bookstores in your neighborhood? It doesn’t matter, because they all ship online orders!

Las but not least, one store that’s not a part of Bookshop.org, but is particularly awesome: Women and Children First, intersectional trans-inclusive feminists in Chicago, IL

Happy Shopping!

Queerty