Don’t give your business to just any company with a rainbow logo this pride month.
It’s important to frequent shops and businesses that are LGBTQ owned as a way of supporting both small businesses as well as the community.
In Philly, there are luckily plenty of these types of businesses to go around.
“I think it's important for patrons to support LGBTQ-owned businesses because entrepreneurship as a self-employed individual is beastly,” said Nefertari Sloan, who runs LGBTQ local nonprofit ClassDos. The organization provides free haircuts to African-American youth of all genders looking to put their best face forward in a demanding workforce. “LGBTQ folks, especially those of color, have a much harder time securing work.”
It’s easy for any business to slap a rainbow on top of their logo and suddenly attempt to show visible support for the LGBTQ community. Look at mega brands like Bud Light and Listerine, just two companies that used this month to move product. They are among countless others.
“The option to gain more profits by slapping seven colors on a shirt or pair of shoes, without knowing the history of Pride as a riot and protest, can come across as tone-deaf,” Sloan said. “It’s up to us as consumers to figure which companies really care and give support, and which ones are just in it for the marketing. I believe that representation is important, and to have larger names finally recognizing the LGBTQ community even in this minor way is a significant shift in mainstream culture and a step in the right direction, it just needs to be authentic.”
We took a look at a number of Philadelphia-based businesses doing it right. The following is a list of organizations involved in the Philly LGBTQ community that deserve your dollars – and we’re not talking just this month.
Philly AIDS Thrift
This thrift store has long been a staple just off South St. The Philly AIDS Thrift donates all of its profits to LGBTQ organizations. They also offer free, rapid HIV testing on the second floor of the store. You can support them by shopping their amazing inventory, providing donations or volunteering your time at the store. | 710 S. 5th St. phillyaidsthrift.com/
You can show your support to Sloan’s nonprofit by making a direct donation or by volunteering to give haircuts. It all directly funds free haircuts for black youth of all genders and offers empowerment for those looking to enter the workforce. | classdos.org/
Mechanic Shop Femme
This virtual business provides online classes aimed towards femmes and female-identified individuals. The classes will teach you how to diagnose issues with your car without having to potentially get ripped off by a mechanic. Although this isn’t a Philly-based business, we think their services are way too useful not to share with those who may need them. | mechanicshopfemme.com/
An eccentric sex shop located on South St. that sells plenty of toys and items for gender expression. It also hosts plenty of sex-positive classes where anyone is welcome. We know you probably need some new toys to play with, so consider stopping here before anywhere else. | 317 South St. passionalboutique.com/
Big Blue Marble Bookstore
This LGBTQ-owned bookstore is constantly hosting community events for all ages and interests. In this shop in diverse Mt. Airy, you will find books on gender and sexuality right on the first floor. Get involved in their events and book clubs and leave some recommendations of the kinds of books you’d like to see there. They’re all about educating the community and providing a comfortable space for anyone to hang out. | 551 Carpenter Rd. bigbluemarblebooks.com/