WorldPride is here, and there’s no better place to celebrate than in New York City. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising and a half-century of LGBTQ freedom. And while you'll still have to wait for June 30 for the annual float-filled parade, there are plenty of ways to support the community in the meantime. In addition to attending events leading up to the big day, you can check out some of the many incredible businesses owned by LGBTQ owners. From fashion to children’s toys, here are some of the coolest ones in the city you can support.
When Rob Smith founded the Phluid Project, he wanted to do more than create clothing; he wanted to create a movement. After launching in March 2018 in Noho, The gender-neutral store quickly became a hub that not only sold beautiful and practical clothing (from $35 to $500) but also acted as a community space to hang out and share ideas. Stop by for a cup of Joe by Rise Coffee, shop around and mingle in a safe, inclusive environment.
Fleur’d Pins is a line of luxury lapel flowers all handcrafted in New York City; available in materials from leathers to exotic skins that celebrate your style legacy. “Wearing a boutonniere by Fleur’d Pins elevates an ensemble with a symbol of success, wealth, power, and sophistication,” says founder-photographer Andrew Werner. “I created them to express a timeless sense of style with a contemporary flair that can be worn with pride.” Collections of Fleur’d Pins are available for purchase at Barneys (from New York to Beverly Hills), Bergdorf Goodman, Nordstrom Men’s Store, Carnegie Hall, Maison 10, The Phluid Project and on fleurdpins.com.
Bluestockings is more than just a bookstore in the Lower East Side. It’s been an inspiring spot for the LGBTQ community for decades. Here you can find plenty of good reads on feminism and gender studies as well as regular workshops and performances dedicated to social activism. The store is entirely run by volunteers and has a delicious café that serves up organic, vegan, and fair trade dishes.
When it comes to finding the best talent for WorldPride events, turn to Vincent Cooper of COUP New York. He manages an incredible lineup of best-loved drag talents including hometown hennys Brita Filter and Stephanie’s Child (Jan Sport, Lagoona Bloo and Rosé). He produces their events of which there will be three in NYC for Pride this year. Come out to see Stephanie’s Child Live in Concert on June 24, A Star is Born This Way: Pride Edition presented by Alaska on the June 26 and the fourth annual Lady Liberty Drag Competition, hosted by Brita Filter and Alyssa Edwards on June 27.
Who says all LGBTQ owned businesses have to be for adults? Alice and Jenny Bergman opened West Side Kids in 1981 offering an inclusive toy store with diversity education at the center. It’s been an Upper West Side go-to spot for decades as they provide ethically-made quality toys and lots of progressive children’s books. What better way to keep the conversation of inclusion going than by inspiring the youngest generation?
Photography courtesy The Phluid Project